Apple CPU Gains Grind To A Halt And The Future Looks Dim As The Impact From The CPU Engineer Exodus To Nuvia And Rivos Starts To Bleed In

semianalysis.com
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Apple's leading CPU team looks to be struggling as they have now delivered no CPU gains for the first generation ever. Apple likely had to delay their next core architecture due due to person…
Apple has been long hailed for having the best CPU cores for consumer workloads for years. They have by far the highest performance per clock and efficiency driven by performance in the same class as AMD and Intel's best current CPUs. This was driven by breakneck gains with architectural changes every year for a decade.

Now with the A15, these gains are really slowed. Apple in general was very clammy about the A15 comparison in the new iPhone reveal. Instead of comparing it to the previous generation like they usually do, they opted to compare to ambiguous "competitors." That's great, but we are only a few months away from new Qualcomm, Samsung, and MediaTek chipsets.

To quickly cover the specifications, it is a 2+4 core big little CPU and a 4 or 5 core GPU depending on whether its cut down in the regular iPhone or iPhone Pro/iPad Mini. The CPU is claimed to be 50% faster than the competition while GPU is claimed to be 30% or 50% faster depending on whether it is 4 cores or 5 cores. They are sticking with a 16 core NPU which is now at 15.8 TOPs vs 11 TOPs for the A14. There is a new video encoder and decoder, we hope it incorporates AV1 support. The new ISP enables better photo and video algorithms. The Pro models have variable refresh rate, so that likely necessitated a new display engine. Lastly, the system cache has doubled to 32MB. This was likely done to feed the GPU and save on power. SemiAnalysis also believes Apple moved to LPDDR5 from LPDDR4X.

There is a lot of difficulty with comparing to the previous generation A14, but the iPad mini does give us some help. They state the new iPad mini has a 40% faster CPU and 80% faster GPU versus…
Dylan Patel
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