THE FU­TURE OF PRO­CES­SORS

Maximum PC - - 2019 TECH PREVIEW -

With all of this com­ing from the main­stream man­u­fac­tur­ers, you might be for­given for think­ing that’s it for the world of the hum­ble pro­ces­sor. Well, there’s one out­lier you might not ex­pect to be mak­ing waves, but there are more than just rip­ples com­ing from our long­mis­judged tech­ni­cal broth­ers across the bat­tle-rav­aged OS ocean. Ap­ple is seem­ingly pick­ing up the pace when it comes to pro­ces­sor de­sign and over­all per­for­mance. Take a look at the ARMbased Bionic A12 X pro­ces­sor found in its lat­est tablets, and even in the iPhone XS, and you’ll see per­for­mance num­bers equal to a mid-clocked Sky Lake Core i5-6400 or so.

That might seem like small fry when you look at the cur­rent state of desk­top pro­ces­sors, but given the fact that the com­pany has been work­ing on its own bionic pro­ces­sors for a lit­tle over six years, cou­pled with In­tel’s con­tin­ued de­lays in hit­ting its tran­sis­tor tar­gets, and the big fruit might fi­nally be mak­ing its way to forg­ing its own pro­ces­sors to re­place the In­tel ones found within its con­sumer de­vices. This is fur­ther backed up by a re­port from Bloomberg, back in 2017, stat­ing that Ap­ple plans to re­place In­tel’s pro­ces­sors in­side its Mac lineup by 2020.

Given that the iPhone XR scores a hefty 4,793 points in GeekBench’s sin­gle-core test, in com­par­i­son to an AMD Ryzen Threadripper’s 4,801, it’s not hard to see where this could go if Ap­ple re­ally pushes the bound­aries of that ARM pro­cess­ing tech. Ap­ple’s got its foot in the door of sin­gle-core per­for­mance.

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