In a nutshell: Apple is anticipated to additional outline the road between its mainstream and flagship iPhones come September when the subsequent technology of gadgets are launched. Most imagine Apple will do that by reserving its A16 SoC for Pro-tier iPhones and transport its different new iPhones with the A15 from the iPhone 13 household.
Jason Cross from Macworld not too long ago appeared on the broad image together with previous enhancements to attempt to predict what kind of efficiency we will count on from the A16. The basic consensus from the rumor mill is that Apple will manufacture the A16 on a 5nm course of, identical to it did with the A15 and A14 earlier than it.
The A16 will seemingly use TSMC’s third-gen 5nm course of, which is able to solely provide a slight efficiency and effectivity enhance. A way more vital bounce in efficiency and effectivity will come when Apple adopts a chip constructed on a 3nm course of, however that is not anticipated to be prepared for the pending iPhone 14 launch.
Cross believes the A16 may pack as much as 20 billion transistors, lots of which can be used to energy the Neural Engine for machine studying in addition to the picture sign processor (ISP) and video encoders / decoders.
The iPhone 14 Pro is rumored to characteristic a brand new 48MP digital camera which would require wider and sooner knowledge paths to the ISP. Without satisfactory infrastructure, picture processing instances would undergo and that is not congruent with Apple’s technique.
The A16 will seemingly keep on with the identical core configuration of two efficiency cores alongside 4 high-efficiency cores.
Cross additional expects Apple to implement LPDDR5 reminiscence this yr, a transfer that might little question enhance reminiscence bandwidth. Going from LPDDR4x to LPDDR5 may enhance reminiscence bandwidth by as a lot as 50 %. Cross by Apple would make the bounce final yr however after all, it did not occur.
Along with a couple of different tweaks, we may see the A16 ship as much as a 15 % efficiency enchancment over its predecessor.
On the GPU facet, it’s believed that Apple will go along with 5 GPU cores on the A16 or possibly six, however no more than that. Again, different architectural enhancements and the transfer to LPDDR5 reminiscence will solely enhance graphics efficiency much more.
All issues thought of, we may see a efficiency enhance of as much as 30 % in comparison with final yr’s A15 on the GPU facet.
Lastly, Cross believes the iPhone 14 Pro will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 modem as a substitute of its long-rumored homegrown 5G modem. Last yr’s iPhone 13 Pro was outfitted with a Snapdragon X60 5G chip; the X65 provides as much as 10Gbit/s of peak obtain pace in comparison with 7.5Gbit/s on the X60.
Some imagine Apple’s personal 5G chip might be able to debut in 2023 whereas others really feel main setbacks will push it a number of years out.
Image credit score: John Appleseed, James Yarema