Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Sep 2017 16:40 UTC

With the iPhone X revealed, we really have to start talking about its processor and SoC - the A11 Bionic. It's a six-core chip with two high-power cores, four low-power cores, and this year, for the first time, includes an Apple-designed custom GPU. It also has what Apple calls a Neural Engine, designed to speed up tasks such as face recognition.

Apple already had a sizeable performance lead over competing chips from Qualcomm (what Android phones use) in single-core performance, and the A11 blasts past those in multicore performance, as well. Moreover, the A11 also performs better than quite a number of recent desktop Intel chips from the Core i5 and i7 range, which is a big deal.

For quite a few people it's really hard to grasp just how powerful these chips are - and to a certain extent, it feels like much of that power is wasted in an iPhone, which is mostly doing relatively mundane tasks anyway. Now that Apple is also buildings its own GPUs, it's not a stretch to imagine a number of mobile GPU makers feeling a bit... Uneasy.

At some point, these Apple Ax chips will find their way to something more sizable than phones and tablets.

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Apple is building their own CPUs and GPUs ---specifically--- to leave everyone else in the dust.

Now that they are designing their own CPUs and GPUs, they can now go down whatever path they want and unless Google starts doin the same, Android phones are going to start dropping further and further back and very quickly.

Why? Companies that design CPU and GPU chips only want to make just enough improvements and not a bit more that will keep the vast majority of their customers coming back to them over and over again.

Compare this to Apple. They don't want small gains in performance and reduced power consumption. They want to push the envelope hard to walk/run away from the competition using the combination of hardware and software to create an increasingly large performance gap.

The bigger this gap is, the better it is.

Eventually I expect them to make every part of their devices, even cameras and and sound and everything you can think of.

The very LAST thing they would ever want, is to license out their chips to other companies allowing them to duplicate their products.

Edited 2017-09-14 19:51 UTC

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