CPU + 15%, GPU + 25-30%, more

The base model iPhone 14 (and its larger counterpart) is expected to stick to the A15 chip this year, while the Pro models will get the A16. This indicates that the performance of the iPhone 14 Pro can be much better than the basic models.

There is a lot of guesswork as to what that might mean in terms of iPhone 14 Pro performance, but it’s at least possible to get a rough guide…

MacworldJason Kroos gave his best shot. All comparisons to iPhone 13 Pro.

First, there is no guesswork when it comes to the chip manufacturing process: TSMC’s most advanced process is a third-generation 5nm process known as N4P. This provides some performance boost, but is relatively modest.

N4P delivers an 11 percent performance boost, a 22 percent energy efficiency improvement, and a 6 percent density improvement over the original 5 nanometer “N5” manufacturing process.

However, you are expected to have a faster memory. Back in March, an Apple analyst said iPhone 14 Pro models would get an upgrade from LPDDR4 to LPDDR5, a report echoed today Numbers. This is the fastest memory Apple uses in the M1 Pro and Max chipsets.

[That] Memory bandwidth should be improved, and some other optimizations, along with higher peak clock speeds, could improve Apple performance by up to 15 percent.

Cross discusses the potential for ARMv9 support, but thinks it’s unlikely to make much difference, before moving on to GPU performance. He believes that potential incremental core improvements, architectural improvements, and faster memory access will see the usual improvement here.

We think it’s reasonable to expect a 25 to 30 percent improvement in GPU performance, roughly in line with the last several A-series processors. You’ll see this especially in tests and tests that are currently limited in memory bandwidth.

There’s one feature expected of the iPhone 14 Pro that will need all the processing power it can get: a 48MP camera sensor, supporting 8K video. Ko and fellow analyst Jeff Boe both expect this to hit the main camera. So Cross expects most of the additional performance to focus on image processing and artificial intelligence.

You can’t just press and call a 48MP sensor on a daily basis. You must have wider and faster data paths for the image signal processor. This image processor should be able to handle four times the pixels (or take four times the time to process an image, which is unlikely given Apple’s priority in camera response) […]

In other words, this new camera will likely require a more powerful image signal processor and a neural engine (the machine dedicated to AI and machine learning tasks). I’m sure Apple will love the improved cinematic mode introduced with the iPhone 13 Pro. It’s currently limited to 1080p, for example, but boosting 4K requires more image processing power. The same applies to natural artificial bokeh or tracking of multiple targets. All the good reasons why Apple is seriously boosting its image processor and Neural Engine.

This is another area that will benefit from greater memory bandwidth.

Moving from LPDDR4x to LPDDR5 will improve memory bandwidth by up to 50%, and should have a positive impact on power efficiency as well. This in itself doesn’t make any one task faster, it just gives more breathing room for higher bandwidth operations like 3D graphics and image/video processing.

The full piece is a good read.

Photo: Evie Kurnaz/Unsplash

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