Apple Started Developing A11 Bionic Chip When A8 Chip Was Released Three Years Ago

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    My theory is that the hardware and software was there, but it wasn't originally intended for authentication. Probably for the Animoji stuff and AR. Auth was probably put together "last minute" (in the concept of software development) after TouchID wasn't possible.
  2. recoil80 macrumors 68020

    Jul 16, 2014
    Srouji team is really amazing, their Ax chips are an important part of iPhone and iPad's success.
    It's a pity the average user doesn't even know what a CPU is, and focus only on the design.
  3. lunarworks macrumors 68000

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    It's probably referring to the neural network inside the chip, used for recognizing things.

    I like the name. But hey, I grew up in the '80s, and that word was thrown around a lot back then.
  4. Detektiv-Pinky, Sep 15, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

    Detektiv-Pinky macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2006
    Berlin, Germany
    Apple has an Architectural License on the ARM technology. They use it to do their own chip design.
  5. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't see the competition ever catching up to Apple in this regard.
  6. Applebot1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2014
    Question is are they ultimately looking at replacing Intel chips in the Mac. I think they want total control of their eco system so probably yes.
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I think what amazes me, is that this A11 architecture was not developed overnight. It's interesting to think about the A11 Chip was in development three years ago during the iPhone 6 era. So it goes to show you, Apple is already thinking three or four years Ahead from now with new product designs. It would be fascinating to see what ideas/designs they have for 2020.
  8. LandRovers macrumors member


    May 28, 2014
    So that we can get it in 2020?
  9. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
  10. dontwalkhand macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ

  11. jeblis macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2012
  12. Avieshek, Sep 15, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

    Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
  13. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Srouji's team is absolutely killing it right now, and has been for years. They continue to amaze me with their chip designs, and nobody in the industry can come even close. I'm giddy right now even thinking about the stuff they're designing right now for release in 2020. It must be extremely rewarding to see these designs made real at each launch event after working on them for so long.
  14. Olganech macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2015
  15. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
  16. Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    lol! I can't help but think of this when they said A11 Bionic...

  17. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
    FaceID arguably makes even more sense for a laptop. You’re pretty much always looking at the laptop screen when you want it to unlock. Less so with a mobile phone.
  18. SeattleMoose macrumors 68000

    Jul 17, 2009
    Der Wald
    Why do most of the top Apple execs look like car salesmen or comedians?
  19. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    Credit to you for taking input so well and for doing research but it's a bit more complicated than that.

    Essentially there are two ways to license ARM intellectual property from ARM. The first way is to license an ARM design which is effectively a blueprint that will allow you to fabricate a chip that ARM designed down to the transistor level. This is what Apple did up until it released its first 64 bit SoC, it took ARM cores that had already been designed by ARM and incorporated them into its own Apple A4, A5 etc obviously adding some Apple specific bits as well (interfaces etc).

    The other way to license however is what Apple does now which is an architecture license, i.e. Apple is allowed to implement the ARM instruction set in its SoCs but how it actually does that is entirely up to Apple's engineers. If they can find a much more efficient way to implement multiplication or division (as a very simplified example) than ARM has done in its reference design then they are free to do so.

    The analogy is maybe like someone licensing a car. Apple's pre-64-bit license was a bit like licensing the blueprints of the car and going to a factory and say "I want you to make this car for me using these blueprints". Apple's current architecture license is more like getting a license from the car manufacturer that says "OK, as long as what you build looks exactly like my car to the observer (same body shape, colours etc) and to the driver (all the controls are in the same position and work the same way) then you can build and sell your version of this car. That then leaves the licensee to swap out the engine with a fusion reactor, make it go at 500mph, allow the cabin soundproofing to be completely silent, etc, etc. From the outside it's the same car but it is way more capable in terms of how it performs.

    Some of the above is somewhat simplified but hopefully gives you an idea of where Apple leverages off ARM technology (ARM designed the instruction set) and where Apple adds value (better implementation). Lots of companies incorporate ARM technology by licensing ARM-designed cores. Very few companies have the in-house chip design expertise and resources to redesign all the internals to make a better ARM core than ARM does.
  20. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
  21. Doc C macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2013
    That was an excellent explanation. I'm sure there's a ton more detail, but at least I understand a bit more.

  22. binaryfuneral macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2014
    A chip ready for a heavy flow. A chip ready for an active you. The A14 Turbo Maxi Supreme.... with wings
  23. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
    looks like if Apple loses Jony + Johny, it'll be a huge blow.
  24. v0lume4 macrumors 68000


    Jul 28, 2012
    Ahhh. That clears things up a bit. Thanks so much.
    Wowza! Thank you for taking the time to type all of that out. I learned a lot. Having kept up with tech for years and years, I've never actually done my research into learning the behind-the-scenes of Apple's (and many others') SoC origins. What a great jumping-off point. Cheers. :)
  25. JGIGS macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2008
    Hardware has never been an issue neither has been the efficiency of processing power usage of ios. I mean a 5S is still certainly usable definitely on the slow side now but hey its a 4 year old phone now. Now not having the ability to group notifications by app and still having a spring board of all auto top left sorted icon is still a head scratcher for me. Haven't used it yet but don't think I'm going to be a fan of the new control centre either especially having to reach up for it on the X. I just wish apple change some of these ios annoyances and I wouldn't even have to think about an Android device. It would simply be inferior.

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