The much anticipated iPhone 12 did not arrive as expected, but the A14 bionic processor, the world's first commercial 5nm processor integrated with 11.8 billion transistors, did not miss Apple's special event on September 15. Although the new generation of iPad air launched the A14 bionic, does the A14 bionic of the iPhone 12 all support 5g?
The world's first commercial 5nm processor
Tim millet, vice president of Apple's platform architecture, said: "by actively adopting cutting-edge silicon technology year after year, our products have become the best in class in terms of performance and energy efficiency. A14 bionic is the first to use a breakthrough 5nm process technology in the industry. "
It should be pointed out here that the latest generation 5g modem, the snapdragon X60 released by Qualcomm in February this year, also uses 5nm. Therefore, it is more appropriate to say that A14 bionic is the world's first commercial 5nm chip. But in any case, Apple's self-developed processor has been very positive towards advanced manufacturing process.
From 45nm in A4, 32nm in A6, and 7Nm in A13 last year, more transistors can be integrated with the most advanced semiconductor process, which brings higher performance and lower power consumption.The 5nm A14 bionic integrated 11.8 billion transistors, nearly 40% more than the 8.5 billion transistors of A13 bionic based on 7Nm technology last year.
"We're using these extra transistors to provide new capabilities with more efficient energy utilization and better performance, as well as all aspects of the chip," says Tim millet
What are the specific improvements? The CPU adopts a 6-core design with 4 high-performance cores and 2 high-performance cores. It can operate more instructions in parallel and improve the performance by 40% under low power consumption. Meanwhile, it also integrates a large capacity and high-performance cache, which can meet the requirements of the most demanding app.
A14 bionic's GPU also adopts the latest 4-core graphics processing architecture, which improves the performance by 30% compared with the previous generation. Its peak performance is also industry-leading.
There are also very important AI performance. The number of cores of A14 bionic nervous engine is doubled to 16 cores compared with A13 bionic, and the performance reaches 11 trillion operations per second, which is improved by two generations compared with the previous generation.
In addition, A14 bionic's CPU is further optimized through the second generation machine learning technology acceleratoriPadFor the first time in China, it accelerates the matrix multiplication calculation commonly used in machine learning calculation, and the machine learning speed is 10 times faster than the previous iPad air.
Of course, the additional 3.3 billion transistors have more customization. "The combination of the new neural network engine, CPU machine learning accelerator and high-performance GPU in A14 bionic improves the performance of machine learning to a new level, and promotes the app built by core ml to a new level." Tim millet says this brings a powerful device-side experience to applications such as image recognition, natural language learning and motion analysis.
What about the A14 bionic of the iPhone 12?
Unfortunately, due to novel coronavirus pneumonia, iPhone12's release date is postponed to October, and A14 Bionic's first choice can only choose the latest generation of iPad Air.
Tim millet said that with A14 bionic's blessing, the iPad air has three times the thickness and four times the weight of its laptop compared with the notebook of the same price. At the same time, the graphic performance of the new iPad air is twice faster.
But more people are concerned about the difference between the iPhone 12 and the iPad air's A14 bionic?Generally speaking, the iPad has more cooling space, so its processor can integrate more transistors to achieve higher performance, and the larger screen also has higher requirements for GPU.
Since there is no a13x in Apple's A-Series product line, we use A12 and a12x as an analogy. The same thing about A12 and a12x is that both are based on the 7Nm process, with a dominant frequency of 2.49ghz, and can handle 5 trillion operations per second.
The difference is that A12 integrates 6.9 billion transistors, with 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU, while a12x integrates 10 billion transistors, with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU.
As for whether the iPhone 12 has a 5g modem, the answer is yes.Qualcomm's chief financial officer, Akash Palhivara (Akash Palkhiwala), said in a conference call at the end of July that shipments of five G of mobile phones would fall 15 percent in the third quarter as an anonymous client delayed the global release of five flagship phones. But the unnamed phone was only slightly delayed, from September to the next quarter.
Apparently, the unnamed phone refers to the iPhone 12. However, there are different opinions on whether the whole iPhone 12 system supports 5g, and we need to wait for the announcement.
Also, will integrating 5g baseband sacrifice some performance of A14 bionic? Will the screen refresh rate support 120Hz?
From this point of view, there is something to be expected about the iPhone 12's A14 bionic features and performance.