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Apple A13 GPU Outpaces Competition

August 4, 2020

Author: Aakash Jani

A powerful GPU is essential to delivering a premiere visual experience for Apple’s iPhones. The company’s A13 processor, which powers the iPhone 11 family, provides a 35% increase over the A12. This performance gain thrusts the A13 into the graphics-performance lead, leapfrogging Arm’s Mali-G77 and Qualcomm’s Adreno 650 GPUs. To achieve this gain, Apple focused on architectural changes while maintaining the same core count.

The new Adreno 650 first appeared in the Snapdragon 865. That processor serves in a wide range of premium smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S20–series and the OnePlus 8. The 650 is the successor to the Adreno 640, delivering a 17% performance increase—too little to prevent the A13 from taking the absolute performance lead.

We used die photos to compare the graphics units that appear in today’s premium smartphones. (We thank our friends at TechInsights for providing these high-quality die photos.) We also included Intel’s new Gen11 GPU to show how a notebook design matches up against these smartphone designs. That GPU, branded as the Iris Plus Graphics G7, appears in the Ice Lake processor, which targets ultrathin laptop PCs. The G7 offers a sharp performance boost over the Gen9 model in last year’s Whiskey Lake family. Although the older GPU couldn’t compete with any premium-smartphone designs, the new design ranks second only to the A13.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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