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Apple A14 Bionic: What new iPad Air 4 chip tells us about iPhone 12

In announcing its new iPad Air 4, Apple announced the new A14 Bionic processor – the homegrown chip highly likely to power the soon-to-be-revealed iPhone 12 range.

During the Time Flies event, the company announced the Apple Silicon-branded A14 Bionic SoC, which it says is the first in the industry to be built on a 5 namometer process (A12 and A13 are 7nm) and has a total of 16 cores.

As you’d expect this, incredibly powerful yet small-scale architecture is Apple’s fastest A-Series processor ever and it’s a shoo-in to do the heavy lifting for the iPhone 12 range.

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Apple says it includes a new six-core CPU offering a 40% speed boost, while the four-core GPU is 30% faster GPU than the A12 used in the existing version of the iPad Air. Apple also boasted the new graphics processing is twice as fast as a comparatively-priced Windows notebook.

The A14 Bionic can carry out 11 trillion operations per second, while Apple boasts of the 11.8 billion transistors within the architecture. For reference, the A13 had 6.9 billion transistors and the A13 had 8.3 billion transistors, so there’s an element of Moore’s Law at play here, as Ben Bajarin points out on Twitter.

The firm spoke of a faster neural engine for 2x faster machine learning performance and 10x faster ML computations. This will be a huge boost for any app that relies on artificial intelligence.

Overall Apple is promising the A14 Bionic will be twice as fast as the most popular Windows laptop, three times faster than the top-of-the-line Android tablet and a whopping six times faster than the leading Chromebook on the market. Those are bold claims that will have to be backed up by independent testing.

However, it’s rare that a new A-Series processor debuts on anything but the latest iPhone, but if anything, this is likely to get users more psyched for the iPhone 12 launch coming next month.

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