Everything you need to know about Apple’s new A12 Bionic Chip

With the release of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR comes the latest Apple’s next-generation Neural Engine, the A12 chip. Marketing the new technology to be the ‘smartest, most powerful chip in a smartphone’ is a big claim, so let’s see how it delivers:

“iPhone Xs is packed with next-generation technologies and is a huge step forward for the future of the smartphone. Everything is state of the art including the industry-first 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip with 8-core Neural Engine, faster Face ID and an advanced dual camera system that shoots Portrait mode photos with Smart HDR and dynamic depth of field,” – Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing

CPU and GPU:

The A12 Bionic incorporates six processor cores – two performance cores to tackle heavy computational task and four efficiency cores take on everyday tasks.
Apple claim their new performance cores perform up to 15% faster than its predecessor and use 40% less power.


The efficiency cores are said to use up to 50% lower power than the A11, whilst delivering the same performance.

In regards to GPU, Apple also revealed that the graphics processing unit in the A12 Bionic is up to 50% faster than last year’s A11.

7 nanometer tech

Boasting ‘the first 7-nanometer chip in a smartphone’, the latest additions to the A12 Bionics within the iPhone family are made up of 6.9 billion transistors. This is a huge 60% increase in transistor count and the 7-nanometer technology has 1.6 times the logic density of its 10-nanometer technology, which was used to build the A11 Bionic.


Neural Engine:

Completing up to 5 trillion operations per second might sound impossible, but that’s exactly what the new eight-core design allows the XS, XS Max and XR to do. Consequently you’ll enjoy faster plane detection for ARKit and new features that use real-time machine learning. It’s certainly a step up from the 600 billion operations per second seen in the A11 Bionic.


The Neural Engine is open to Core ML for the first time too, empowering developers to build apps that utilise the machine learning technology. Core ML running on the A12 Bionic Neural Engine is up to nine times faster than on A11 Bionic, with as little as one-tenth the energy usage. The A12 Bionic chip unlocks new experiences through machine learning and Siri Shortcuts.

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