No iPhone 12 was announced today, but Apple did introduced a new chip that powers the next generation of its hardware (including the phone every time it starts). The A14 Bionic, which first ships with the new iPad Air, will be Apple’s fastest to date.
In the space race, that’s the CPU and GPU improvements, this is a game-changing step change. According to Apple, the A14 is the first to adopt five-nanometer process technology, an incredibly small but powerful architecture with 11.8 billion transistors in the chip, a 40% increase over the previous generation’s seven-nanometer chips . This corresponds to 1
This makes the iPad Air, for example, something it will market to not only younger users but also gamers and other power users due to its competitive price point. Photo editing will be faster, as will all analytical applications. The chip also has a 16-core neural engine, which is essential for machine learning, but also for any app based on AI processes.
All of this results in a more efficient chip: more power with less battery consumption, with more processes running in parallel over a six-core design. According to Apple, this makes the chip up to two times faster than the most popular Windows laptop, three times faster than the fastest Android tablet and six times faster than the fastest Chromebook. (No, it doesn’t say which devices are specific.)
There’s a reason Apple is setting out how fast the chip is making its new tablet compared to some other popular devices in the consumer electronics world (without giving any brand names, of course).
That’s because chips are at the heart of competition in the consumer electronics industry. and the next generation of it will be very interesting indeed, as Nvidia announces this weekend its intention to acquire ARM – an Apple partner – for $ 40 billion.
ARM has positioned itself as “Switzerland” in the industry and made its designs available to everyone on an equal basis. However, over the years, ARM has increasingly taken on a more autonomous role in chip design, and this A14 is the latest product from that strategy.
There’s more to come.