Iteration of the A14 Bionic of the iPhone 12, the A15 Bionic takes advantage of 'a supplementof three billion transistors. Transistors that seem mainly to serve encoding / decoding and NPU. Elements put at the service of advanced video functions.
Apple's new chip unveiled yesterday in its iPhone 13 and iPad Mini is certainly engraved in 5 nm, but TSMC and the engineers of Tim Cook integrated more transistors there. Much more: when the A14 Bionic carried 11.8 billion transistors, the A15 Bionic offers “almost 15 billion” according to Apple's communications.
Since the improved 5 nm production node from TSMC, the N5P offers only measured improvements over the classic N5 - 7% more perfs for the same power consumption or 15% less consumption for identical performance - it seems logical that the chip is a little larger (iFixit will tell us about this during their traditional dismantling).
This size difference would also explain that Apple had to rethink everything inside his smartphones.
This gain of 25% more transistors allows Apple to say that the competition is" far behind "- without giving any performance measurement, as usual, which is quite annoying.
If Apple engineers have undoubtedly strengthened a little the CPU and GPU parts, it is undoubtedly more in two others areas that they have built up their minds: in terms of AI and video - the neural engine, in charge of AI, in particular, is set to be brand new ...
Video side , the A15 Bionic benefits from new encoders and decoders, units that are very specialized and therefore very efficient in this task. video progress of iPhone 13.
Cinematic Mode and Apple ProRes
Like the previous generation, the iPhone 13s record sequencare Dolby Vision HDR compatible. But it is above all two new features that will drive the nail in the video domination of the iPhone: Cinematic Mode and the Apple ProRes compression format.
Relying heavily on the computing capabilities of the A15 Bionic, Cinematic Mode is a background blur simulation mode… but in video mode! This ability to dynamically generate a blur effect that the sensor, due to its small size, cannot produce naturally, requires a great deal of computing power.
And very typical "AI" calculations since the device must analyze, on each frame, the surface of the subject being tracked and its distance from other shots. Apple has not spared the means to highlight the possibilities of her fashion by bringing in two Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow!
ProRes, on the other hand, is a compression formatvideo. Unlike the h.264 and h.265 formats, which have the primary objective of compressing to the maximum, the ProRes prioritizes image quality and ease of video editing.
Sampling luminance more fully ( amount of light) and chroma (color) values, ProRes allows the editor to have more information and complete images to perform the edit.
Editing is thus easier because, since the editing software has few elements to reconstruct (the intermediate frames in particular), editing the files requires less power. But in addition, the color accuracy is also much better.
It remains to be seen what level of quality of ProRes Apple has built into its terminals: the compression level ranging from 45 Mbit / s to 2.24 Gbit / s in RAW 4: 4: 4: 4, the company has a certain gradient.
In all likelihood, we can expect a 4: 4: 2 mode between 102 Mbit / s and 300Mbit / s, the speeds above being clearly beyond the reach of the write speed of flash memories integrated in smartphones.
With such a format, Apple would respect its promise to offer the only terminal in the world capable to get into a cinematographic production flow. What to establish even more the relative domination of Apple in the world of video.
If Apple has spoken about the performance (especially gaming) of its new chip, it is especially on the production side video that the improvements of the A15 are the most noticeable. And Apple obliges, they were accompanied by real software improvements. A synergy that Google would do well to learn from.