Apple processors have emerged as the best in the telephony and tablet segment. And they will soon be competing in the notebook segment. At least that follows from the cross-platform performance benchmarks. The secret to this performance is inside, and ICmasters has reverse-engineered the A14 Bionic to research it.
The manufacturing technology is 5nm from TSMC. This node can pack 171.3 million transistors per square millimeter. That is the theory. If we look at the A14 under the electron microscope (TEM or transmission electron microscope), we see that the chip has a surface area of 88 mm2 with 11.8 billion N5 transistors. This results in a density of “just” 134.09 million transistors per mm2.
The SoC carries 16 cores dedicated to the neural engine, with a quad-cluster GPU and six general-purpose cores, two of which are high-performance FireStorm cores and the remaining four being IceStorm efficient cores. The L2 cache of the FiresStorm is 9.1 mm2 while the cache of the IceStorm occupies an area of 6.44 mm2. The GPU uses 11.65mm2.