Apple A12 chip brings huge gains to performance and battery life

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A tweaked image of the A11 suggests what the improved Apple 12 princessor could look like.
A tweaked image of the A11 suggests what the improved Apple 12 processor could look like.
Photo: IFIXIT

The A11 Bionic chip from last year makes the iPhone X run faster than the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9. And now Apple is about to release the A12, a replacement with even quicker performance. 

A switch to a better manufacturing process will bring some of those performance increases, while at the same time using less power. And other improvements are expected to further boost the speed.

Apple places risky bet on sole iPhone chip provider

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Apple A12 replaces A11 Bionic
TSMC beat out Samsung and Intel to make Apple's A11 Bionic processor, and will apparently be the sole producer of its replacements.
Photo: iFixit

TSMC has produced every iPhone processor for several years, and is reportedly going to continue to be Apple’s sole source for chips.

Apple generally prefers to get components from multiple sources, but apparently no company — not even Samsung or Intel — can compete with TSMC. That makes the two companies very dependent on each other.

Virus briefly halts production at iPhone chip-maker TSMC

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Apple A12 replaces A11 Bionic
TSMC, the company that manufactures all iPhone and iPad processors, including the A11, had a serious virus problem this weekend.
Photo: iFixit

A computer virus infected the fabrication tools and computers at TSMC’s factories that are likely producing Apple’s next-generation iPhone processors. 

The company is still cleaning the malware off its equipment, but expects to be finished by tomorrow.

2018 iPhone getting a big RAM boost

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2018 iPhone rumors 3D mockups
Benchmark scores for a prototype 2018 iPhone X Plus reveal the amount of RAM and the processor speed, plus an early look at the performance.
Photo: Mac Otakara

Someone testing a 2018 iPhone prototype inadvertently uploaded benchmark results for this device. Among the other details revealed is an indication that this will be the first iPhone with 4GB of RAM.

Naturally, the Geekbench results also include the performance. However, with the model still months away, scores are a bit underwhelming.

Major 2018 iPhone component already in production

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Apple A12 replaces A11 Bionic
The A11 Bionic is a fine processor, but the Apple A12 is expected to be even better.
Photo: iFixit

The Apple A12 processor, the heart of the 2018 iPhone, is reportedly already being manufactured. It’s being produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which has made Apple’s chips for years.

Even though the next iPhone isn’t expected until fall, TSMC isn’t getting a head start. It takes about three months to convert silicon into a microprocessor.