Apple recently launched the iPad Air with the latest A14 Bionic chip and the upcoming iPhone 12 series will also feature the same processor. Apple’s executive explained the technology behind the A14 and companies’ strategy of chip making.
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In an interview with Engadget, The vice president of Apple’s platform architecture Tim Millet and senior director Tom Boger shared some plans on making the A14 Bionic more efficient and powerful chip of all time.
The A14 is made using a 5-nanometer process and is more capable than the previous A13 Bionic which was based on 7nm process. It can perform 11 trillion operations per second. The transistor count has also increased to 11.8 billion, a 38.8% increase from its predecessor A13, which had 8.5 billion transistors.
“We saw the opportunity to do things that would have been impossible to do with a conventional CPU instruction set,” Millet said. “You could in theory do many of the things the Neural Engine does on a GPU, but you can’t do it inside of a tight, thermally constrained enclosure.”
The executives also discussed Apple’s future plans on how the chip can be used in its multiple products and how the architecture team thinks about Apple’s product portfolio.
“When people at Apple start working on a chipset, they’re not solely focused on building one for a single product; they take into account the company’s entire lineup. “We spend a lot of time working with the product teams and software teams, and the architecture group really does sit in the center of that,” said Millet.
“Ultimately, we want to make sure that when we build a CPU for one generation, we’re not building it necessarily only for once he said. While that doesn’t mean you’ll see the A14’s six-core CPU in something like an Apple Watch, the architecture developed for the company’s flagship phone chipset may well be adapted and reused elsewhere.”
In the coming time, we’ll be seeing more new innovations of Apple’s architecture team. Apple is also planning to launch its own Silicon-based SoC which will power the upcoming Macs. Although the executives did not disclose anything about its upcoming chip.