For over a decade, Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and iPods have been powered by the company’s A-series processors based on ARM CPU architecture. These chips have consistently offered processing power comparable to that of desktop computers, despite being used in mobile devices. The A-series processors have been so successful that, until 2021, Apple relied on them to power their smart devices.
The Apple A processors are specifically designed for smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and AppleTV. These processors are based on ARM designs and use the ARM64 instruction set, which is found in almost every smartphone on the market. However, Apple has optimized the A-series processors to be superior to competing products, particularly in the single-core area, where they often outperform larger processors.
Since the 11th generation of the A-series, Apple has integrated its own logic areas for artificial intelligence and machine learning, earning these chips the “Bionic” designation. These processors are not only powerful but also have a low TDP, making them ideal for mobile devices.
Below are all the A-series SoCs Apple has used since 2007:
- A1 (pre-A series)
- A2 (pre-A series)
- A3 (iPhone 4 and iPod touch)
- A4 (iPad, iPhone 4, and iPod touch)
- A5 (iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch)
- A6 (iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch)
- A7 (iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2)
- A8 (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, iPad mini 4, and Apple TV 4)
- A9 (iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone SE, iPad (2017), and iPad Pro (first generation))
- A10 (iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus)
- A11 (iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X)
- A12 (iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and the new iPad Air and iPad Mini)
- A13 (iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max)
- A14 (iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max)
What are Apple’s A-series processors?
Apple’s A-series processors are a family of ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) processors that power iPhones, iPads, and iPods. These processors offer processing power comparable to desktop computers and are specifically designed for smart devices.
What is the ARM CPU architecture?
The ARM CPU architecture is a RISC-based architecture that is widely used in smartphones and other mobile devices. It is known for its low power consumption and high efficiency.
What is the ARM64 instruction set?
The ARM64 instruction set is a 64-bit version of the ARM instruction set architecture. It is designed to be more efficient than earlier versions of the ARM architecture, providing better performance while using fewer resources.
Apple’s A-series processors have been a major contributor to the company’s success over the past decade. By optimizing these processors for mobile devices, Apple has been able to offer smartphones and tablets that are fast, efficient, and powerful enough to compete with desktop computers. As Apple continues to improve and innovate with its processor designs, we can expect even more powerful and capable devices in the future.