Apple iPad Pro A9X-soc has 12-core GPU on board and no L3 cache

Dec

1

2015

Analyses of the soc used in the Apple iPad Pro have shown that the tablet has a 12-core GPU on board and that the soc is made on the 16nm FinFET-process from TSMC. Also notable is that these soc unlike other Apple SOCs has no L3 cache.

Apple itself is reluctant to publish overly specific technical information about its chips. This information is, therefore, the result of which a shot which is made ​​by Chip Works and published by Anand Tech. Compared to the A9-soc iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the number of GPU cores doubled allowing true 12. Earlier suspicions that the A9X uses proven right of the Imagination PowerVR GPU Series7. The clock speed of the GPU cores, according to Anandtech difficult to determine, but is estimated to be slightly higher than that of the GPU cores in the A9.

Standout AnandTech cites the absence of an L3 cache. For this, the website will see three possible explanations. First of all, the memory bandwidth of 51,2GB would / s are so large that there simply is no L3 cache is needed to prevent the GPU cores have to wait for the memory. In addition, the L3 cache on the A9 would be deployed to the energy which is necessary for memory operations, to save. However, the iPad Pro has significantly more space for its battery than the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, so that recital would count less heavily. Finally, the size of which could have been a consideration, but as an L3-cache, about three percent of the area of the A9X- which would take in, which is unlikely. Whatever the real motivation of Apple has been, is not known. The performance of the A9X suffer in any case not covered by the absence of the L3 cache.

A part of the specifications of the A9X-soc could already outdated be by means of benchmarks. As had previously been known that the iPad Pro Twister -CPU two cores on board is running on 2,26GHz. In addition, the soc 4GB lpddr4-memory and the memory bus is 128 bits wide, which results in the above memory bandwidth of 51,2GB / s. Given the amount of GPU cores on board that is not redundant. In the benchmarks was to see that the A9X aboard the iPad Pro scored significantly better than the A9 which can be found in the latest iPhones. The 2015 MacBook with Core M-5Y31 CPU excavated suffered defeat against the A9X of Apple’s latest tablet.

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