Apple announced 5nm A14 SoC


Between the new iPad and watch devices released today, Apple made news in releasing the new A14 SoC chip. Notable is Apple’s latest-generation silicon design, the industry’s first commercial chip manufactured on a 5nm process node, the first of a new generation of designs that is expected to push the envelope significantly in the semiconductor space.

The revelations of Apple’s event this year were a bit confusing as the company was comparing the new A14 metrics against the A12, given what the previous generation of iPad Air had been using so far – allowing us to extrapolate the data. What is meant by this would be the need to add some appropriate context behind.

On the CPU side of things, Apple is using the new generation of large performance cores as well as the new smaller power efficient cores, but remains in a 2 + 4 configuration. Apple claims a 40% performance boost on behalf of the CPU, although the company does not specify what this metric refers to – is it single-threaded performance? Is this a multi-threaded display? Is it for big or small core?

However we know this is in reference to the A12 chipset, and the A13 had already claimed a 20% increase on that generation. Simple arithmetic thus determines that the A14 will be approximately 16% faster than the A13 if Apple’s performance metric is consistent across measurement generations.

On the GPU side, we also see a similar calculation as Apple claims for a new 4-core GPU in the A14 to give Apple a 30% performance boost compared to the A12 generation. Normalizing it against the A13 would only mean an 8.3% performance boost which is actually quite low.

In other areas, Apple makes more significant performance jumps in the form of the new 16-core neural engine that is now playing up to 11TOPs from throughput, twice the 5TOPs of the A12 and 83% more than the projected 6TOPs of the A13 nerve. .

Apple advertises a new image signal processor among SoC’s new features, but otherwise the performance matrix (aside from the neural engine) seems conservative given the fact that the new chip is dissolving 11.8 billion transistors, more than 38% lenient 8.5bn figures of increase A13.

One explanation and theory that I have is that Apple may eventually pull back on its excessive peak power draw in the maximum performance states of the CPU and GPU, and thus peak performance may not have shown such a huge jump to this generation, but Side more permanent thermal figures.

Apple’s A12 and A13 chips were major performance upgrades in favor of CPUs and GPUs, although one criticism I made from the company’s designs is that both of them have power beyond what is usually durable in a mobile thermal envelope. Increased the draw. This means that while the design had amazing peak performance figures, the chips were unable to sustain them for more than 2-3 minutes. With this in mind, the devices throttled to a level of performance that was still ahead of the competition, leaving Apple in a leadership position in terms of efficiency.

Speaks against such a theory that Apple has not made any mention of solid power or improvements in power efficiency in this generation, which is very unusual, as they have traditionally always seen new A-series designs Has made a comment on the aspect.

We’ll just have to wait and see if this is a sign of the actual products not improving in this regard, it’s just an omission and side-effect of the event’s new more streamlined presentation style.

Whatever the performance and efficiency figures Apple can boast about, it is the industry’s first 5nm silicon design. The new TSMC-built A14 thus represents the cutting edge of semiconductor technology today, and Apple made sure to mention it during the presentation.

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