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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RE: Performance
by tylerdurden on Wed 13th Sep 2017 21:28 UTC in reply to "Performance"
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From a microarchitectural standpoint Apple's high performance cores are excellent, they really are that close to the contemporary lake core in IPC.

They're not going to outperform an i7 (it has more cores + SMT), but they're certainly giving a run for their money to the low power dual core i3s and i5s.

The performance of the iPad pro is quite eye opening, when compared with a microsoft surface tablet. The CPU performance diference is down to single digits/error margin. And have much better GPU performance, with a lower overall power consumption.

Their cost is significantly lower than the deep mobile intel parts. Hell, thank goodness that Apple is not selling those chips to 3rd parties, that would be problematic for intel.

I don't like apple as a company or care much for their products. But credit where credit is due, they basically came out of nowhere and they're now one of the top CPU/GPU architecture outfits in the world.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Performance
by tidux on Wed 13th Sep 2017 23:39 in reply to "RE: Performance"
tidux Member since:

That's exactly why I do want them sold to third parties. Imagine a blob-free A11 based laptop for Linux, or a convertible that runs Android.

Reply Parent Score: 2