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A12X Bionic Processor Debuts in Apple's New iPad Pros

At an event today in Brooklyn, Apple took the wraps after its A12X Bionic processor, which will be in its new iPad Pro. It’s a more powerful version of the existing A12.

Like the A12 in the iPhone, it's built on 7nm technology. It has more than 10 billion transistors. The SoC has an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU. Single core performance is up 35 percent from past iPad Pros, and multi-core performance is up 90 percent. The graphics, the company said, are 1,000 times faster. It compared the graphics performance to that of the Xbox One S.

Apple went bold and said the iPad Pro is faster than 92 percent of mobile computers, including any Intel Core i7 processors.

The A12X puts the first neural engine ever in an iPad, so it's ready for Core ML tasks. A new storage controller enables up to 1TB of storage capacity. The A12X also allows for a USB Type-C, so the iPad Pro won't use a Lightning connector. Additionally, it enables the reflections and tracking necessary for augmented reality apps.

The new iPad Pros come in 11- and 12.9-inch sizes with minimal bezels, FaceID and no home button. It will launch on November 7, starting at $799 for the 11-inch and $999 for the 12.9-inch model.

  • jeremyj_83
    If the CPU is so great why are they still using Intel CPUs in their Mac Mini? Might it be that they know that once a full blown OS, not iOS, is on it the performance isn't what they state?
    Reply
  • Peter Martin
    impressive....
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Actually Apple is planning to move to use its own cpu in computers. It just take some time to completely rewrite the os and programs so that They support A12x or what ever prosessor Apple is going to use in their laptops.
    So it only a matter of time and rewriting all the existing code.
    Reply
  • JTWrenn
    Calling it Fusion is a bit of a kick in the nuts to AMD there.
    Reply
  • Nolonar
    If the CPU is so great why are they still using Intel CPUs in their Mac Mini? Might it be that they know that once a full blown OS, not iOS, is on it the performance isn't what they state?
    No, this has nothing to do with performance. It has to do with backwards compatibility.

    Intel CPUs use the x86 architecture, while the A12X is ARM-based.
    ARM is a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture, while x86 is CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer). They're fundamentally different.

    If Apple switched from Intel to the A12X, they'd have to rewrite macOS for ARM, and all app developers would have to recompile, retest, and rerelease their apps too. Also, people might no longer be able to run Windows on their Mac. Alternatively, they'd have to provide a x86->ARM compiler to make sure old apps can still run, though the performance would definitely suffer from that.

    Considering Apple already *did* rewrite Mac OSX once, when they transitioned from PowerPC to Intel CPUs, they probably don't want to do it again.
    Reply
  • richardvday
    If they think they can match or even exceed the performance per watt of intels cpus they probably will. Plus they love to control everything in their supply line. They have been spending a lot to make their cpus better so i would say the fact that they rewrote their os once means they are probably willing to do it again if the rewards seem worthwhile
    Reply
  • mustafa.technet
    they can make CPUs look great. I doubt they are faster than intel's latest. I seriously doubt it.. It is clear their benchmark scores are not run by CPUs. It is easy then. And Not general everywhere everyday.
    I assume their power hungry cores are above 25W, even then, the CPUs aren't MUCH Faster as they need to scale. I know 7nm is helping, BUT believe, 7nms are not that great...

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21444139 said:
    The graphics, the company said, are 1,000 times faster.
    This can't be literally true. Only in some extreme corner case, maybe.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21444960 said:
    If the CPU is so great why are they still using Intel CPUs in their Mac Mini? Might it be that they know that once a full blown OS, not iOS, is on it the performance isn't what they state?
    No, this has nothing to do with performance. It has to do with backwards compatibility.

    Intel CPUs use the x86 architecture, while the A12X is ARM-based.

    ...

    If Apple switched from Intel to the A12X, they'd have to rewrite macOS for ARM, and all app developers would have to recompile, retest, and rerelease their apps too.
    Have you heard of emulators and JIT compilers/translators? Even back when Macs were 68k-based, you could get a PC emulator to run DOS programs on them. And when they switched from 68k to PPC, and then from PPC to x86, I know there was a way to run legacy Mac apps.

    21444960 said:
    Also, people might no longer be able to run Windows on their Mac.
    I'm sure that's the least of Apple's concerns...

    21444960 said:
    Considering Apple already *did* rewrite Mac OSX once, when they transitioned from PowerPC to Intel CPUs, they probably don't want to do it again.
    You have no idea...

    Not only did Apple change the Mac's CPU ISA twice, but they effectively did it again, after buying NeXT Computer. Next still had 68k-based hardware, even after Apple was already on PPC. So, that means NeXT had to port their kernel to PPC, in order to use it as the basis for Mac OS X.

    Apple no doubt has tons of code that already cross compiles between ARM and x86. I actually don't think it would be a terribly big deal for them to switch. They're probably just waiting until they can offer a truly competitive desktop solution, so they don't have half of their computers still on x86.

    And BTW, do you have any idea how many CPU architectures Linux supports? Simply supporting a new CPU ISA doesn't mean you have to rewrite your entire OS, assuming it was properly designed from the outset.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux-supported_computer_architectures

    While Mac OS X isn't Linux, it is BSD-based (a distant relative).
    Reply
  • emeralds1000000
    Apple needs to make a Console using such powerful chip .. or maybe just make the next Apple TV a console with such good GPU. Just add a controller to the mix and make deals with third party devs.

    and it can compete well if Priced $199 with Controller.
    Reply