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Apple‘s iPhone 13 features a new A15 Bionic processor with 15 billion transistors. The chip will be used in the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini coming this fall.
The processor is built in a 5-nanometer manufacturing node and it is 50% faster than the competition in central processing unit (CPU) performance, said Hope Giles, an Apple vice president, during the company’s iPhone 13 online event today.
The new processor has a 30% faster graphics processing unit (GPU) than the competition, Apple says. Its faster 16-core Neural Engine can process 15.8 trillion operations per second. The chip has two times larger system cache, a new image signal processor, a secure enclave, a new display engine, and better compression. It has two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, as well as a five-core GPU. It powers a 28% brighter display.
Apple said the A15 Bionic powers the best graphics performance in any smartphone ever. This is why Apple continues to invest in designing its own processors for its products.
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Apple certainly hopes the attention for the new products will distract people from the latest antitrust challenges, as Epic Games won a partial victory (while Apple wasn’t declared an illegal monopolist) in a ruling last Friday in a major antitrust lawsuit. By coming up with innovations like the A15 Bionic, Apple can show it is investing heavily in future products and is not just milking a monopoly.
“It’s a nice evolutionary improvement to A14 Bionic, but still using 5nm technology,” said Kevin Krewell, an analyst at Tirias Research, in an email to GamesBeat. “There’s really not a lot of details presented to the chip. Most improvements seem to be in [machine learning] processing and the GPU. Once the iPhone 13 is out, we should see more benchmark data.”
Apple is putting this chip to use in systems for the new iPhones. The A15 Bionic powers a new dual-camera system on the new iPhones. It has better battery life, the company says, with 2.5 hours longer life than iPhone 12.
It has intelligent tracking protection that the company says increases privacy. Of course, Apple has had to back off on a new feature that would have identified possible child abusers by reporting suspicious photos in iPhone libraries. That move has been suspended, but it still prompted protesters to show up at various Apple stores through the U.S. saying Apple should get rid of its “spyware.”
The iPhone Mini 13 starts at $699, and the iPhone 13 is $799. The entire line has a starting capacity of 128 gigabytes. The A15 Bionic will also appear in the iPhone 13 Pro ($999) and the iPhone 13 Pro Max ($1,099), with larger screens and three cameras instead of two. Storage options range up to 512GB (iPhone 13 and 13 Mini) or 1TB (Pro and Pro Max). The Pro models have a 1,000 nit display and a tech called ProMotion that makes scrolling through images more smooth and lag-free when it comes to touchscreen interaction.
Netmarble showed off its Marvel Future Revolution game running on the iPhone Pro models. The Pro models have 120-hertz touchscreen response times, as well as a 120-hertz screen refresh rate — an improvement gamers have been asking for. Preorders start on September 17.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said it was a big upgrade and a spectacular set of announcements. Sadly, there was no announcement of Apple’s next-generation augmented-reality technology that has been in the works for a while. In fact, there was no “one more thing” of any kind.
“These are the best iPhones we’ve ever created,” Cook said.