It feels like we've been discussing the Apple A14 Bionic chipset for more than a year. Back then, we forecast that Apple
would be the first to employ a chip made with the 5nm process node used by top foundry TSMC. This allows 11.8 billion transistors to be packed inside the component, a nearly 40% hike compared to the 8.5 billion that are inside the A13 Bionic. This means that the chip will deliver improved performance and energy-efficiency. On September 15th, Apple announced that the A14 Bionic will be powering the fourth-generation iPad Air
, and today, the company said that all four new iPhone models
will also be powered by the A14 Bionic.
The A14 Bionic is equipped with six cores; two are high-performance cores that handle complex tasks while the other four are responsible for general housekeeping. The CPU, according to Apple, is 50% faster than any other CPU used on a smartphone. And the quad-core GPU is 50% faster than the graphics unit found in the A13 Bionic used on the Apple iPhone 11
Apple promotes the number of transistors inside the A14 Bionic
Apple also doubled the number of cores for the neural engine to 16. It performs 11 trillion operations per second. The neural engine is used for Machine Learning and AI which allows a system to learn and improve from experience without needing to be programmed.
While the A14 Bionic is the first 5nm chipset inside a phone and arguably the most powerful chip inside a phone right now (a fact that Apple will gladly remind you of), Huawei has its own 5nm chip, the Kirin 9000. The latter, also produced by TSMC, will be found inside this year's Mate 40 line, the Mate X2 foldable phone, and the base stations used with its 5G networking equipment. But once Huawei uses up its inventory of the Kirin 9000, it won't have access to 5nm components thanks to a restriction placed on foundries by the U.S. government.
Next year, we should see two 5nm Exynos chips and the 5nm Snapdragon 875 SoC. All three of those integrated circuits will be manufactured by Samsung Foundry.