The inside story of Apple’s amazing A11 Bionic chip

“You could be forgiven if, after Apple’s giant, two-hour product launch event on Tuesday, the only thing you remembered is the stunning iPhone X. It is special,” Lance Ulanoff writes for Mashable. “It’s also nothing without the A11 Bionic CPU. And the A11 is nothing without Apple’s insanely focused silicon team behind it.”

“‘We’re clearly on a path now where, with generations of our products, one of the core elements is the chips in them that, to us, they’re intrinsically part of the definition of the product,’ said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller who, along with SVP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, sat down with me 24 hours after the big unveil for an intense chat about silicon, the Apple way,” Ulanoff writes. “I had many questions about the A11 Bionic, Apple’s fifth-generation CPU that sits inside not only the iPhone X, which ships in November, but also the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus — mostly about just how many things this new system on a chip (SoC) could do.”

“‘This is something we started 10 years ago, designing our own silicon, because that’s the best way to truly customize something that’s uniquely optimized for Apple hardware and software,’ said Srouji,” Ulanoff writes. “Srouji told me that when Apple architects silicon, they start by looking three years out, which means the A11 Bionic was under development when Apple was shipping the iPhone 6 and its A8 chip. Back then we weren’t even talking about AI and machine learning at a mobile level and, yet, Srouji said, ‘The neural engine embed, it’s a bet we made three years ahead.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, as we wrote last week: With each passing year, and especially with iPhone X, it becomes increasingly clear – even to the Android settlers – that the competition has no chance of even remotely keeping up against Apple’s unmatched vertically integrated one-two punch of custom software and custom hardware. The Android to iPhone upgrade train just turned onto a long straightaway, engines stoked, primed to barrel away!

“Vertical integration – hardware + software – trumps off-the-shelf conglomerations every single time. See: Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, etc.” — MacDailyNews, May 31, 2017

Furthermore, a smartphone is only as good as its ecosystem and the fragmented-by-manufacturer Android “ecosystem” is an unfunny joke. For example, Samsung’s phones, when they don’t explode like their washing machines, are, at best, a collection of off-the-shelf parts, inferior mobile processors, and an off-the-rack operating system best known for fragmentation, insecurity, and privacy-trampling user tracking/data vacuuming from an online banner ad company that masquerades as a search engine. Anyone who regards a South Korean dishwasher maker’s latest iPhone knockoff as “the best phone ever” is a painfully myopic moron.

Apple’s A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – September 18, 2017
Apple accelerates mobile processor dominance with A11 Bionic; benchmarks faster than 13-inch MacBook Pro – September 15, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus on par with 2017 MacBook Pro – September 14, 2017


  1. Apple plays the long game. When Apple bought its first silicon chip designers — it was quite a few years ago now, under Steve, as I recall — I secretly cheered it as a brilliant move that would bode well for the future, since few, if any, competitors would be able to follow. It was also a move that argued in favor of holding Apple shares for the long term.

    It bogles my mind that, with each iteration of the iPhone, Wall Street (and other!) critic-tards — you all know who you are — consistently and continually fail to recognize the almost unbelievable improvements in each phone generation is due to its microprocessor chip. The increased processing power of Apple’s silicon chips compared with previous iPhone chip generations, let alone third-party competitor products using “off the shelf” chips, is incredible. Almost unbelievable. Yet it is something unseen and not as obvious, say, as an almost trivial (by comparison) form factor.

    To Apple critic-tards I say: To The Victors, The Spoils ! May you one day open your eyes to the wonder that is Apple.

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