The A12 bionic chip is an impressive new CPU which incorporates a quad-core GPU (graphics processing unit) and a six-core CPU (central processing unit), with a separate eight core processor that is dedicated to monitoring real-time machine learning processes like face recognition.

The A12 bionic chip is without doubt the smartest and most powerful chip in a smartphone. It is designed to offer improved performance over its previous generation chip (A11 bionic chip) as it is fifty percent faster and forty percent more power efficient.

On September 12th, 2018, Apple release a new series of cellphones named iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. All these new iPhone smartphones come with the new A12 bionic chip.

Knowing the most important A12 bionic chip features will help you take the decision to upgrade your iPhone or not, in this article I will show you the 5 most important features and how the new iPhones are better because of it.

A12 Bionic Chip Key Features

The A12 bionic chip is packed with 6.9 billion transistors. Its key features include:

  • A six-core CPU (that has a fusion architecture with two high performance cores – that run up to 15% faster than the cores in the A11 bionic chip, while also being 40% more energy efficient and four efficiency cores – that are up to 50% more energy efficient. All the six-cores can run at once when a power boost is needed).
  • A four-core GPU (this is 50% faster than the A11 chip. This is a huge jump in graphics performance especially in gaming, visual editing and visually demanding apps. It offers tessellation and multi-layer rendering, and lossless memory compression).
  • An eight-core neural engine (a dedicated machine learning engine to power all the great machine learning software on device. It provides multi-precision support and smart compute system. This means that it is able to analyze the neuro-network data and figure out on the spot whether to run it on the CPU, the GPU or the neural engine. It handles all the artificial intelligence tasks such as understanding voice commands and recognizing faces).
  • A storage support of up to 512 GB of flash memory. This is half a terabyte, enough for storing 200,000 photos.
  • Its fabrication node is seven nanometers.
iPhone XS new chip, the A12 Bionic chip
iPhone XS new chip, the A12 Bionic chip.

Neural Engine and Machine Learning

Dubbed the “Neural engine”, the main task of the chip is to track which resources are best suited to act on your commands, and to lend the required additional processing power.

In comparison to the two-cores of its previous generation (A11) which could perform six hundred billion operations per second, The A12 bionic chip eight-core processor has a capacity of running five trillion operations per second.

It also features an added support in improved performance as it runs CoreML 2 applications up to nine times faster while consuming just one tenth of the power. The CoreML 2 is a machine learning framework that provides faster processing with better efficiency by reducing the size of the training machine learning models by up to seventy-five percent through quantization. This means that developers can run the most complex and advanced neuro-networks in their apps and do so even more often.

Key Improvements

The A12 bionic chip also helps in improving the battery life on devices by deciding on the tasks that should be allocated to the GPU, CPU and the neural engine.

Face ID

The chip also improves face ID (face unlock facial recognition system) with a faster Secure Enclave (a hardware based key manager that is separated from the main processor to offer an extra layer of security). The main problem with face ID is that at times it fails to recognize a person if it finds even the slightest change in him/her. However, the A12 bionic chip makes it easier for the face ID to recognize glasses, hair and other slight changes. The chip also minimizes the time taken to authenticate while still offering security.

Photos and Videos

The chip offers a faster and more powerful ISP (image signal processor) that features a refined depth engine that captures extraordinary detail in portrait mode and with smart HDR (high dynamic range), you will notice a far greater dynamic rance in photos and videos. It can do a 1080p slow motion at an impressive 240fps and a 4K video at 60fps. The neural engine enables a better face and body detection when taking pictures and videos.

Smaller, Faster and Less Draining

The move from the previous 10 nanometer manufacturing process of A11 chip to a seven-nanometer process of the A12 bionic chip means that you can fit more components onto the same physical space hence, allowing a more powerful and faster processor. The idle power states of the A12 bionic chip is impressively low hence, less battery drain when a device is in sleep mode.

Machine Learning

The A 12 bionic chip offers impressive machine learning experience, such as quick-type suggestions in messages and getting real time suggestion in maps with adaptive displays.

It is also incredibly important for apps like camera whereby in-depth information is used for portrait mode and portrait lighting.

Also, in animojis whereby it matches different types of facial muscles over your face that react and move like you in a live face-time call. This is computationally really intense.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Through A12 bionic chip, cameras and sensors are calibrated to offer the best AR (augmented reality) experience and accurate motion tracking. This provides a more dynamic range with better noise reduction in low light and excellent motion freezing. The GPU renders realistic graphics, ISP real-time lighting and ISP accelerated world tracking. The neural engine assists in object reflections.

The A12 bionic joins with the best AR software (ARKit 2) which enables surface and object detection and persistent smooth experience.


Overall, the A12 bionic is probably one of the fastest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone that offers high performance on devices.

It was designed with efficiency in mind.

So, when you put all that power into play, you still get great battery life.

The A12 bionic chip makes our everyday task on our smartphones feel fast and effortless.

Thanks to the chip, users can easily unlock their phones with face ID, play immersive games especially the 3D graphic-intensive games supported by the GPU, take clear photos that can generate 3D effects with detailed backgrounds and also multitask on different apps.

The A12 bionic chip is a whole new level of intelligence by delivering incredible performance and using real-time machine learning to transform the way you experience photos, gaming, augmented reality, and more. It is designed to achieve improved performance from its predecessor, the A11 bionic chip.

Aiken Larsen
Hello and welcome to my website. My name is Aiken Larsen, a Norwegian student currently living in the United States. If you are trying to find a way to track a cell phone, either because you suspect something is just not right or you want to protect your children, I hope you find this place informative and helpful.


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