apple's a15 bionic chip powers iphone 13 with 15 billion transistors, new graphics and ai

© Provided by CNET Apple's A15 processor in the iPhone 13 has 15 billion transistors. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple on Tuesday revealed its iPhone 13's processor, the A15 Bionic, a chip with 15 billion transistors and new graphics and AI abilities.

Transistors are the core circuitry elements that process and store data on chips, and the count this year is significantly higher than the 11.8 billion on the A14 chip that powers iPhone 12 models introduced in 2020. Miniaturization lets chip designers pack in more transistors for new abilities, though progress in miniaturization has slowed in recent years.

Like its predecessors, the A15 has two high-performance processing cores for the most important work and four high-efficiency cores for background tasks that can run without sapping as much battery power. But Apple says they're faster and supported by a new graphics processing unit (GPU), higher-performance neural engine for AI and machine learning tasks, and a new image signal processor for chores like reducing photo noise. The company unveiled the chip at its iPhone 13 launch event Tuesday.

apple's a15 bionic chip powers iphone 13 with 15 billion transistors, new graphics and ai

© Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple A15 processor in the iPhone 13 has 15 billion transistors.

The chip's top job is to maintain the company's top place for smartphone speed, ensure iPhones remain the first device developers reach for when creating new apps, and keep customers happy with snappy performance and a long useful lifespan for the phone.

The A15 is an important foundation for Apple, not just for the new iPhone. The A15 also will likely power next-generation iPads. And a more powerful variation could be the brains inside new Macs, a follow-up to the way Apple's M1 processor is based on 2020's A14 processor. Apple is amid a two-year process of evicting Intel processors from its Macs.

Designing its own chips gives Apple several advantages. It can set its own priorities in features and release timing. It can better integrate its own software. And more broadly, it can set its own destiny better, a benefit embodied in the "Cook doctrine," named for CEO Tim Cook, to "own and control" the main technologies in its products.

The A15 is built on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process -- the same as the A14. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini come with a four-core GPU, but the iPhone Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max get a five-core GPU.

The new chip has a 16-core "neural engine," circuitry dedicated to speeding up artificial intelligence tasks using today's machine learning technology. That's useful for an increasing breadth of tasks, including generating Siri's synthetic voice, recognizing information in photos, focusing on faces in photos and unlocking your phone with Face ID. Although it's got the same 16 cores as the A14 chip, the 16 increases AI operations from last year's 11 trillion operations per second to 15.8 trillion with the A15, Apple said.

apple's a15 bionic chip powers iphone 13 with 15 billion transistors, new graphics and ai

© Provided by CNET Apple A15 Bionic processor details Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple boasted the A15 has better performance than its competitors, a claim that's been true for years, based on the Geekbench speed test. However, didn't offer details about how much better the A15 is compared with the A14. Qualcomm, the top chipmaker for the Android smartphones, acquired startup Nuvia in an attempt to give its processors a big speed boost.

Apple relies on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to build the chips it designs. Apple is usually an early adopter of TSMC's latest manufacturing technology, taking advantage of the gradually shrinking circuitry and improving performance to add new abilities each year. It typically costs more to tap into leading-edge manufacturing capacity, but iPhones are premium products.

Intel has suffered in recent years from delays to new manufacturing processes. The resulting lackluster performance and battery life improvements have made Apple's M1 bet look particularly smart. Intel is trying to get back on track with new manufacturing improvements coming with its Alder Lake PC chips this year and the Meteor Lake successor. But even if Intel's plans bear fruit, it won't be until 2024 that the company catches up to TSMC and 2025 until it reclaims its lead.

Latest breaking 24h news around the world Latest breaking 24h news around the world - Page 2 Latest breaking 24h news around the world - Page 3


LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Cowboy Bebop reveals super-stylish title sequence at Netflix Tudum fan event

© Provided by CNET John Cho as Spike Spiegel. Netflix The strike rate for live-action anime remakes has — so far — not been good. Can Netflix change this with Cowboy Bebop? Based on what we’ve seen at this point… probably? After announcing a killer cast and revealing that cast…

Read more: Cowboy Bebop reveals super-stylish title sequence at Netflix Tudum fan event

Germany Uses Converted Tesla Model Y To Showcase 'Green Hydrogen'

© InsideEVs tesla model y hyper hybrid Sadly, the Model Y is already much more efficient than it is once converted to a ‘Hyber Hybrid.’ A converted version of the Tesla Model Y was recently shown off in Germany as part of efforts to promote “green hydrogen.” The crossover was…

Read more: Germany Uses Converted Tesla Model Y To Showcase 'Green Hydrogen'

Neo-Nazis are Monetizing Social Media Platforms Like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

(Photo : Pexels/Pixabay) Facebook sites Neo-Nazis are still active online, and they are taking a different form. In Europe, the right-wing extremists are part of a premier martial arts group. Neo-Nazis are Making Money Online The German authorities have banned the tournament of the martial arts group twice. However, the…

Read more: Neo-Nazis are Monetizing Social Media Platforms Like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Cobra Kai season 4 trailer karate chops its way into Netflix Tudum event

© Provided by CNET Netflix Following a wildly successful first three seasons on Netflix after being plucked from near obscurity on YouTube, Cobra Kai is back with a new teaser-trailer for season 4. The first look landed during Tudum, Netflix’s three-hour online fan event named after the distinctive drumbeat in Netflix’s…

Read more: Cobra Kai season 4 trailer karate chops its way into Netflix Tudum event

Don't turn up your TV's sharpness control. Instead, turn it down (way down)

© Provided by CNET Geoffrey Morrison/CNET Your TV has a lot of picture settings, like brightness, color and sharpness, and turning them all up might seem like a great idea. Who wants a picture that’s dim, colorless and dull, right? In reality, maxing out those adjustments can ruin your picture,…

Read more: Don't turn up your TV's sharpness control. Instead, turn it down (way down)

See inside the iPhone 13 Pro in iFixit's latest teardown

© Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge iPhone 13 Pro The team at iFixit has a new teardown of the iPhone 13 Pro, finding it has an enormous battery and some small internal changes to how the components are laid out to accommodate the smaller notch on this year’s…

Read more: See inside the iPhone 13 Pro in iFixit's latest teardown

China frees Canadians after Huawei boss released

© CRISIGROUP/AFP via Getty Images COMBO-CHINA-CANADA-US-COURT-DIPLOMACY Two Canadians detained in China on spying charges have been released from prison hours after a top boss at Huawei resolved criminal charges against her in a deal with the U.S. Justice Department. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in China in…

Read more: China frees Canadians after Huawei boss released

Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale: OnePlus 9 Pro gets massive discount; All you need to know

© Provided by Zee News Amazon India said that its Great Indian Festival (GIF) 2021 will begin on October 4, continuing its commitment to promote Small Medium Businesses (SMBs). Amazon GIF 2021, according to the firm, is dedicated to lakhs of small sellers, including over 75,000 local shops from 450…

Read more: Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale: OnePlus 9 Pro gets massive discount; All you need to know

Apple reportedly told a TV and movie workers' union its TV Plus had fewer than 20 million subs

Your iPhone already tracks your steps. What if it tracked your mood, too?

iPhone 13 Mini vs iPhone 12 Mini: Which one to buy?

On This Day in Space! Sept. 25, 2008: China launches its 3rd human spaceflight mission

Apple Tells Union That It Only Has 20 Million Subscribers, Allowing Them to Pay Lower Rates to Workers

How many satellites are orbiting Earth?

Prince Charles signs deal with Amazon Prime Video

CDC issues booster guildelines for Pfizer COVID vaccine, with Moderna and J&J next. What to know

OTHER NEWS