Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, it also usually releases a new System-on-a-Chip. Comparisons between Apple’s most recent SoC and the most recent products from Qualcomm, Samsung, Google, and MediaTek are unavoidable. Benchmarking results typically surface quickly, with Apple being crowned the winner.
Why then do Apple’s SoCs consistently outperform the competition? Why do Android’s processors seem to be so outdated? Do Apple’s chips really perform that well? I’ll explain, then.
Arm’s 64-bit instruction architecture is used in the creation of Apple processors. This indicates that Qualcomm, Samsung, and Google are also RISC architecture users, as are Apple’s CPUs. The distinction is that Apple has an architecture licence with Arm that enables it to create custom processors. The Apple A7, which was utilised in the iPhone 5S, was Apple’s first internal 64-bit Arm CPU. It included a quad-core PowerVR G6430 GPU and a dual-core CPU running at 1.4 GHz per. A 28nm manufacturing method was used to make it.
Years later, Apple’s most recent mobile products feature a hexa-core CPU with heterogeneous multi-processing (HMP) and an internal GPU (after the company decided to discontinue utilising Imagination’s GPU while continuing to licence the company’s underlying technology). Two high-performance cores and four energy-efficient cores make up the six CPU cores.
The A15 has 15 billion transistors, a 16-core Neural Engine, and a video codec that supports MP4, VP8, and VP9 decoding in addition to HEVC and H.265 encoding and decoding. It is produced utilising TSMC’s second-generation N5P 5 nm production method.
Why Apple silicon is better than others ?
On paper, Apple’s CPUs—which have only six cores—perform better than all of the other processors’ octa-core scores. Also for two or three generations, not just one. However, Geekbench doesn’t test other SoC components, as I already mentioned. The GPU, the DSP, the ISP, and any AI-related operations are a few examples. The performance of any devices using these processors on a daily basis will be impacted by these other SoC components. However, Apple is the undisputed champion in terms of sheer CPU speed.
Fans of Android might find this a little difficult to accept. What then is the cause? We should start with a little history lesson.
What distinguishes the CPU cores used by Apple?
It’s important to note a few important details of Apple’s CPU cores.
First, when it comes to 64-bit Arm-based CPUs, Apple has a significant advantage over almost everyone. The Cortex-A57 was first announced by Arm in October 2012, however the first processors were expected to be delivered by Arm’s partners in 2014. But in 2013, Apple used a 64-bit Arm CPU in its products. Since then, the business has been able to take use of that early advantage and has created a new CPU core design each year.
Second, the releases of Apple’s handsets are closely related to its SoC activities. It’s challenging to create a high-performance mobile CPU. It is difficult for Apple, Arm, Qualcomm, and everyone else. It takes a long time since it is challenging. Despite being introduced in October 2012, the Cortex-A57 wasn’t used in a smartphone until April 2014. That is a considerable lead time.
That lead time is, however, shifting. At the moment, it appears that OEMs begin to launch products at the end of the year or the beginning of the following year when Arm announces its new CPU designs in the late spring. Usually six to eight months following the announcement of the CPU designs.