Apple company embraces proprietary technology while other companies outsource. Apple keeps things in-house whenever possible and chips found in iOS devices are not expected. While Samsung, Microsoft, and HTC rely on Qualcomm and intel for chipsets Apple has its own team of engineers to work on the proprietary design which is exclusive to their devices.
Apple silicon is a series of systems on a chip (SoC) and system in a package (SiP) processor designed by Apple Inc., mainly using the ARM architecture. Mac computers as well as iPhones, iPad, Apple TVs, and Apple Watch, and products such as AirPods, HomePod, iPod Touch, and airbags are all based on the same.
So, I am going to take a fair evolution of Apple silicon a series of systems on a chip (SoC) and system in a package (SiP) processor designed by Apple Inc.
The A4 commercially debuted in 2010, on Apple’s iPad tablet. and was later used in the iPhone 4 smartphone, the fourth-generation iPod Touch, and the 2nd-generation Apple TV
Core features of Apple A4:
- A4 processor does not have RAM but contains the PoP installation. The RAM is connected to the processor using ARM’s 64-bit-wide AMBA 3 AXI bus.
- The A4’s SGX535 GPU could theoretically push 35 million polygons per second and 500 million pixels per second, although real-world performance may be considerably less.
- A4 mounted with two low-power 128 MB DDR SDRAM chips (totaling 256 MB)
The A5 replaced the A4 manufactured by Samsung. The chip commercially debuted with the release of Apple’s iPad 2 tablet in March 2011. Followed by its release in the iPhone 4S smartphone later that year.
Core features of Apple A5:
- The A5 contains a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with ARM’s advanced SIMD extension, marketed as NEON, and a dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.
- The Apple A5 has a dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.
- The clock speed of the unit used in the iPhone 4S is 800 MHz. Like the A4, the A5 process size is 45 nm.
- This GPU can push between 70 and 80 million polygons/second and has a pixel fill rate of 2 billion pixels/second.
- The iPad 2’s technical specifications page says the A5 is clocked at 1 GHz, though it can adjust its frequency to save battery life.
The Apple A5X is an SoC announced on March 7, 2012, at the launch of the third-generation iPad. It is a high-performance variant of the Apple A5; Apple claims it has twice the graphics performance of the A5. It was superseded in the fourth-generation iPad by the Apple A6X processor.
Core features of Apple A5X:
- This is mainly due to the large PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU.
- The A5X has a quad-core graphics unit (PowerVR SGX543MP4) instead of the previous dual-core as well as a quad-channel memory controller that provides a memory bandwidth of 12.8 GB/s, roughly three times more than in the A5.
- The added graphics cores and extra memory channels add up to a very large die size of 165 mm², for example, twice the size of Nvidia Tegra 3.
- This is mainly due to the large PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU.
- The clock frequency of the dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores has been shown to operate at the same 1 GHz frequency as in A5. The RAM in A5X is separate from the main CPU package.
The Apple A6 is a PoP SoC introduced on September 12, 2012, at the launch of the iPhone 5, then a year later was inherited by its minor successor the iPhone 5C. Apple states that it is up to twice as fast and has up to twice the graphics power compared to its predecessor the Apple A5. It is 22% smaller and draws less power than the 45 nm A5.
Core features of Apple A6:
- Apple A6X is an SoC introduced at the launch of the fourth-generation iPad on October 23, 2012.
- It is a high-performance variant of the Apple A6.
- Apple claims the A6X has twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of its predecessor, the Apple A5X.
Like the A6, this SoC continues to use the dual-core Swift CPU, but it has a new quad-core GPU and quad-channel memory.
Core features of Apple A6X:
- GPU has improved by A6X claim on the A6.
- It uses an integrated quad-core PowerVR SGX 554MP4 graphics processing unit (GPU) running at 300 MHz and a quad-channel memory subsystem.
- The upcoming A6X featured with slightly higher 1.4 GHz CPU clock rate.
- Compared to the A6 the A6X is 30% larger, but it continues to be manufactured by Samsung on a high-κ metal gate (HKMG) 32 nm process.
The Apple A7 is a 64-bit PoP SoC whose born with iPhone 5S, which was introduced on September 10, 2013. The chip would also be used in the iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, and iPad Mini 3. Apple states that it is up to twice as fast and has up to twice the graphics power compared to its predecessor the Apple A6. The Apple A7 chip is the first 64-bit chip to be used in a smartphone and later a tablet computer.
Core features of Apple A7:
- The A7 features an Apple-designed 1.3–1.4 GHz 64-bit ARMv8-A dual-core CPU,[60called Cyclone, and an integrated PowerVR G6430 GPU in a four cluster configuration.
- The A7 is manufactured by Samsung on a high-κ metal gate (HKMG) 28 nm process and the chip includes over 1 billion transistors on a die 102 mm2 in size.
- The ARMv8-A architecture doubles the number of registers of the A7 compared to the A6.
- It now has 31 general-purpose registers that are each 64-bits wide and 32 floating-point/NEON registers that are each 128-bits wide.
The first appearance of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Pro arrived with Apple A7 with the enhancement in processor, on 9 September 2014.
Core features of Apple A8:
- A8 is featured by GHz 64-bit dual-core CPU, and an integrated custom PowerVR GX6450 GPU in a four-cluster configuration.
- The GPU features custom shader cores and a compiler.
- The A8 is manufactured on a 20 nm process by TSMC, which replaced Samsung as the manufacturer of Apple’s mobile device processors.
It contains 2 billion transistors. Despite that being double the number of transistors compared to the A7, its physical size has been reduced by 13% to 89 mm2 (consistent with a shrink only, not known to be a new microarchitecture)ARMv8-A.Apple A8X.
The Apple A8X is a 64-bit SoC introduced at the launch of the iPad Air 2 on October 16, 2014.
Core features of Apple A8X:
- It is a high-performance variant of the Apple A8. Apple states that it has 40% more CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of its predecessor, the Apple A7.
- Unlike the A8, this SoC uses a triple-core CPU, a new octa-core GPU, dual channel memory, and a slightly higher 1.5 GHz CPU clock rate.
- It uses an integrated custom octa-core PowerVR GXA6850 graphics processing unit (GPU) running at 450 MHz and a dual-channel memory subsystem.
- It is manufactured by TSMC on its 20 nm fabrication process and consists of 3 billion transistors.
The Apple A9 is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which were introduced on September 9, 2015.
Core features of Apple A9:
- Apple states that it has 70% more CPU performance and 90% more graphics performance compared to its predecessor, the Apple A8.
- It is dual sourced, a first for an Apple SoC; it is manufactured by Samsung on their 14 nm FinFET LPE process and by TSMC on their 16 nm FinFET process.
- It was subsequently included in the first-generation iPhone SE, and the iPad (5th generation).
- The Apple A9 was the last CPU that Apple manufactured through a contract with Samsung, as all A-series chips after being manufactured by TSMC.
The Apple A9X is a 64-bit SoC that was announced on September 9, 2015, and released on November 11, 2015.
Core features of Apple A9X:
- and first appeared in the iPad Pro.
- It offers 80% more CPU performance and two times the GPU performance of its predecessor.
- Apple A8X is manufactured by TSMC using a 16 nm FinFET process.[82
Apple A10 Fusion
The Apple A10 Fusion is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which were introduced on September 7, 2016.
Core features of Apple A10
- The A10 is also featured in the sixth-generation iPad, seventh-generation iPad, and seventh-generation iPod Touch. It has a new ARM big.
- LITTLE quad-core design with two high-performance cores, and two smaller highly efficient cores.
- It is 40% faster than the A9, with 50% faster graphics. It is manufactured by TSMC on their 16 nm FinFET process.
Apple A10X Fusion
The Apple A10X Fusion is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the 10.5″ iPad Pro and the second generation of the 12.9″ iPad Pro, which was both announced on June 5, 2017.
Core features of Apple A10X:
- It is a variant of the A10 and Apple claims that it has 30 percent faster CPU performance and 40 percent faster GPU performance than its predecessor.
- the A9X has launched On September 12, 2017.
- Apple announced that the Apple TV 4K would be powered by an A10X chip.
- It is made by TSMC on their 10 nm FinFET process.
The Apple A11 Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, which were introduced on September 12, 2017.
Core features of Apple A10X:
- It has two high-performance cores, which are 25% faster than the A10 Fusion, four high-efficiency cores, which are 70% faster than the energy-efficient cores in the A10,
- And even for the first time an Apple-designed three-core GPU with 30% faster graphics performance than the A10.
- It is also the first A-series chip to feature Apple’s “Neural Engine,” which enhances artificial intelligence and machine learning processes.
Apple A12 Bionic
The Apple A12 Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, which were introduced on September 12, 2018.
Core features of Apple A12 Bionic:
- It is also used in the third-generation iPad Air, fifth-generation iPad Mini, and the eighth-generation iPad.
- It has two high-performance cores, which are 15% faster than the A11 Bionic, and four high-efficiency cores, which have 50% lower power usage than the energy-efficient cores in the A11 Bionic.
- The A12 is manufactured by TSMC using a 7 nm FinFET process, the first to ship in a smartphone. It is also used in the 6th generation Apple TV.
Apple A12X Bionic
The Apple A12X Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the 11.0″ iPad Pro and the third generation of the 12.9″ iPad Pro, which was both announced on October 30, 2018.
Core features of Apple A12X Bionic:
- It offers 35% faster single-core and 90% faster multi-core CPU performance than its predecessor, the A10X.
- It has four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. The A12X is manufactured by TSMC using a 7 nm FinFET process.
Apple A12Z Bionic
The Apple A12Z Bionic is an updated version of the A12X Bionic, first appearing in the fourth generation iPad Pro, which was announced on March 18, 2020.
Core features of Apple A12Z:
- It adds an additional GPU core, compared to the A12X, for improved graphics performance.
The A12Z is also used in the Developer Transition Kit prototype computer that helps developers prepare their software for Macs based on Apple silicon.
Apple A13 Bionic
The Apple A13 Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, which were introduced on September 10, 2019.
Core features of Apple A13:
- It is also featured in the second-generation iPhone SE (released April 15, 2020), the 9th generation iPad (announced September 14, 2021),
The Studio Display (announced March 8, 2022)The entire A13 SoC features a total of 18 cores – a six-core CPU, four-core GPU, and an eight-core Neural Engine processor, which is dedicated to handling on-board machine learning processes; four of the six cores on the CPU are low-powered cores that are dedicated to handling less CPU-intensive operations, such as voice calls, browsing the Web, and sending messages, while two higher-performance cores are used only for more CPU-intensive processes, such as recording 4K video or playing a video game.
Apple A14 Bionic
The Apple A1 14 arrived on October 23, 2020. with several positive changes.
Core features of Apple A14 Bionic:
- The Apple A14 Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the fourth-generation iPad Air.
- It is the first commercially available 5 nm chipset and it contains 11.8 billion transistors and a 16-core AI processor.
- It includes Samsung LPDDR4X DRAM, a 6-core CPU, and a 4-Core GPU with real-time machine learning capabilities.
Apple A15 Bionic
The Apple A15 Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based SoC that first appeared in the iPhone 13, unveiled on September 14, 2021.
Core features of Apple A7:
- The A15 is built on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process with 15 billion transistors.
- It has 2 high-performance processing cores, 4 high-efficiency cores, a new 5-core graphics for iPhone 13 Pro series (4-core for iPhone 13&13 mini) processing unit, and a new 16-core Neural Engine capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second.
- The base clock speed of the Apple A7 is 1.30 GHz, and the total of cores is 2.
Hence, above all, I have provided you with various changes and revolutions throughout the generation of the Apple A series, So while collecting information stay connected for further knowledge.