Apple Announces 5nm A14 SoC – Meagre Upgrades, or Just Less Power Hungry?


by Andrei Frumusanu on September 15, 2020 4: 30 PM EST

Amongst the recent iPad and Peep devices launched on the present time, Apple made news in releasing the recent A14 SoC chip. Apple’s most in vogue expertise silicon map is mighty in that is the change’s first business chip to be manufactured on a 5nm job node, marking this the first of a brand recent expertise of designs that are expected to drastically push the envelope in the semiconductor living.

Apple’s match disclosures this year were a petite bit confusing as the company changed into evaluating the recent A14 metrics against the A12, provided that’s what the outdated expertise iPad Air had been the expend of unless now – we’ll have to add some appropriate context in the abet of the figures to extrapolate what this implies.

On the CPU side of issues, Apple is the expend of recent expertise successfully-organized performance cores as successfully as recent shrimp energy atmosphere tremendous cores, nevertheless remains in a 2+4 configuration. Apple right here claims a 40% performance enhance on the segment of the CPUs, despite the truth that the company doesn’t specify exactly what this metric refers to – is it single-threaded performance? Is it multi-threaded performance? Is it for the successfully-organized or the shrimp cores?

What we enact know despite the truth that is that it’s in reference to the A12 chipset, and the A13 already had claimed a 20% enhance over that expertise. Straightforward arithmetic thus dictates that the A14 could seemingly possibly seemingly be roughly 16% sooner than the A13 if Apple’s performance metric measurements are consistent between generations.

On the GPU side, we also scrutinize a identical calculation as Apple claims a 30% performance enhance when when compared with the A12 expertise as a result of the recent 4-core GPU in the A14. Normalising this against the A13 this would imply top likely an 8.3% performance enhance which is de facto quite meagre.

In other areas, Apple is boasting extra essential performance jumps equivalent to the recent 16-core neural engine which now sports as a lot as 11TOPs inferencing throughput, which is over double the 5TOPs of the A12 and 83% extra than the estimated 6TOPs of the A13 neural engine.

Apple does advertise a brand recent image signal processor amongst recent capabilities of the SoC, nevertheless in every other case the performance metrics (apart from the neural engine) seem slightly conservative given the truth that the recent chip is boasting 11.8 billion transistors, a 38% generational amplify over the A13’s 8.5bn figures.

The one clarification and idea I genuinely have is that Apple could seemingly possibly seemingly need at safe pulled abet on their crude top energy procedure on the most performance states of the CPUs and GPUs, and thus top performance wouldn’t have considered the kind of successfully-organized leap this expertise, nevertheless favour extra sustainable thermal figures.

Apple’s A12 and A13 chips were successfully-organized performance upgrades both on the side of the CPU and GPU, on the opposite hand one criticism I had made from the company’s designs is that they both increased the energy procedure previous what changed into normally sustainable in a cell thermal envelope. This meant that while the designs had incredible top performance figures, the chips were unable to retain them for prolonged sessions previous 2-3 minutes. Keeping that in mind, the devices throttled to performance ranges that were soundless earlier than the competitors, leaving Apple in a management space by strategy of efficiency.

What speaks against the kind of idea is that Apple made no display cloak the least bit of concrete energy or energy efficiency enhancements this expertise, which is extremely very peculiar given they’ve traditionally always made a commentary on this factor of the recent A-series designs.

We’ll appropriate have to wait and scrutinize if that is indicative of the accurate products now not having improved in this regard, of it’s appropriate an omission and side-enact of the recent extra streamlined presentation form of the match.

Whatever the performance and efficiency figures are, what Apple can boast about is having the change’s first ever 5nm silicon map. The recent TSMC-fabricated A14 thus represents the cutting back-edge of semiconductor expertise on the present time, and Apple made advantageous to display cloak this all over the presentation.

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