A Closer Look at Apple's CPU Improvements for iPhone 7 and Apple Watch

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    At last Wednesday's media event, Apple introduced two new processors - the A10 Fusion for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and the S2 for Apple Watch Series 2. Although Apple only briefly covered the S2 during the presentation, it did spend a good deal of time talking about A10 Fusion. The 'Fusion' suffix refers to the heterogeneous architecture that the A10 features, which has two high-power, high-throughput cores and two much smaller cores that are more power efficient.

    Apple also introduced another very important piece of standalone silicon in its new AirPods, dubbed the W1 chip. In total, this represents a great deal of engineering work done by Apple over the last year, and the A10 is the most significant to Apple's system-on-a-chip (SoC) line since the company's transition to 64-bit.


    Apple unveiled the biggest technical changes featured in the A10 at the very beginning, boasting a four-core CPU with 3.3 billion transistors. While Apple never disclosed a transistor count for the A9, it very likely fell somewhere in the middle between the 2 billion count on the A8 and the 3.3 billion of the new A10. A transistor count well under 3 billion seems probable for the A9; otherwise it would have been worth boasting about on its own.

    The 3.3 billion number for the A10 is well over 50 percent larger than the A8, and the large jump is likely mostly thanks to the addition of two new, albeit small, CPU cores along with a greatly enhanced image signal processor (ISP). Apple also disclosed that the GPU remains a six-cluster design, while benchmarks suggest that the L1 and L2 cache sizes remain unchanged.

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    Article Link: A Closer Look at Apple's CPU Improvements for iPhone 7 and Apple Watch
  2. Someone256 macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2016
    Oh boy I feel sorry for those Android manufacturers that will have to catch up with that beast, that won't happen in the next year that's for sure.
  3. UhFive, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016

    UhFive macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2013
    Can't wait to see what this bad boy can do.

    Edit: I'd be interested to see apple really open one of these puppies up and unleash it's full potential on the world. Sure battery life and heat would be an issue, but one of these in a low cost Mac Mini would be awesome. Better yet, it is crazy to think that we are truly approaching desktop class CPU's in a device that fits in my palm and pocket.
  4. seatton macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Somehow I thought the article said "... A Closer Look at New Apple Watch Band Color..." :D
  5. SockRolid macrumors 68000


    Jan 5, 2010
    Almost Rock Solid
    Because you're agenda-driven?
  6. MaSx macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2010
    iPhone 7 Plus with 2GB ram, same as iPhone 7 -_-

    ^someone had to...
  7. SMIDG3T Suspended


    Apr 29, 2012
    Apple keep upping their game when it comes to chip architecture. We all thought the A9 chip was powerful. They're simply strolling along while others are sprinting to catch up. It looks like they'll never be caught.
  8. carrrrrlos macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2010
    Pulled the trigger on my first Apple Watch. The series 2 was impressive. :) Actually more excited about this than I thought I would be.
  9. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Apple's CPUs have been pounding the competition pretty hard and didn't even buy them dinner afterwards. This CPU just hammers the nail in the coffin.

    I'm amazed they got 25% extra from one generation, in a non-S series model. Historically the jump between shells (3GS to 4, 5S to 6), hasn't offered anywhere close to this sort of improvement.
  10. JackANSI macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2011
    I was kinda wondering when Apple would finally get around to adopting something like big.LITTLE
  11. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
  12. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Apr 13, 2007
    The Galaxy S7 international version has a similar processor architecture.
  13. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    no someone didn't, because that point is irrelevant.
  14. lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2007
  15. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Also MR, this was a damn fine and interesting article to read. Excellent job! :)
  16. JackANSI macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2011
    Na-na, na-na, do-do, Apple is great and Android is poo-poo.

    That old chestnut.
  17. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    fast as hell.
  18. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Slowly, but surely, burying the competition into oblivion.
  19. Attirex macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    Hm. Not enough APPL bashing going on here.
  20. WigWag Workshop macrumors 6502

    WigWag Workshop

    Feb 3, 2011
    Central Ohio (Born and Raised in SE WI)
    It truly is amazing what Apple's chip engineers have been doing with these processors.
  21. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    And for the Series 1 as well, no?
  22. muadibe macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2010
  23. chrisone macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Indeed, lots of things to learn!
  24. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    This is a pretty well written article! I almost feel like I understood some of it!

    Some new phrases for the water cooler!
    "So have you heard about the dynamic voltage and frequency scaling in the new iPhone? Yeah it's off the charts"

    "I heard apple are choosing transistors with higher static leakage these days. Crazy world eh?"
  25. commander.data macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2006
    Great write up. It should be noted that the A4 was actually introduced with the iPad and later brought over to the iPhone 4 and not the other way around.

    With Apple only claiming a 50% CPU speedup for the S2 vs the S1, I wonder if that means single core performance has actually regressed vs the S1 perhaps in favour of power savings? Given Apple's usual emphasis on single core performance that would be strange, so perhaps they're just being conservative in their performance claims, especially since the watch wouldn't be expected to sustain peak performance for long.

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