Apple may have released a less performant processor for the iPhone 14 Pro due to a mistake in the development of the A16 Bionic, which may be indicative of problems within Apple’s chip team.
Despite being one of the most powerful chipsets in a smartphone, the A16 Bionic used in the iPhone 14 Pro could have been better. Benchmarks indicate a modest year-over-year performance increase and new information suggests it could have been even greater.
According to The Information, Apple’s chipmaking team has been experiencing considerable internal strife. According to four anonymous sources, this may have resulted in the A16 Bionic undergoing a significant redesign late in its development.
Apple planned a generational leap for the A16 Bionic, according to the report, but early prototypes drew more power than the company anticipated based on software simulations. The high power consumption may have reduced the battery life and caused the device to run too hot.
Due to this late discovery, the A16 Bionic had to be constructed using the graphics from the A15. Initially, the A16 was intended to add Ray Tracing capabilities to iPhone software.
The A16 Bionic was released on the 5nm process, despite rumors that it would be developed on the 4nm process. Although it was only a rumor, this change seems to confirm The Information’s report.
Inexplicably, Apple also released the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max with the A15 Bionic instead of the A16. If the A16 did not differ sufficiently from the A15, Apple’s decision to reuse the chip could be explained.
“Apple’s chip performance generation-over-generation continues to exceed market expectations. However, this trend has slowed, “Ian Cutress, chief analyst at the semiconductor analyst firm More Than Moore, stated as much. Given their current population and manufacturing capacity, it is uncertain whether they will be able to sustain their current growth rate.
The Information continues its narrative with a timeline of lawsuits and employee departures affecting Apple’s chipmaking team. Johny Srouji remains in charge, and Apple has not publicly commented on any of these allegations.