The processor that Apple designs for each generation of Apple has been a symbol of its power for a decade. Just a few weeks after the launch of the iPhone 12, which presumably will bring under its hood the A14 processor, we have taken a look at the dizzying evolution of these chips. An improvement that has multiplied by more than 160 times the power of its CPU and by almost 2,000 times that of its GPU.

All iPhone chips and their technical evolution

chips

Processor

IPhone model

Year

CPU increase

GPU boost

Frequency

RAM

Nanometers

Samsung APL0098

iPhone Edge

2007

412MHz

128MB

90nm

Samsung APL0098

iPhone 3G

2008

0%

0%

412MHz

128MB

90nm

Samsung APL0298

iPhone 3GS

2009

100%

100%

600MHz

256MB

65nm

A4

Iphone 4

2010

100%

100%

800MHz

512MB

45nm

TO 5

Iphone 4s

2011

100%

800%

800MHz

512MB

45nm

A6

iPhone 5

2012

100%

100%

1.3GHz

512MB

32nm

A7

Iphone 5s

2013

100%

100%

1.4GHz

1GB

28nm

A8

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

2014

25%

fifty%

1.5GHZ

1GB

20nm

A9

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

2015

70%

90%

1.85GHz

2GB

14-16nm

A10 Fusion

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

2016

40%

fifty%

2.34GHz

2-3GB

16nm

A11 Bionic

iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X

2017

25%

70%

2.39GHz

2-3GB

10nm

A12 Bionic

iPhone XR, Xs and Xs Plus

2018

fifteen%

fifty%

2.49GHz

3-4GB

7nm

A13 Bionic

iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

2019

twenty%

twenty%

2.66GHz

4GB

7nm

A power multiplied by 160 in its CPU and by 1,900 times its GPU

iPhone 12
iPhone 12

The first iPhone models had a processor designed and manufactured by Samsung. The iPhone Edge and iPhone 3G they used the same processor, called Samsung APL 0098, with a frequency of 412MHz, 128MB of RAM and manufactured in a 90nm process. Fast forward to 2019, when Apple introduced the iPhone 11 family and its in-house designed A13 Bionic, with breakneck features: 2.66GHz, 4GB of RAM and 7nm.

In between, a path has been traveled with several unique milestones in the industry. The first was undoubtedly the A4 launched in 2010, since it involved the first design developed by the apple company and not by a third party. It debuted on the original iPad and, months later, on the iPhone 4 (albeit underclocked). Three years later, the A7 arrived in the iPhone 5s, the first 64-bit mobile chip that caused panic in the industry.

A7
A7

Apple processors routinely rank among mobile chips for performance

Later came the A10 Fusion, which debuted cores of different sizes for different tasks (efficiency and power) on the platform. And the Bionic generations brought the neural motor to run machine learning tasks. Until then we get to last year’s A13 Bionic.

If we compare the evolution and the power increases, both of the CPU and the GPU, we obtain graphs like those that accompany this section. The CPU has multiplied its power by 164.2, while the GPU has done it 1,883.7 times (The A5 was a 9x GPU improvement over the previous version). Apple tends to accompany its presentations of new iPhone or iPad with similar graphics, especially when the jump is considerable.

An A14 processor for 2020 iPhones: 40% more CPU and 50% more GPU

Mac apple silicon
Mac Apple silicon

The logical evolution leads to more powerful chips with each year. Of course, not every year there are great advances. According to some leaks, the A14 chip that we will see this year will count with an increase over the A13 Bionic which would be as follows:

CPU: 40% more, up to 230 times on the iPhone Edge.
GPU: 50% more, up to 2,825 times over the iPhone Edge.

If this forecast comes true, we would be facing a very important rise on both fronts. One that, from the CPU side, has not been produced since the 2016 A10 Fusion. In recent years, Apple’s “A” processors have rivaled those of Intel in performanceSo it’s no wonder we saw the company use the A14 in its first Macs with Apple Silicon.

Intel's straitjacket and the journey to Apple Silicon

A most interesting fall is coming on the Apple front. At the launch of the iPhone 12, we await the first Mac model with Apple Silicon, with which the company will test the waters of the first in-house processor for its conventional computers. In a few weeks we will have doubts.

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