Apple unveiled its iPhone 8 today, and it’s coming with a new processor. Phil Schiller, Apple senior VP of worldwide marketing, announced the A11 processor will have six cores and will run 30 percent faster than its predecessor A10.
Apple made the announcement at its headquarters event in Cupertino, California. The A11 has two high-performance cores that are 25 percent faster than its predecessors. It also has four high-efficiency cores that handle processing when power saving is more important.
The 64-bit chip also comes with a second-generation Apple Design Performance Controller, which allows all six cores to be used at the same time. Overall, multithreaded performance is 70 percent faster than prior chips. Schiller said the chip would be ideal for 3D applications and games, and it would accelerate games that use Apple’s Metal 2 technology.
The graphics processing unit in the A11 is also good at machine learning tasks. And it has an Apple-designed image signal processor, which can enable the camera to take better pictures and have good autofocus in low light.
Earlier this summer, Apple unveiled its A10X Fusion processor at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The company started using the chip in its new iPad Pro tablet, and it claimed it would have 40 percent faster graphics performance than predecessors. The A10X Fusion has six processing cores, or brains, including three high-performance cores and three high-efficiency cores.
Apple designs its A series chips itself for its mobile devices, and those devices are usually manufactured by Samsung. But Apple uses Intel processors and AMD graphics for its iMac and Macbook computers.
For the Apple A11 in the iPhone X smartphone, Schiller said that the phone taps the neural engine in the chip. The A11 has an ability to speed machine learning and artificial intelligence processing for tasks such as face recognition, which is dubbed Face ID on the iPhone X.