Apple A15 Bionic Chip New Design

 On April 3, 2010, Apple officially released the original iPad and brought us the A4 chip. Since then, Apple has officially embarked on the path of self-developed chips. Today, Apple’s A-series chips have been upgraded to A14 bionics, using TSMC’s latest 5nm process technology, which only improves CPU performance by 16.67% and GPU performance by 8.3% compared to the previous generation.

Apple A15 Bionic Chip New Design

Compared with A11 Bionic (10nm), A12 Bionic (7nm) CPU single-core performance is increased by 15%, multi-core performance is increased by 50%, and GPU performance is increased by 50%. I originally thought that upgrading from 7mn process to 5nm, A14 bionic performance will be significantly improved, but the result is not the case. However, news about the A15 bionic chip has appeared on the Internet.

Twit from Twitter

A15 Bionic Chip running score exposure:

Twitter user @FrontTron released the A15 bionic three sets of GeekBench running score data, of which the highest single-core CPU score is 1724, the lowest is 1599, the highest multi-core is 4320, and the lowest is 3984.

As a comparison, the GeekBench database shows that the A14 Bionic CPU has a maximum score of 1606 for a single core and 4305 for a multi-core. In this way, the A15 bionic performance has not improved much compared to the A14 bionic, or even negligible.

It is reported that the reason why the A15 bionic running score is so low is because the chip is still in the testing stage. With the later optimization, the performance can reach the ideal level.

A 14 Bionic points on The iPhone Generations

In addition to the CPU running points, the performance of the A15 bionic GPU has also been exposed. @FrontTron said that the power consumption of the A15 bionic chip is 8.5W, but the A14 bionic chip is only 7W. Therefore, the A15 bionic needs further optimization.

It should be noted that the accuracy of the information source needs to be further studied. The running score data of the A15 bionic chip is for reference only.

Twit from Twitter

Earlier, it was reported that the A15 bionic chip will begin mass production in the third quarter of this year, and it will be manufactured based on TSMC’s N5P process, which is an enhanced version of the 5nm process technology. According to previous data, compared to the 7nm process, 5nm performance is improved by 15% and power consumption is reduced by 30%. Compared with the 7nm enhanced version, the performance of the 5nm enhanced version is 20% higher and the power consumption is reduced by 40%.

It now appears that the 5nm enhanced version of the process technology has not brought much performance improvement to the A15 bionic chip, and even some "reversing." Of course, the prerequisite is that the news is true. In my opinion, the performance improvement of the A15 bionic chip should not be so low.

For example, compared with the A13 bionic, the performance improvement of the A14 bionic is not obvious. Apple is somewhat suspected of squeezing toothpaste. Even so, the performance of the A13 bionic is improved by 16.67% compared to the previous generation. Since the A15 Bionic is still in the exposure stage, it is too early to make a conclusion. Of course, it does not rule out the possibility that the performance of mobile phone chips will fall into a bottleneck.

A15 Bionic potential opponent:

As we all know, Apple's A series chips have always been the strongest processors on the mobile terminal. Apple once said at the press conference that the performance of the new A series is at least one and a half years ahead of Android. But the past does not mean now. With the rapid development of Qualcomm, Samsung and other chip suppliers, the gap between the performance of Android phones and the iPhone is gradually narrowing.

Earlier, foreign media Anandtech compared the running scores of A14 Bionics and Snapdragon 888. In the GeekBench 5 test, the A14 bionic CPU scores 1603 points for single-core and 4187 points for multi-core; Snapdragon 888 scores 1135 points for single-core and 3794 points for multi-core. After comparison, you will find that the difference between the two is not big, and the A14 bionic chip is only slightly better.

GeekBench Score 

If the performance of the A15 Bionic is really only improved a little, it is likely to be caught up with or even surpassed by the next generation of Snapdragon. However, Snapdragon 888 is still a little bit worse, and will not pose any threat to the A14 bionic for the time being. On the contrary, the chips jointly developed by Samsung and AMD will be more dangerous.

Although the performance of Samsung Exynos 2100 is comparable to that of Snapdragon 888, it is still not as good as A14 Bionic. The GeekBench 5 running score data tested by the foreign media Android Authority shows that the Exynos 2100 has a single-core CPU score of 1109 and a multi-core score of 3620; the Snapdragon 888 has a single-core CPU score of 1098 and a multi-core score of 3363.

Antutu Score

For Samsung, Exynos 2100 is just an appetizer, and the real killer is yet to come. According to a post on the Korean forum website Clien, an unreleased Samsung chip (expected model Exynos 9925) is undergoing testing. This chip scored in the 3D graphics benchmark library GFXBench, surpassing the A14 bionic chip carried by the iPhone 12 series.

If this is true, then the outstanding performance of this chip can be attributed to AMD's RDNA image architecture. Earlier, the foreign media mspoweruser reported that Samsung obtained AMD’s license in June 2020. Because of this, Samsung gave up ARM’s Mail GPU.

 FPS Benchmark Test

According to digital blogger @Ice universe, Samsung will release the first Exynos chip with AMD GPU in the second or third quarter of this year. Judging from the current news, the GPU performance of Samsung Exynos 9925 has surpassed that of Apple's A14 Bionic. If the power consumption can be controlled lower, the performance even has room for improvement.

However, Exynos 9925 only has GPU performance that surpasses A14 Bionics, and the CPU performance is still unclear, so it cannot be said that the comprehensive performance of Exynos 9925 surpasses A14 Bionics. In addition, Apple's A15 bionic chip will be released in the second half of this year. Whether the GPU performance of Exynos 9925 can surpass the former is still unknown.

From the current point of view, whether it is the A14 mode or the Snapdragon 888, their performance is not too obvious compared to the previous generation. Take the Snapdragon 888 as an example. The Snapdragon 865 can also achieve performance comparable to that of the Snapdragon 888 through overclocking, and it has better stability and is not easy to generate heat and reduce frequency, so the actual game performance is stronger than the former.

Does this prove that Qualcomm squeezed toothpaste? Not possible. Because the chip is upgraded from 7nm to 5nm, the performance improvement is not big, but the previous cross-process technology (10nm to 7nm), the chip performance improvement is obvious. In other words, it may not be that the 5nm process technology is not strong, mainly because the performance of the mobile phone chip has almost touched the ceiling.

Perhaps Apple and Qualcomm did not squeeze toothpaste, but the current process and technology upgrades have caused little improvement in chip performance. If the performance of mobile phone chips wants to continue to make breakthroughs, it is difficult for a single manufacturer to achieve a significant leap at the product level by virtue of its own capabilities, and cooperation between multiple manufacturers may become more frequent.

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