It is that time of the year again, and Apple has released their flagship iPads Pros. The new Tablets comes with sleeker bezels and a performance boost not only over its predecessor but also over its mobile counterpart. With approximately 45% more transistor over the A12 (10 vs 6.9 Billion), it comes with performance matching with their x86 mid-range processor counterparts. Since it is an exciting launch, in this article, we will be comparing Apple A11 vs A12 vs A12x SOCs.
Also Read: APPLE A11 VS APPLE A10X VS SNAPDRAGON 835
The A12x comes with two extra ‘Tempest’ performance cores when compared with the A12. Also, it comes with 3 more GPU cores for graphics offloading and performance increments. Incidentally, the current generation of iPads came with USB-C connectivity which enabled Apple to demo external cameras, monitors and other accesories.
Now, we all know the Bi-Directional capability of USB-C’s serial interface, including support for external display. Kudos to Apple for incorporating this open standard.
Also Read: Apple A12 vs A11 vs Snapdragon 845
The overall size of the SOC also got a bump from 83-mm2 to 120-mm2 (A12 vs A12x). It assures us that Apple isn’t selling us a more substantial size phone with pen (pencil) support. They are targeting the pro audience with these devices for sure!
The Comparison between Apple A11 vs A12 vs A12x
For a better understanding between the three competing processors refer to the table below. It will help us understand the differences in a transparent way.
|Features / Particulars||Apple A11||Apple A12||A12x|
|Manufacturing Process||10-nm FinFET Process||7-nm FinFET Process
Silicon Size: 83-mm2
|7-nm FinFET Process
Silicon Size: 120-mm2
|Architecture||64 bit||64 bit||64 bit ARMv8-A|
|CPU||6-core processor (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral) up to 2.53GHz||6-core processor (2x Monsoon (2.5GHz) + 4x Mistral) up to 2.53GHz||8 Cores (4 (Vortex & 4 Tempest) performance and efficiency respectively|
|GPU||Apple-Designed 3-core GPU||Apple-Designed -core GPU||7-Core GPU (proprietary )|
|RAM Type||LPDDR4x||LPDDR4x||Dual-Channel LPDDR4x|
|Camera||Apple’s ISP for faster auto-focus in low-light scenarios||Apple’s ISP for faster auto-focus in low-light scenarios||Proprietary (ISP) Image Signal Processor (More depth and details)|
|Number of transistors||4.3 billion||6.9 billion||10 Billion|
|Security features||Neural engine with face ID||Neural engine with face ID||Animoji, FaceID, AR|
|Neural engine cores (NPU)||2 Core NPU @ 600 billion Ops/sec||8
8 Cores @5,000 billion ops/sec
2nd Gen NPU (Neural Engine)
8 Cores @5,000 billion ops/sec
Now, beyond the specs, the real improvement is in their T2 micro-controller chip which is also found on their Mac Mini and MacBook Air offerings. The T1 has introduced not so long ago in 2016 and was first seen on the MacBook Air.
Most of T2’s job is to optimize the interconnects overall performance such as the following:
- Storage SSD Controller up to 1 TB
- AES-256 crypto engine
- Systems Management Controller and thermals
- Power, Battery, and Sensors (Light, Gyro, etc.)
- Image Processor & FaceTime HD Camera
In addition to what is mentioned above, Apple also disclosed that they are using the T2 IC for managing Audio, Hey Siri! And native HEVC decoding.
Specs Comparison of Apple A11, Apple A10X, and A12x
So how does the A12x compare with its predecessors? First of all, it skipped a generation since we never saw an A11x SoC. As one would expect, the IP generations that were found in the A12 SoC is implemented on the A12x on a larger scale. Interestingly, it is also Apple’s first 8-core (Octa) SoC. What we don’t know yet is about the frequencies of these 4×4 Core CPU.
We expect most of its GPU performance will attribute to its 120Hz display unit running at either 2388 x 1668 or 2732 x 2048 for the larger 12.9″ model.
The A12x also sports the same neural network accelerator block (NPU) also found on the A12, sporting up to 8 Cores @5,000 billion ops/sec (5 TeraOPS of processing speeds).
Now that we know a little about the three processors, now let’s compare the specs and some real-world performance of the three SOC’s.
|SoC||A11 Bionic Chip||A10X Fusion||A12x|
|CPU Architecture||64-bit ARMv8||64-bit ARMv8||64 bit ARMv8-A|
|CPU Cores||Hexa-core (2× Monsoon + 4× Mistral) Max up to 2.34 GHz||Hexa-core (3× Hurricane + 3× Zephyr) Max up to 2.38 GHz||8 Cores (4 (Vortex & 4 Tempest) performance and efficiency respectively|
|GPU||Apple designed custom 3 core(s) GPU||Apple customized “PowerVR Series” Hex-Core 7XT GT7600 Plus||7-Core GPU (proprietary )|
|RAM||3 GB of LPDDR4||4 GB of LPRRD4||LPDDR4x|
|Manufacturing Technology||10 nm FinFET||10 nm FinFET||7-nm FinFET Process (TSMC)|
|Camera||Dual rear camera 12 MP, 7 MP front camera||12 MP rear camera and 7 MP front camera||Proprietary (ISP) Image Signal Processor (More depth and details)|
Once we receive one of these iPads on our hands, we will get more insights about its internals, the new SoC and the CPU frequency. That is all that we have for you now.
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