| Cult of Mac

Apple’s VP of platform architecture talks A14 chips — and what comes next


A14 Features and specs
Apple's A14 processor will pave the way for Apple technology in the future.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple’s VP of Platform Architecture Tim Millet says the company’s A14 chip, which debuted last month in the fourth-generation iPad Air, will take machine learning to the next level.

“It takes my breath away when I see what people can do with the A14 Bionic chip,” Millet told German magazine Stern.

Manufactured using a 5nm process, the mobile chip boasts an astonishing 11.8 billion transistors, up significantly from the 8.5 billion of the A13. It is expected to power this year’s upcoming iPhones.

Sources affirm plans for new iPad Air, 2 Apple Watch models this fall


The new 2019 iPad Air, with its 10.5-inch screen, works with Apple's existing Smart Keyboard.
2020's iPad Air could be the best one yet.
Photo: Apple

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans have confirmed to Bloomberg that a new iPad Air and Apple Watch refresh are on their way this fall.

The unnamed insiders corroborate recent leaks that indicate the new iPad Air will have an edge-to-edge display, like iPad Pro. The new Apple Watch is expected to come in two very different variants.

ARM iMac with custom Apple GPU could arrive in second half of 2021


This iMac concept reflects what a lot of people want.
Could it look something like this?
Photo: Daniel Bautista

A brand-new iMac, powered by Apple Silicon combined with a custom Apple GPU, will land during the second half of 2021, according to a new report.

Codenamed “Lifuka,” the all-in-one is expected to use 5-nanometer chips manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company — like those destined for iPhone 12 and other Apple Silicon machines later this year.

Production begins this month on A14 chip for 5G iPhone 12


Apple A14 processor
Expect great things from the Apple A14 processor.
CGI: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 12 will take a giant step closer to reality when TSMC begins producing the Apple A14 processor later this month, according to an unconfirmed report coming out of Asia on Friday. This reportedly will be the first A-series chip made with a 5-nanometer process, which should bring an increase in performance while improving battery life.

The A14 will supposedly use Qualcomm’s X60 modem, potentially giving it access to every type of 5G network.

TSMC stays on track to make 3-nanometer chips for iPhone 14


Apple A14 processor
Apple’s chipmaker thinks long-term. It’s already prepping for the A14, A15 and maybe even the A16 iPhone processors.
CGI: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s long-term plan to begin producing 3-nanometer processors in 2022 remains on schedule. This company manufactures all Apple CPUs, and the 3nm process is expected to be used to make the A-series chips for future iPhones, iPads and perhaps Macs as well.

In the near term, TSMC is already making chips for the iPhone 12. And the company is close to perfecting the process that’ll make the chips for 2021 iPhones.

No, Apple is not throttling its A-series chips for easy upgrades later


2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
The 2020 iPad Pro offers an additional GPU core, but its chip hasn't changed.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A new investigation into Apple’s improved A12Z Bionic chip inside the 2020 iPad Pro reveals that it features exactly the same GPU found in the A12X Bionic for 2018 iPad Pro units. The one big difference is that an additional eighth core is now enabled, making it slightly faster.

Many fans are now criticizing Apple for what seems, at first glance, as intentional throttling. It is assumed Cupertino is disabling features in its newest chips, only to enable them later and market them as improved — even though they’re essentially the same on the inside.

Could it be that this is a scheme to make quick and easy cash? Actually, no. This is standard practice across the semiconductor industry. Others like Intel and Nvidia use exactly the same approach — and there’s a very good reason for it.

Here’s the real reason why an A12Z is just an A12X with unlocked potential.

Next-gen A14 chip could be first Arm-based processor to exceed 3GHz


Gather_Round_A12Bionic 2
A12 Bionic introduced the 7-nanometer process. A14 will take that number even smaller.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s forthcoming A14 processor for the iPhone 12 series will be the first Arm-based mobile processor to exceed 3GHz, a report published Sunday claims.

According to Research Snipers’ report, the new supercharged chip could hit a GeekBench 4 running score of 3.1GHz. That would be 400MHz higher than the current A13 Bionic chips’s 2.7GHz.

Apple reportedly boosts iPhone 12 chip orders amid coronavirus chaos


Right to Repair
Apple's first 5nm chips are expected to ship in iPhone and iPad this year.
Photo: iFixit

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak will have no impact on Apple’s plans for its next-generation 5-nanometer chip rollout, one reliable analyst reported today.

Apple is believed to have aggressively increased its orders for the new processors, which will power this year’s iPhone and iPad Pro — as well as Apple’s first Arm-powered Mac that is said to be scheduled for early 2021.

This is the most realistic 2020 iPhone concept we’ve seen yet


The 2020 iPhone could pack some serious camera upgrades.
Photo: Hacker 34

The grand unveiling of the iPhone 12 (or whatever Apple calls it) is still over half a year away, but you can already get a pretty good idea of what to expect thanks to a new concept video.

Most iPhone concept videos we see throw in a bunch of unrealistic features. Instead of focusing on what could be, the Hacker 34’s new concept video brings to life all the reliable rumors we’ve heard so far. The concept won’t wow you with promises of a holographic display and instead focuses on the iterative changes we’re likely to see in 2020.

This is about as close to the 2020 iPhone commercial you’re going to see right now: