- The iPhone 12 is expected to feature a brand new Apple A14 processor that should be faster and more efficient than the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11.
- The A14 series will likely be manufactured by TSMC on a new 5nm process, a first for the industry.
- A new leak says the A14 will be significantly faster than the A13, and therefore considerably faster than any of this year’s top Android devices.
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For years, Apple has been at the forefront of chip innovation. The company’s A-series chips that power the iPhone and iPad always outperform same-year Android devices running the latest processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and other chipmakers. Android has been trying to catch up with the iPhone ever since Apple introduced the first-ever 64-bit chip for mobile devices, and Android phones still are not able to top the iPhone’s impressive performance. The most recent A-series chip is the A13 Bionic processor that powers the iPhone 11 series, which is faster than anything available for Android devices. Benchmark tests showed that the Snapdragon 865 processor that powers the Galaxy S20 and other flagship 2020 Android handsets is no match for the A13. Real-life speed comparisons have proven the same thing when it comes to launching demanding apps or performing intensive tasks. The S20’s enormous amount of RAM does help Samsung compensate for the lack of raw power, but it’s still not enough. The A14 chips that will power Apple’s iPhone 12 phones will be even faster than the A13, delivering performance that’s not likely to be matched by any new Android device this year — and maybe even next year — according to a new leak.
Each new iPhone generation brings a brand new A-series chip that’s not just faster than its predecessor, but also more efficient. The A14 is already expected to be a 5nm processor, and it’ll likely be the first such chip to hit the market this year. TSMC, which manufactured most of the previous iPhone and iPad processors, is expected to mass-produce the 5nm CPU for the iPhone 12.
A first A14 benchmark just found its way online, Research Snipers reports, revealing the Geekbench 5 scores for the new chip.
The A14 seemingly scored 1658 and 4612 points in single- and multi-core scores, respectively, which are both significant increases over the A13, which gets 1329 and 3468 ratings in the same tests. We’re looking at speed increases of between 25% and 33% over last year’s model, which already outscores the Snapdragon 865 (Qualcomm), Exynos 990 (Samsung), and Kirin 990 (Huawei).
This new report also notes that the A14 chip will apparently be clocked at 3.1GHz, which is 400MHz higher than the A13’s 2.7GHz speed. Apple never makes a big deal of such details when talking about its ARM processors that power the iPhone and iPad. But if this leak is accurate, the A14 will be the first ARM processor to pass 3GHz. That’s an important milestone for mobile chips, especially considering all the chatter that says Apple is working on its first ARM-powered MacBook. The most recent A-series chip generations have scored better in benchmarks than the Intel chips that power the MacBook Pro, prompting speculation that an ARM MacBook is imminent.
Even if this new leak isn’t accurate, the A14 is still expected to significantly outperform its predecessor thanks to the jump to the new 5nm process. The report doesn’t say how efficient the A14 chip will be compared with the A13, but that’s probably the kind of information only Apple has access to.
A variation of the A14 is likely to power future iPad Pros, but that’s just speculation at this point. Apple is expected to unveil an iPad Pro refresh this spring, with the A13X being the likely CPU candidate for the new tablets. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 should be unveiled this fall, probably in mid-September like previous models, but the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may impact the launch event and the actual release date of the upcoming new iPhone 12 handsets.