Apple designs the CPUs in iPhones and iPads and has been doing it for years. Every year, those A-series CPUs get faster and more capable. The latest, found in iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus run rings around chips made by Samsung and Qualcomm. The name says it all. A11 Bionic.
Cool, right? Apple’s in-house chip design group has a tiny device that benchmarks well against MacBook Pro models and comparable hardware in Windows 10 PC notebooks. It’s like a super computer in your pocket. It’s just not as good as Apple hoped. Probably. Manufacturing technology snags held it back from being more powerful. Maybe.
That’s what a writer thinks, this one a Fool named Ashraf Eassa who worries about Apple’s “smaller-than-typical performance boost” in the new A11 Bionic chip. The self described technology writer Fool uses Apple’s own numbers to prove a point.
Apple-designed CPUs are slowing down each year. A9 went from 70-percent faster to the A10 which was only 40-percent faster to the new A11 which is only 25-percent faster than the previous chip.
How do such things happen?
It might be tempting to blame this on Apple’s engineering rather than on the underlying chip manufacturing technology, or it might seem reasonable to argue that at some point generational improvements become harder to come by as performance levels reach new heights.
Oh. In other words, diminishing returns thanks to, uh, um laws of physics? What the Fool didn’t bother to compare is how those same A-series CPUs which seem to get slower and slower compare to, say, Samsung’s CPUs or Qualcomm’s CPUs. Most benchmarks show A-series CPUs from Apple accelerating past the competition, so how do those benchmark by comparison.
Fools don’t have answers to tough questions.
How about a look at something Apple’s A-series chip designers seem to be better at than competitors.
Indeed, per a paper that TSMC presented describing its upcoming 7nm technology at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) last year, TSMC’s 7nm technology “provides >3.3X routed gate density and 35%-40% speed gain or >65% power reduction” compared to the company’s 16nm technology.
Indeed. Smaller chips, more transistors, 7nm technology, 35-percent-ish speed gain, less than half the power consumption. The Fool’s headline is typical link-bait technology rags use to capture i-balls.
The A11 Bionic Probably Isn’t as Good as Apple Inc. Hoped
Uh. Huh. But that would require one to know what Apple hoped, rather than simply assuming so, right? Apple knows. The Fool does not.
Apple’s latest chip is incredible, but this Fool thinks manufacturing technology snags held it back from reaching its true potential.
Yeah, those damned laws of physics can be part of “manufacturing technology snags.” Or, maybe just laws of physics. One law of writing about anything is that any perspective you want can be written in a plausible style even if it means absolutely nothing and should be treated as rubbish constructed on an obviously slow news day.