Apple Says A13 Bionic Chip Was Designed With Performance-Per-Watt Focus

In a feature for WIRED, Om Malik sat down with Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller and chipmaking engineer Anand Shimpi to discuss the A13 Bionic chip in the new iPhone 11, ‌iPhone‌ 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

a13 bionic chip iphone 11 pro
Malik first provides an overview of the A13 chip's specs and performance improvements:

  • 8.5 billion transistors, an approximately 23 percent increase over the A12 chip's 6.9 billion transistors

  • Six-core CPU: two 2.66GHz high-performance cores named Lightning and four efficiency cores named Thunder

  • Quad-core graphics processor, an Apple-designed image processor, and an octa-core neural engine for machine learning that is capable of one trillion operations per second

  • Up to 20 percent performance increase across all of the main components, including the CPU, GPU, and neural engine

  • Up to 30 percent more power efficient than the A12 chip

Schiller told Malik that one of the biggest examples of the performance increase this year is text-to-speech on iPhones.

"We've enhanced our iOS 13 text-to-speech capabilities such that there is much more natural language processing, and that's all done with machine learning and the neural engine," Schiller explained.

Shimpi noted that when designing its A-series chips, Apple focuses on both performance and efficiency. "We talk about performance a lot publicly. But the reality is, we view it as performance per watt. We look at it as energy efficiency, and if you build an efficient design, you also happen to build a performance design."

The article notes that Apple's chipmaking team will study how apps are being used on iOS devices to optimize future chip designs. "For applications that don't need the additional performance, you can run at the performance of last year's and just do it at a much lower power," Shimpi said.

Machine learning also plays a big role in the A13 chip, helping to manage battery life and optimize performance, according to Schiller. "There wasn't machine learning running ten years ago. Now, it's always running, doing stuff."

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Wilson1313 Avatar
42 months ago
Silicon design team doesn't get enough credit - they've made an incredible chip compared to the competition.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
42 months ago
For those wondering, yes, that is Anand Shimpi, founder of AnandTech. I freaking love that he is a chipmaking engineer at Apple now.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maclver Avatar
42 months ago
1 trillion operations a second...... I can't even begin to imagine. It's mind boggling to think how far we have come since the original iPhone
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnyb098 Avatar
42 months ago

All so people can open Facebook 0.4 times faster!
Or not open it at all since Facebook is the DEVIL!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
42 months ago

In other words, it's based on ARM A77+A55.

https://developer.arm.com/ip-products/processors/cortex-a/cortex-a77
Nope. Apple A* chips aren't based on ARM Cortex designs. They implement the ARM ISA, but don't use ARM's designs.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Precursor Avatar
42 months ago
Can’t wait for 13X for iPad Pro
That’s gonna be a beast!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...
iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Cyber Monday iPhone Deals Available Today

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Cyber Monday is no different. We're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Cyber Monday iPad Deals Available Today

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Cyber Monday deals have been in full swing since Black Friday deals ended, and we're seeing solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Cyber Monday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make ...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
Three Biggest iPhone SE 4 Questions Feature

Three Biggest Questions About the iPhone SE 4

Saturday November 26, 2022 12:00 am PST by
While we already have some clear indications about what to expect from the fourth-generation iPhone SE, there are three major questions looming over the device at the current time. Chinese site MyDrivers and and leaker Jon Prosser believe that the iPhone SE is set to move to an iPhone XR-like design in its next incarnation, which would involve eliminating the Home button and adding a "notch" ...