Apple A17 Bionic Chip for iPhone 15 Could Prioritize Battery Life Over Performance

In the early days of smartphones, there were significant improvements in performance with each new generation of chips. However, in recent years, the rate of this performance increase has leveled off. This is due in part to the physical limits of how small transistors can be made and how much power they can handle. Additionally, there are diminishing returns on the amount of performance that most users need from their smartphones. As a result, smartphone manufacturers have turned to other features, such as improved cameras and longer battery life, to differentiate their products in the market.

Apple A16 Bionic Comparison

Even with the recent iPhone 14 launch, Apple compared the A16 Bionics’ performance with the three-year-old A13 Bionic, just to present a sizeable performance gap. Compared to more recent chips, the A16 Bionic only outperforms the A15 Bionic by a measly 5% in benchmarks. 

Although, that doesn’t mean the A16 Bionic wasn’t an upgrade in any way. The chip did feature a 50% GPU memory bandwidth increase over the A15 Bionic, along with an impressive 20% increase in efficiency. And this is a trend we will likely see increasingly with upcoming flagship smartphone chips, where efficiency improvements and other features become the dominant metric rather than just compute performance. 

Chips carrying transistors with smaller line widths are generally more capable and power-efficient. TSMC said its 3nm processes offer better performance than its 5nm chips, while requiring about 35% less power. The 3nm technology will help create end products with a market value of $1.5 trillion within five years, Liu said.


Likewise, Apple’s upcoming A17 Bionic could focus more on efficiency when it debuts with the iPhone 15 series sometime next year. The chip is going to be produced on TSMC’s new 3nm node, and the semiconductor manufacturing giant’s chairman, Mark Liu even revealed impressive efficiency improvements figures resulting from the new process. 

Although, TSMC can only provide theoretical estimates of the potential performance improvements for their latest technology nodes. It is ultimately up to Apple to determine the balance between performance and efficiency for its next chip. In the past few generations, Apple has prioritized battery life in iPhones, but it is too early to assume that this will also be the case with the A17 Bionic.


Indranil Chowdhury

Indranil is a Med school student and an avid gamer. He puts his absolute faith in Lord Gaben and loves to write. Crazy about the Witcher lore, he plays soccer too. When not playing games or writing, you can find him on 9gag spreading the Pcmasterrace propaganda.
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