Apple’s iPhone 13 will use an A15 processor built with TSMC’s 5 nanometer process, which is similar but more advanced than last year’s A14 chip.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 13 soon and its upgraded system-on-a-chip (SoC), presumably called the A15, might have leaked in a recent benchmark, revealing higher performance but a bit less than is typical of a new generation. Whereas the iPhone 12 enjoyed a huge leap in performance, this year’s upgrades might be more noticeable in other areas. A review of what was revealed with a comparison to earlier generations will inform anyone that is eager for information about Apple’s new iPhone which is just now weeks away.
Apple’s mobile processors often place at or near the top of benchmark tests, beating out most chips from competitors Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, and MediaTek. The gap has been closing over the years and often only months separate the SoCs that score the highest. For example, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 comes quite close to the performance level of Apple’s A14, which came out a few months earlier. Samsung’s Exynos 2100 is in the same league and Huawei’s Kirin 9000 and MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 are not far behind.
First spotted by Wccftech, a recent benchmark leak supposedly reveals some performance details of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 13 and A15 SoC, appearing in a tweet by Tron, referencing a Korean language web forum, Clien. The processor begins to see thermal throttling when repeating the test, something that is a known issue with all mobile chips. The benchmark test, named Manhattan 3.1, is a part of the GFXBench app that measures graphics performance with an emphasis on calculating three-dimensional geometry, advanced lighting, shading, and blur while measuring deferred rendering speed. The results of the test showed that the SoC being tested, which might be the new A15, outperformed the A14 in the same test by about 14-percent. Apple often posts gains of 20-percent or more, suggesting the A15’s performance boost might be more modest than in previous years.
Apple A15 & iPhone 13 Upgrades
There have been several leaks and rumors that provide a good idea of what might be coming at the next Apple event. The iPhone 13 is expected to come in four varieties, just like the iPhone 12 and the sizes will probably remain the same. The biggest improvements are expected to come in the form of camera upgrades, with the advanced technology of the iPhone 12 Pro Max potentially arriving in the smaller and lower-cost models. Photos and video quality will increase significantly if all models are upgraded to a larger image sensor and more advanced sensor-shift stabilization. Night mode is greatly enhanced with the bigger image pixels and video stabilization becomes rock solid with the new stabilizer of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Also, a much better ultra-wide camera is predicted due to a wider aperture.
The A14 SoC includes the central, graphics, and neural processors, along with other integrated components. It saw a 30 to 40-percent performance boost and that means even a small improvement in the A15 is unlikely to disappoint. In fact, this is to be expected since it is built using TSMC’s N5P process, which is manufactured using the same 5-nanometer scale as the A14 while optimizing performance in other ways. The next big change will occur in 2022 when either a 4 or 3 nanometer process will be used for the A16. For now, the focus of the iPhone 13 might not be so much on the A15 SoC, as the display enhancements and advanced camera hardware for improved photos and videos.
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