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How Apple made the A12 Bionic Chip

Wired has a good idea about how Apple made the A12 Bionic Chip. The A12 processor is even more powerful than its predecessor.

[[[[Apple unveils iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR]

A12 Bionic Chip

It started with the camera. Years ago, some Apple engineers started to think about how the iPhone camera could be smarter with the help of neural networks. Then they brought their ideas to Tim Millet, the VP of chip architecture from Apple.

The neural motor was unveiled with the iPhone X. Face ID and the portrait mode / portrait lighting of the iPhone X is powered by the chip. The A12 Bionic Chip is made on a 7-nanometer process, which can be packed with 6.9 billion transistors.

The A11 had 4.3 billion, so the A12 is a significant improvement. The neural engine of the A12 is also more powerful and can perform 5 trillion operations per second, compared to 600 billion of the A11.

Millet refuses to answer questions about his team's plans, although he notices that the team is looking much further than the A12 announced this week. "It takes us about a few years to build a chip from start to finish," says Millet. Somewhere in Apple's glassy ring-shaped headquarters, the hardware that will drive the new iPhone features of next year will take shape.

[[[[Evidence is mounting: Apple will convert the Macs to ARM CPUs]

© macobserver

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