iPad Pro A9X chip breakdown shows 12 GPU cores and no L3 cache
posted by Michael H. / Nov 30, 2015, 2:29 PM
Chipworks and AnandTech worked hard over the Thanksgiving break to get images of the A9X chip and sort out what is there and what isn't. The breakdown confirms that TSMC made the SoC using a 16nm FinFET process, and the full chip is roughly 147mm2 in die size, which makes it slightly larger than the A6X and A8X, but smaller than the A5X.
A large amount of that space is dedicated to fitting in 12 GPU cores as part of Imagination's PowerVR 12 cluster Series7 design, which doesn't even exist on Imagination's roadmap. The A9 chip used Imagination's 6-core PVR GT7600, but the A9X is in a strange grey area between the 8 core GT7800 and 16 core GT7900, so it doesn't get a fancy name. But, when you combine those 12 GPU cores with the 128-bit memory bus, the A9X is capable of pushing memory bandwidth of 51.2GB/sec, which is pretty impressive.
The A9X SoC also doesn't have an L3 cache, which is somewhat surprising. AnandTech posits that the omission of the L3 cache was acceptable because of the size of the memory bandwidth on the chip, or it may be that Apple simply didn't need the power-saving afforded by the L3 cache. The answer is likely a bit of both, but we'll never get confirmation from Apple, so it'll have to remain an educated guess.
Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013
Another paid ad which is indirectly paid by Apple to boost their chip with more pomp and circumstance.
posted on Nov 30, 2015, 2:38 PM 6
Posts: 62; Member since: May 17, 2013
just because Apple did it doesn't mean we have to hate on them. This chip is far more capable than anything on the market. It surpasses the Intel core i5 bridge graphics by miles. Yet it is in a thin package that doesn't heat, require something to cool it, or drain battery. All YouTubers agreed that this iPad passes the 10 hours video play back easily. So imo this chip is the most impressive chip on the market right now. Unfortunately the iPad pro doesn't have anything currently to take advantage of this chip
posted on Nov 30, 2015, 3:34 PM 8
Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015
In fact with no L3 cash multitasking will get a major hit if one of the app running use a lots of bandwith. Its will slow down and lag like a bitch. This is a way to make the chip irrelevent in 1 to 2 years. Sure its has some nice spec and memory bandwith but no L3 really? This is like having a 1000 hp engine running on 15 inch narrow tire.
posted on Nov 30, 2015, 3:55 PM 5
Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011
While I am not fan of iOS...apple engineers have managed to stuff lot of power into small footprint...excellent work.
posted on Nov 30, 2015, 4:25 PM 5
Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 13, 2012
Uh no the A9x is massive compared to Core M intel which is only 89mm and does more work than the A9X and consumes less power under load. Give Intel that much real estate and their graphics would blow past the A9X.
posted on Nov 30, 2015, 6:49 PM 6
Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014
All that power yet it still trails behind an Intel Core i3 Haswell in terms of on-screen graphics... bit.ly/1O3fb5D Not to talk of i5...battery efficiency, I think Intel is slowly figuring that out without compromising on the x86 architecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
posted on Dec 01, 2015, 12:45 PM 0
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