SAN FRANCISCO — Apple announced its latest processor is the A9X processor, unveiled today at the Hey Siri press event.
Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller announced the processor today as part of the new iPad Pro tablet. The new chip shows that Apple is still committed to its strategy of producing internally designed chips for its gadgets in order to reduce its dependence on outside vendors like Intel or Nvidia, cut its overall costs, and enable a higher profit margin.
The A9X is powerful enough to power a 12.9-inch iPad Pro display with 5.6 million pixels. That’s desktop-level performance, Schiller said.
Of the iPad Pro, Schiller said, “Watching movies on it is incredible. This is the most advanced display we have ever built.”
The A9X is 1.8 times faster than the central processing unit in the previous chip, the A8X, and it has twice the graphics performance. Apple’s A series processors include both a CPU and graphics on the same chip.
Schiller said that the graphics performance of the iPad Pro is 360 times the level of the original iPad. And while the A9X is a high-end chip, it is also designed to use less power than previous tablets. The battery life of the iPad Pro is 10 hours.
The multitasking chip will likely find itself inside a bunch of Apple devices, and it will probably mean good things for game developers who are shooting for high-end performance on tablets.
Thanks to the A9X, the company claims that the iPad Pro is faster than 80 percent of PCs that shipped in the last six months, with graphics faster than 90 percent of those machines. The chip is the third-generation 64-bit chip from Apple.