Apple's next flagship iPhone could be as fast as MacBook
While it is too early to talk about the next-generation of flagship-grade iPhones, rumored to be called iPhone 12, the hype is already palpable. The device won't probably be launched before September 2020, but a new report has indicated that its chip will get a major upgrade, one that would make the iPhone nearly as powerful as the MacBook. Here's all about it.
Apple A14 Bionic to power iPhone 12 line-up
Apple's iPhone 12 line-up is expected to launch with an A14 Bionic chip, based on TSMC's 5nm process. This, as MacWorld's Jason Cross points out, is a big upgrade over the 7nm process that the A13 chip was made on. He said this chip could offer a lot, possibly even make the iPhone as powerful as the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
5nm architecture to boost transistor density
Cross says that the 5nm process would significantly boost the transistor density on A14 chip. "We are looking at an incredible 15 billion transistors," he said, adding that this would be "more than all but the largest high-end desktop and server CPUs and GPUs." He also posited Apple could shrink the total chip area "to around 85 mm square and around 12.5 billion transistors."
Geekbench 5 score likely to cross 5,000
Along with the transistor density, the clock speed of the chip as well as other architectural upgrades will boost A14's performance. In fact, Cross believes that the upgrades would be such that the Geekbench 5 score of iPhone 12 line-up would wind up around 1,500-1,600, while the multi-core score might even hit 5,000. Most Android flagships, for reference, have a score of around 3,000.
Score this high goes into the MacBook Pro territory: Cross
"A score of 5,000 would be similar to 6-core mainstream desktop CPUs or high-end laptop CPUs. It's [the] 15-inch MacBook Pro territory," Cross said while highlighting the potential of Apple iPhone 12's chip.
What else iPhone 12 models are expected to offer?
As we said, it's too early to say anything for sure, but rumors indicate Apple could launch up to 6 new iPhones this year. Some of them could offer 5G, iPad Pro-like slab-sided design, time-of-flight sensors on the rear for improved AR performance and Portrait mode, and up to 6GB RAM inside. Even the inclusion of an in-display fingerprint scanner is on the cards.
RAM upgrade could boost gaming performance, Cross says
That said, the rumor of 6GB RAM, combined with enhanced transistor density, led Cross to predict that iPhone 12 could boost gaming performance by 50%. "I expect Apple to expend significant transistor budget making the GPU more powerful," he said, adding that "we can probably expect GPU performance well beyond the trend line's prediction of the low 7,000 range in this test."