The Apple A12 Bionic is a 64-bit ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. It first appeared in the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and 2019 versions of the iPad Air and iPad Mini. It has two high-performance cores which are claimed to be 15% faster and 50% more energy-efficient than the Apple A11 and four high-efficiency cores which are claimed to use 50% less power than the energy-efficient cores in the A11.
|Launched||September 12, 2018|
|Designed by||Apple Inc.|
|Max. CPU clock rate||to 2.49 GHz|
|L1 cache||128 KB instruction, 128 KB data|
|L2 cache||8 MB|
|Architecture and classification|
|Min. feature size||7 nm|
|GPU(s)||Apple-designed 4 core, internal name Apple G11P|
|Products, models, variants|
|Variant(s)||Apple A12X, Apple A12Z|
The Apple A12 SoC features an Apple-designed 64-bit ARMv8.3-A six-core CPU, with two high-performance cores running at 2.49 GHz called Vortex and four energy-efficient cores called Tempest. The Vortex cores are a 7-wide decode out-of-order superscalar design, while the Tempest cores are a 3-wide decode out-of-order superscalar design. Like the Mistral cores, the Tempest cores are based on Apple's Swift cores from the Apple A6.
The A12 also integrates an Apple-designed four-core graphics processing unit (GPU) with 50% faster graphics performance than the A11. The A12 includes dedicated neural network hardware that Apple calls a "Next-generation Neural Engine." This neural network hardware has eight cores and can perform up to 5 trillion 8-bit operations per second. Unlike the A11's Neural Engine, third party apps can access the A12's Neural Engine.
The A12 is manufactured by TSMC using a 7 nm FinFET process, the first to ship in a consumer product, and it contains 6.9 billion transistors. The die size of the A12 is 83.27 mm2, 5% smaller than the A11. It is manufactured in a package on package (PoP) together with 4 GiB of LPDDR4X memory in the iPhone XS and XS Max and 3 GB of LPDDR4X memory in the iPhone XR, the iPad Air (2019), and the 5th generation iPad mini. The ARMv8.3 instruction set it supports brings a significant security improvement in the form of pointer authentication, which mitigates exploitation techniques such as those involving memory corruption, Jump-Oriented-Programming, and Return-Oriented-Programming.
|SoC||A12 (7 nm)||A11 (10 nm)|
|CPU Complex (incl. cores)||11.90||14.48|
Products that include the Apple A12 BionicEdit
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