iPhone 11 Lineup Will Make Custom Silicon Leap For Integrated Input

Sep 9, 2019
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Update: Official details for the Apple A13.

Apple's iPhones are notorious for being kept under the wraps before launch. The smartphones often feature upgrades that don't make it on the rumor mill, with the sole exception to the rule being the iPhone X's True Depth camera setup and Face ID; both which leaked extensively prior to the gadget's launch.

Apple's iPhones are also known for their custom hardware. The company's An processors for the iPhone are the ones that introduced 64-bit computing to mobile. Its ISP for the iPhone 7 lineup introduced more transistors for photographic computations. Now, it's looking as if Apple's ready to make another custom silicon leap. Take a look below for more details.

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TSMC's fabrication processes have allowed smartphone manufacturers to increase the scope of what their silicon can offer. More transistors on a smaller area allow companies to dedicate spaces for computations that aren't the SoCs job. Such computations, including vector math and image sensor input, can be performed efficiently therefore and without burdening the SoC's CPU.

The iPhone XR, XS and XS Max's A12 chip, for example, has an NPU (Neural Processing Unit) codenamed as Quinn. this is capable of performing 5 trillion 8-bit operations per second. While Quinn is on the same chip as the A12's processor, the transistors dedicated to the NPU do not perform computing operations.

The A12 also has Apple's twelfth generation motion co-processor codenamed as M12. This is responsible for aggregating data from the iPhones' accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometer, and microphone (for Siri voice commands). This might change on the iPhone 11, especially as Apple looks to integrate Ultra Wide Band technology on the smartphones.

The good folks over at MacRumors have been very diligent this pre-iPhone-launch season, and courtesy of their hard work, we're able to get a rough of idea of the critical upgrades that Apple will make on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Today they're reporting that the upcoming iPhones might not feature the M13, and instead opt for a brand new co-processor dubbed as R1.

The Rose 1 will integrate more data than its predecessor and allow the iPhones 11 to expand their functionality. Apple's 2019 smartphones are rumored to include support for Ultra Wide Band signals to let users track their belongings. Naturally, since the 2018 iPhones do not support this, the M12 is ill-equipped to deal with the data, and Apple will have to upgrade its silicon on the smartphones' successors.

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Details gleaned off from iOS 13 suggest that the Rose 1 will support an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Bluetooth 5.1, ultra wideband and camera sensor input. This, when combined with Bluetooth 5.1's Angle of Arrival and Angle of Departure features will allow the iPhone 11 lineup to aid users in locating their belongings.

Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.

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