Apple's A12 smartphone chip is 'smartest, most powerful' ever

September 13, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Consumer tech giant Apple (Cupertino, CA) says that the processor used in its latest iPhones - the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR - is "the smartest, most powerful chip in a smartphone."

The 7-nm A12 Bionic processor, says the company, uses real-time machine learning to transform the way users experience photos, gaming, augmented reality, and more. The chip features an Apple-designed six-core CPU - with two "performance" cores and four "efficiency" cores - and a four-core GPU, as well as an updated neural engine for AI tasks.

According to the company, the A12 CPU's performance and efficiency cores perform up to 15% faster and with up to 50% lower power usage, respectively, when compared to the company's previous A11 processor. The Apple-designed GPU in the A12, says the company, provides graphics performance up to 50% faster than the A11 Bionic.

The company's neural engine is able to perform five trillion operations per second and is designed for advanced, real-time machine learning. That means, says the company, that iPhone XS "can recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience, similar to the way you do."

"It's incredibly efficient, which enables it to do all kinds of new things in real time," the company says. "And it's incredibly smart, so you can do things like jump right into immersive AR experiences. And quickly find all your pictures of dogs. Or beaches. Or babies."

The updated neural engine features eight cores, compared to a previous two cores. The company also opened its neural engine up to the Core ML platform, enabling developers to bring real-time machine learning to their apps.

The chip also features an enhanced image signal processor. A refined depth engine, says the company, "captures extraordinary detail in Portrait mode; and with Smart HDR, you'll notice far greater dynamic range in your photos."

While Apple claims that the A12 Bionic is the industry's first such 7-nm chip, Huawei has also announced a 7-nm chip - the Kirin 980 - which is scheduled to debut in Huwei's Mate 20 flagship smartphone when it is released. Apple's chip, however, will be the first that will

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