Apple walks Ars through the iPad Pro’s A12X

Apple’s latest iOS devices aren’t perfect, but 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?

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. We wanted to hear exactly what Apple is trying to accomplish by making its own chips and how the A12X is architected. It turns out that the iPad Pro’s striking, console-level graphics performance and many of the other headlining features in new Apple devices (like FaceID and various augmented-reality applications) may not be possible any other way.

During Apple’s event last week, the company didn’t even mention Intel once, and profusely made it very clear just how much faster the A12X is compared to all other laptops – even its own – that obviously all run on Intel (or AMD) processors. It seems like with this exclusive Ars Technica article, Apple is continuing its A12X marketing blitz, which all just further solidifies that Intel’s days inside Apple’s Macs are almost over.

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