A12Z Chip in iPad Pro Confirmed to Be Same As A12X, But With Extra GPU Core Enabled
The 2020 iPad Pro models are equipped with an A12Z processor that is the same as the A12X processor in the 2018 iPad Pro models but with an extra GPU core enabled, TechInsights confirmed today.
Speculation that Apple was using the same chip began shortly after the new iPad Pros launched and benchmarks found little in the way of performance improvements.
Our analysis confirms #Apple #A12Z GPU chip found inside #iPadPro (model A2068) is the same as A12X predecessor. A report of our findings is underway & will be available as part of TechInsights' #Logic Subscription. Learn more here https://t.co/WWQqlPorNF pic.twitter.com/RsQEADpZsc — TechInsights (@techinsightsinc) April 13, 2020
Apple didn't highlight changes to CPU performance, but there is one difference - the A12Z features an 8-core GPU, while the A12X has a 7-core GPU.
Information provided in March by TechInsights suggested that the A12X was simply an 8-core GPU chip with one GPU core disabled, indicating the A12Z is a re-binned A12X with that latent GPU core enabled.
At the time, TechInsights said that it planned to conduct a floorplan analysis to determine whether there are any differences between the A12X and the A12Z, which has now been completed, and the GPU chips are the same. A full report on TechInsights findings will be available on its website to those with a subscription.
It is not unusual for chip manufacturers to disable one core of a processor when a chip isn't meeting yield levels, and that's perhaps what happened with the A12X. The manufacturing of the chip has now improved enough that yields have gotten better and all 8 cores are functional, resulting in the A12Z chip.
Top Rated Comments
These are quite common in chip production – extra "stuff" are produced because the costs are marginal to make those, then tested, and if some parts are defective then just disable them and label the item as a "lower-grade" product. Like how Intel 486SX ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80486') chips are really 486DX with the numeric co-processor disabled, because it failed testing.
Food production also works similarly. Farmers would harvest the fruits and vegetables then grade them accordingly. The finest one goes to restaurants, second grade goes to supermarkets, the broken ones becomes pickle or kimchi, and the almost-spoiled ones are materials for sauces and pastes.
50% more RAM, double the base storage, new camera, WiFi 6, etc.