Inside Apple’s A12X system on a chip

“Apple’s new iPad Pro sports several new features of note, including the most dramatic aesthetic redesign in years, Face ID, new Pencil features, and the very welcome move to USB-C,” Samuel Axon reports for Ars Technica. “But the star of the show is the new A12X system on a chip (SoC).”

“Apple made some big claims about the A12X during its presentation announcing the product: that it has twice the graphics performance of the A10X; that it has 90 percent faster multi-core performance than its predecessor; that it matches the GPU power of the Xbox One S game console with no fan and at a fraction of the size; that it has 1,000 times faster graphics performance than the original iPad released eight years ago; that it’s faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs,” Axon reports. “Even the platform’s biggest detractors recognize that the company is leading the market when it comes to mobile CPU and GPU performance — not by a little, but by a lot. It’s all done on custom silicon designed within Apple — a different approach than that taken by any mainstream Android or Windows device.”

“But not every consumer — even the ‘professional’ target consumer of the iPad Pro — really groks the fact this gap is so big. How is this possible? What does this architecture actually look like? Why is Apple doing this, and how did it get here?” Axon reports. “After the hardware announcements last week, Ars sat down with Anand Shimpi from Hardware Technologies at Apple and Apple’s Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller to ask.”

Read more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Little Intel should be very afraid.

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What Apple’s iPad Pro enables matters more than what it replaces – November 7, 2018
New iPad Pro benchmarks blow away Windows PCs – November 5, 2018
Laptop Mag reviews Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro: ‘The most powerful mobile device ever made’ – November 5, 2018
The Verge reviews the new iPad Pro: Apple’s approach to iOS is holding back powerful hardware in serious ways – November 5, 2018
John Gruber reviews Apple’s new iPad Pro: ‘A better value than any MacBook Apple has ever made’ – November 5, 2018
Apple iPad Pro’s A12X chip has no real rivals; it delivers performance unseen on Android tablets – November 1, 2018


  1. Quite an awesome series of SoCs Apple has designed with the A12 Bionic being the fastest ARM processor around. Too bad its value is diminished by AMD, Intel and NVidia’s processor offerings. Apple can’t sell the A12 Bionic to anyone to obtain extra revenue from it.

    That awesome chip isn’t even going to end up in some powerful Apple gaming console to compete with the likes of the PS4 or XBox One X. It’s almost wasted on the supposed weakly-selling iPad Pro and iPhones. It’s a shame Apple isn’t able to take advantage of this world-class processor and show it doing what no other ARM processor can. Why can’t Apple put that chip into a product line of low-energy servers? One would think Apple could get so much more out of that A12 Bionic and make Wall Street weep for dissing Apple so strongly.

    1. You’re looking at it from the wrong end. Apple isn’t particularly interested in showcasing what it’s A12 chip can do. Apple’s focus is on what the products using that A12 chip can do.

      None of us know what plans Apple have for future products, but I have every expectation that Apple will be further exploiting it’s advantage with such powerful silicon which is tailored for their purposes and exclusively for their use.

      If there was one new product which I wish Apple would produce, it would be a Mac micro or nano. An extremely tiny form factor Mac powered by ARM and abandoning Intel compatibility. It would be limited in expandability and expansion, but it could be cheap and efficient and well able to handle most of the jobs which huge numbers of ordinary people use their computers for. It’s a product which Apple is especially equipped to deliver. Think of the basic internals from an iPhone or iPad within a small package with no battery or screen, which you plug into a standard monitor and use with a BlueTooth keyboard and mouse.

    1. In fact they couldn’t care less about Windows, Linux and Android. They don’t want their new chip to end into a vanilla PC. They’re not in the market to sell it to someone else. It’s for their own purpose only. If the chip is built into an iMac or a Macbook Pro, it will convince some to switch just because of the power it can deliver. If it’s that powerful an energy efficient, it will be a real PC killer.

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