The iPad Pro’s A9X chip Has Twice The Number of GPU Cores Than iPhone’s A9
The teardown of the A9X processor inside Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro has surfaced which reveals that the chip has a 12-core graphics processing unit (GPU), compared to only six GPU cores in the A9 used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones. According to the data from Chipworks via AnandTech, the A9X is manufactured by TSMC on a 16-nanometer “FinFET,” aka 3D transistor, process.
The Chipworks’ analysis also reveals that the A9X is about 40 percent larger than A9 in the iPhone 6S duo. The report from AnandTech notes that it’s even larger than some of Intel’s latest 6th-generation Skylake processors. The analysis further shows the A9X to have 4GB of RAM, which means a significant boost in the performance.
Talking about the performance, the GFXBench test has already shown the GPU “cluster” beating not only the A9 chip, but Intel’s latest Iris Pro 5200 in the 15-inch MacBook Pro and the HD 520 in the Surface Pro 4.
The clockspeed of the GPU is, however, unknown at the time. According to AnandTech:
We don’t know the clockspeed of the GPU – this being somewhat problematic to determine within the iOS sandbox – but based on our earlier performance results it’s likely that A9X’s GPU is only clocked slightly higher than A9’s. I say slightly higher because no GPU gets 100% performance scaling with additional cores, and with our GFXBench Manhattan scores being almost perfectly double that of A9’s, it stands to reason that Apple had to add a bit more to the GPU clockspeed to get there.
Another interesting discovery in the teardown is that the A9X has no L3 cache; the chip only features the L1 and L2 caches for the CPU and GPU respectively.