Apple A15 SoC

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by iMacmatician, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. iMacmatician

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    Apple has announced the A15 SoC, which is present in the new iPhone 13 lineup and the redesigned iPad mini.

    [​IMG]

    Apple compared the A15 in the 6th generation iPad mini to the A12 in the previous generation iPad mini:
    If that 40% sounds familiar, it might be because Apple gave the same number last year when comparing the A14 in the 4th generation iPad Air to the A12 in the 3rd generation iPad Air.
    While I do not assume that the measurements used to obtain these percentages are the same from year to year (so concluding that A14 → A15 is 40% − 40% = 0% is not valid—also the iPad Air and iPad mini are different products), it doesn't seem like we are looking at anything more than a small CPU performance increase from the A14 to the A15.

    AnandTech has a breakdown of the specs and technical details as part of an article on the new iPhones.
     
    #1 iMacmatician, Sep 14, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  2. JasonLD

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    Hmm, did they hit the wall, or is it just a momentarily blip before the major architectural improvement?
     
  3. Pressure

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    The also increased the L2 cache to 32MB.

    I wouldn't put it past them to have focused on power efficiency instead of purely performance and the numbers seem to back it up, upwards of 2.5 hours more. They are still on the 5nm node from TSMC.

    The Neural Engine also had a nice improvement from 11 trillion to 15.8 trillion operations per second.

    Remember that Apple is off-loading a lot of computational power to dedicated hardware and probably have one of the best hardware video encode and decode in the industry, now with support for ProRes!

    The emphasis were clearly on better photography and power efficiency.
     
  4. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    I guess since Apple now has a different product line (M1) they can now focus on power efficiency on phone SoC while focus more on performance on "desktop" SoC. This reflects on the decision to use M1 on iPad Pro, as iPad Pro is probably now considered by Apple as a "computer."
     
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  5. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    I will say -- I was a bit pessimistic about Apple's performance claims around the M1 product line before it came out, yet Apple delivered. I'm genuinely interested to see what they have coming with A15. If they can keep the same performance at a (much?) smaller power envelope, that's a pretty damned good iPad Pro offering.
     
  6. Lurkmass

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  7. DSoup

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    Yup, I reckon Apple spent most of their effort this last year making changes that will benefit the configurations that will end up in future Macs, rather than ramping up the performance of the configurations that appear in smaller iDevices where the performance is already good.
     
  8. scently

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  9. Dampf

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  10. pTmdfx

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    Has it been different though? Top-of-the-line iPad has got its own SoC family since the beginning. Putting the order of product announcements aside, M1 appears to be no more than a continuation of this family, now with expanded presence into fanless and low-power Mac products (a logical move given the similar power envelope).

    It does not seem like M1 has otherwise diverged in the CPU microarchitectures from the A14 ''phone" SoC. Moreover, M1 max clock over A14 does not seem substantial enough to be considered a different physical implementation.
     
    #11 pTmdfx, Sep 19, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
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