Inside Apple’s revolutionary, and rather amazing, A13 Bionic chip

Apple's revolutionary A13 Bionic chip powers the all-new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple’s revolutionary A13 Bionic chip powers the all-new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Om Malik for Wired:

Apple’s new [A13 Bionic] chip contains 8.5 billion transistors. Also, there are six CPU cores: Two high-performance cores running at 2.66 GHz (called Lightning), and four efficiency cores (called Thunder). It has a quad-core graphics processor, an LTE modem, an Apple-designed image processor, and an octa-core neural engine for machine intelligence functions that can run a trillion operations per second.

This new chip is smarter, faster, and beefier, and yet it somehow manages to consume less power than its predecessor. It’s about 30 percent more efficient than last year’s A12 chip, one of the factors that contributes to the extra five hours per day of battery life in the new iPhones…

Linley Gwennap, the founder of the research consultancy The Linley Group and publisher of the influential Microprocessor Report newsletter, is widely regarded as one of the foremost processor experts… “Although Apple’s cores aren’t the biggest, they continue to lead in mobile performance,” noted Gwennap earlier this year in The Microprocessor Report. And at the time he wrote that, he was talking about the A12 chip. The A13 performs about 20 percent better.

MacDailyNews Take: The Android phone assemblers, every last one of them an iPhone knockoff peddler, cannot compete with the real thing. If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

With each passing year… 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! — MacDailyNews, September 13, 2017

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

To learn about how that vertical integration manifests itself in a chip like the A13 Bionic, Malik sat down with Schiller and AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi who is now part of Apple’s Platform Architecture team. Read the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


      1. 1) Siri really isn’t crap, indeed it’s comprehension these days is amazing certainly as good as the best alternatives just needs to be plugged in to more outside services which not as easy for Apple as Google or Amazon as that is effectively their business. In that regard they do need to double up their efforts but this continuous whinging for whatever reason is getting so damn boring now to the point of being deliberately moronic.

        2) a grid of icons? Well if you have a better metaphor for a Mobile OS then please promote it instead of mindless, thoughtless and ultimately pointless insults. I would be happy to study an alternative, something logical not just different for its own sake, but no one else seems to have produced a new usable idea as yet.

        3) if a bulging camera gives you best in class performance then bring it on. And to my eye the result looks just fine, indeed rather impressive to me now we see the real thing rather than some of the less than sightly mock ups.

        I know you want to slag off Apple its in your genes, but at least make an effort otherwise it’s just spiteful and childish playground stuff over useful and diverse intelligent debate.

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