Apple A17 Pro Chip the New Brain Inside iPhone 15 Pro, Pro Max     – CNET

Apple A17 Pro Chip the New Brain Inside iPhone 15 Pro, Pro Max – CNET

Apple introduced the iPhone 15 on Tuesday, and it has a new chip inside, the A17 Pro. However,  you’ll only find Apple’s latest “fastest chip ever on any smartphone” in the new top-end iPhone models, the 15 Pro and Pro Max. The good news is the new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will have the A16 Bionic as it trickles down from last year’s iPhone 14 Pro models. 

The A17 Pro is Apple’s first 3-nanometer chip and features 19 billion transistors to improve the performance, efficiency and features of the new chip. The new CPU has micro-architectural and design improvements to its performance and efficiency cores. The performance cores are up to 10% faster, which Apple said gives the iPhone 15 Pro the fastest single-threaded performance in any phone. The efficiency cores deliver three times the performance per watt of the competition. 

a17 on iphone 15 pro

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

The chip’s neural engine is up to twice as fast for machine-learning models, allowing it to process up to 35 trillion operations per second, Apple said. It also handles machine learning on the iPhone, so it keeps your personal data out of the cloud.  It powers features like more accurate AutoCorrect, cutting out a subject from a photo background or creating a personal voice for those with speech loss. 

The A17 Pro has dedicated engines used specifically for iPhone 15 Pro features such as the ProRes codec for video, and a display engine for the ProMotion and always-on display. There is also a dedicated AV1 decoder “enabling more efficient and high-quality video experiences for streaming services.”

Diagram of Apple's A17 Pro chip with a highlight over the GPU area.

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

The new GPU is another highlight of the chip as it received what Apple called its “biggest redesign in the history of Apple GPUs.” It has a six-core design that’s up to 20% faster while also being more energy efficient for sustained performance while gaming. 

This is a developing story. For more announcements from today’s Apple iPhone event, check out CNET’s live blog.

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Joshua Goldman

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