Apple’s A10X SoC Features TSMC’s 10nm FinFET Technology With 12 Cluster GPU and Die That’s Smaller Than Predecessor


Apple debuted its A10X in its latest iPad Pro family and one of the questions being contemplated was the lithography of the SoC. Sure enough, the A10X is TSMC’s first product driven by the 10nm FinFET technology and we are here to provide you with more insights on the tech giant’s latest and greatest chip powering one of the most powerful slates in the world.

A10X Features a Smaller Die Than Predecessor - Apple Has Never Made a SoC Dedicated to iPads This Small Ever

It really surprises us how Apple is able to push the boundaries of hardware both from a product and hardware perspective. Techinsights posted their findings of the A10X, and it confirmed that it is the first SoC from TSMC to be fabricated on the 10nm FinFET architecture. Another interesting find is that this chipset, which belongs to the ‘X’ series is relatively small when you compare it to the rest of the chipsets running in previous versions of Apple’s iPad family. For comparison purposes, the dimensions have been given below:

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  • A10X: 96.4mm2
  • A10: 125mm2 (A10X is 24 percent smaller in die size)
  • A9: 104.5mm2 (A10X is 9 percent smaller)

Here is another interesting fact for you; the X-series of Apple’s chipsets have never been at the cutting-edge side of things when it comes to the manufacturing process. It was always the company’s iPhone lineup and rightly so because they are the primary bread and butter of the tech giant. While being 34 percent smaller than the A9X, Apple has still managed to pack in a 3-core CPU and 12-cluster GPU design, showing that the company is not afraid to take risks, and even if those risks fail to deliver a positive result, the Cupertino tech giant has the cash to fight through the small financial pain.

However, there are some aspects that Apple decided to leave unchanged. From the CPU side, the Fusion CPU cores have been increased from two power cores on the A10 to three cores on the A10X, but the 12-cluster GPU design remains the same as it was on A9X. That certainly has not shed any performance bars from the iPad Pro lineup because benchmarking scores show that the latest tablet family can actually beat powerful notebooks.

The GPU in question has not been detailed and with the latest fallout that has happened between Imagination Technologies and Apple, it is hard to determine without digging in a little deeper. However, even with Apple heavily rumored to be making its own mobile GPU for future mobile devices, it looks like we will not be seeing anything ‘custom made’ from the company this year.

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According to Apple, the latest iPad Pro is able to deliver pretty much the same battery life as its predecessors so while the die reduction of A10X has helped conserve space for the slates which in turn has made them thinner, there is no meticulous level of detail provided concerning the power draw of the SoC. However, it looks like we could be finding out about this in the near future.

Are you impressed that Apple is able to use a new manufacturing process and able to reduce the die size considerably? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments.

News Source: Techinsights