The new chipset will make it easier for developers to run natural language processing and image classification in photos (Bloomberg file)
The new chipset will make it easier for developers to run natural language processing and image classification in photos (Bloomberg file)

How Bionic 13 is making new iPhones, faster, efficient and smarter

  • The A13 Bionic is built on 7-nanomter architecture and has been designed for machine learning and low-power performance
  • It is powerful enough to run most tasks, which is what makes it 40% power efficient than its predecessor. This means, the new iPhones will have more battery life

New Delhi: At the heart of the new iPhone 11 models is Apple’s new A13 Bionic chipset. Apple claims it can offer 20% faster CPU (central processing unit), GPU (graphics processing unit) and neural engine performance over its predecessor— the A12 Bionic. Introduced first with A11 Bionic two years ago, the neural engine in iPhones was first used to power the algorithm behind face unlocking and later for photos, gaming and augmented reality.

The A13 Bionic is built on 7-nanomter architecture and has been designed for machine learning and low-power performance. The CPU includes 2 performance cores for gaming and resource intensive tasks and four efficiency cores for light weight tasks but powerful enough to run most tasks, which is what makes it 40% power efficient than its predecessor. This means, the new iPhones will have more battery life.

Apple has also added a new machine learning accelerator in the CPU, which offers six times faster matrix multiplication (a key process in various numerical algorithms and is used frequently in ML computations), enabling it to carry out 1 trillion operations per second.

Speaking at the Apple special event, Sribalan Santhanam, vice-president, Silicon Engineering Group at Apple, pointed out that the new chipset will make it easier for developers to run natural language processing, image classification in photos and videos and character animation and development.

In the benchmarks, showed by Apple at the event, the A13 Bionic surpasses A 12 Bionic (used in iPhone XS), Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 (used in OnePlus 7 Pro and US variants of Samsung Galaxy S10) and Kirin 980 (used in Huawei’s P30 Pro) in terms of both CPU and GPU performance.

The improvements in the new chipset, makes the new iPhones more capable and efficient than predecessors and gives a strong reason for users to upgrade to new iPhones. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the new iPhones are better than their Android counterparts. A major advantage that Apple has over its Android rivals is that it has control over all aspects of a device be it software, system hardware or chip design.

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