Apple’s expected to launch its highly-anticipated 2018 line-up of iPhones sometime in September. As has been the case every year, the new smartphones will be powered by a freshly-minted chipset, which the company will launch alongside the smartphones.
Unless Apple decides to ditch the conventional naming scheme it has always followed for SoCs at the last moment, this year’s chipset will be called A12. It’ll take over the mantle from 2017’s A11 Bionic, which powers the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.
Apple has collaborated with long-time partner TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) for the A12, which will be based on the 7nm fabrication process. This will make the new iPhones the first batch of commercially-available smartphones to be powered by an SoC based on the 7nm process.
Thanks to the highly-efficient fabrication process, the A12 will help the new iPhones have much better performance and increased thermal efficiency than the current crop. They are also likely to help the smartphones have enhanced battery life.
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A recent report from Macworld quoted TSMC that the 7nm node offers “1.6x logic density, around 20-percent speed improvement, and about 40-percent power reduction.” The report further notes that A12 is likely to continue A11’s hexa-core arrangement, comprising two high-performance cores, and four energy-efficient cores. However, a significant increase in the clock speed is unlikely, as the maximum 2.39GHz clock speed that the A11 has is already more than enough.
As far as graphics are concerned, Apple A12 is expected to have a GPU with four cores, which will lead to better performance than what’s managed by the A11’s tri-core GPU.