2017 iPad Pro marks the first Apple device to use a chip built on TSMC 10 nanometer manufacturing process

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Date: Monday, July 3rd, 2017, 05:06
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, Processors

This is pretty neat.

The pros have gotten their hands on Apple’s A10X Fusion processor that shipped with the new iPad Pro and have confirmed that this is the first chip in a device using TMSC’s FinFET 10nm chip fabrication process.

The breakdown, published by Tech Insights, discovered a 96.4 square millimeter die size as compared to the 16nm A9X with a die size of 143.9 square millimeters. Even having the notably smaller die size, the chip has 8MB of L2 cache, three CPU cores, and a 12-cluster GPU assembly.

When compared with the A9X processor in the previous-generation iPad Pro, the A9X featured a 12-cluster GPU assembly, but only two CPU cores and 3MB of L2 cache. The GPU in the A10X is nearly identical to that in the A9X and A10 and is thought to use Imagination’s PowerVR technology.

Such a step is somewhat unusual for Apple, which has typically switched to a smaller manufacturing process for its iterations of the iPhone, rather than making the change on the iPad. The “X” series processor has been an improvement on the smaller die, with more cores for higher performance when associated with a larger battery.

Despite the smaller die size and 10nm process, Anandtech has noted that Apple groups the A9 and A10 families together in processor family documentation, including the A9X and A10X in the same family of processors.

The A10X Fusion processor debuted on June 5 in an event that saw the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro released, alongside a refresh of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Besides just the new processor, the new iPad Pros also feature “ProMotion” technology and other enhancements, dramatically improving visual performance by giving the screen a 120Hz refresh rate.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider, Tech Insights and Anandtech

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