Apple’s A12Z Processor Confirmed to Reuse A12X Silicon


Last month Apple introduced a latest era of iPad Pro tablets, and most to a warn of many, a new iDevices didn’t come with a high-end various of Apple’s newest A13 SoC. Instead, a iPads used an SoC that Apple was job a A12Z, clearly indicating that it was formed on a same Vortex/Tempest design as a progressing A12X, that was used in a 2018 iPad Pros. The surprising pierce from Apple left us suspecting that a A12Z might not have even been a new chip, though rather a new bin of a A12X, and currently we finally have acknowledgment of that speculation interjection to TechInsights.

In a brief tweet, a technical research and retreat engineering organisation published a note announcing their findings, along with corresponding die shots comparing A12Z and A12X. In short, a dual chips are clearly identical, with any final organic retard in accurately a same place and a same distance on A12Z as it was A12X.

While TechInsights’ die shot research doesn’t suss out some finer sum such as chip steppings – either A12Z is even on a newer stepping, or if it’s a same stepping as a A12X that Apple was shipping in 2018 for a IPad Pro launch – it’s transparent that in terms of silicon, A12Z doesn’t move anything new to a table.

Instead, a important changes between a dual chips is in their binning/configuration: since a A12X usually ever shipped with 7 of a GPU clusters enabled, A12Z ships with all 8 enabled. And while a tiny change in a grand design of things, it creates clarity for Apple to finally capacitate a 8th cluster for a bit some-more performance. A12X is constructed on TSMC’s 7nm line, and when it was expelled in 2018, it was one of a biggest 7nm chips being topsy-turvy out. So Apple should be enjoying most improved yields 18 months later, shortening a need to bin to a reduce spec to deliver chips.

As for because Apple would opt to re-use A12X for their 2020 tablets instead of commissioning an A13X, while we can usually speculate, it roughly positively comes down to economics, as a inscription marketplace is utterly opposite from a smartphone market. Apple is probably unchallenged as distant as high-performance Arm tablets go, and even then, a series of iPads they sell has always been a dump in a bucket compared to a series of iPhones they sell. So there are fewer inclination to amortize a costs of chip growth against, and all a while chip growth costs are stability to arise with any new era of photolithography technology. In short, during some indicate it has to stop creation clarity to emanate new chip designs on a yearly basement for mid-volume products, and Apple might really good have finally strike that symbol with their inscription SoCs.

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