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Apple A15 vs A14: What’s new in the iPhone 13’s chip

The iPhone 13 has been announced, and it’s being powered by a brand new processor: the Apple A15 Bionic. But how does it compare to the previous Apple 14 Bionic processor?

We’ve rounded up all of the official information from Apple to show the major differences between the new chips, and what benefits you’ll be getting by opting for the newer iPhone. 

So without further ado, here’s everything that’s new in the iPhone 13’s chip: 

A more efficient architecture 

Apple has confirmed that the A15 Bionic chip will use a new 5nm architecture. Those familiar with the iPhone 12 will realise that’s the same size manufacturing node as the A14 chip, so it’s a disappointment that Apple hasn’t been able to upgrade it to a 3nm node to improve the performance efficiency. 

That said, Apple claims the new chip features 15 billion transistors which is an increase compared to the 11.8 billion count of the A14 processor. That means you’re getting an improved performance, with Apple suggesting it’s 50% faster than the competition.

Unfortunately, Apple did not reveal how much faster the new chip will be compared to the A14, so we’re sceptical that there’s a major performance hike between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. 

Features the same number of CPU cores as the A14

Apple hasn’t changed the number of CPU cores for its latest smartphone processor, with 4 energy-efficient cores and 2 high-performance cores running the show. 

That’s not a major surprise, since Apple typically relies on the improvements to the architecture to increase performance rather than increasing the number of cores, so you will still see a performance increase with the iPhone 13 when compared to the iPhone 12. 

The graphics will come in two flavours

Despite featuring just as many graphics cores (4) as the Apple A14 Bionic, Apple has confirmed that the Apple A15 Bionic found inside the iPhone 13 will see a performance boost to graphics thanks to the improvements to the architecture. 

Apple claims the iPhone 13 will be 30% faster than “leading competition” when it comes to graphics, but that’s admittedly vague, with Apple refraining from making direct performance comparisons to the A14 chip. 

However, it’s good news for those looking to buy the iPhone 13 Pro, as Apple revealed it will have a variation of the A15 processor with 5 GPU cores, which is one extra than the standard iPhone 13. Apple says this is the most powerful graphics performance found in a smartphone. 

Faster neural engine

Apple spent most of its A15 showcase talking about the improvements to machine learning. This means the iPhone 13 should offer a more efficient performance when it comes to the likes of Siri and enhancements to photography.

Apple also confirmed the A15 chip will feature a new display engine, a video encoder and video decoder.

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