Apple A16 Bionic die shot shows larger chip area

The A16 Bionic is Apple’s SoC used on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. It is its first chip to use TSMC’s 4nm, which is one of the most cutting-edge processes. There have also been some changes between the A16 Bionic and the previous-generation A15 Bionic due to process improvements. Recently, SkyJuice made a detailed analysis of the A16 Bionic. Although the area of ​​the new chip cannot be determined, it is significantly larger than the A15 Bionic, not least because the number of transistors has increased by 6%, which has also led to an increase in its manufacturing cost.

Apple used new performance cores and energy efficiency cores on the A16 Bionic, called Everest and Sawtooth, respectively, with the chipset codenamed Crete. Like many new chips in recent years, Apple is also working on the cache. On the one hand, Apple improves performance by increasing the L2 cache capacity, which is a relatively simple and effective method. The L2 cache of the A16 Bionic is 16MB, an increase of 33% compared to the 12MB of the A15 Bionic. However, the disadvantage of increasing the cache is that it increases the area of ​​the chip and also increases the production cost.

On the other hand, the system-level cache (SLC) of the A16 Bionic has been reduced, down from 32MB in the A15 Bionic to 24MB. As for why Apple did this, it is unclear for the time being, and it is generally believed that it may be related to cost. The CPU core layout of the A16 Bionic and A15 Bionic is different, and the performance cores and energy efficiency cores are larger than the previous generation. However, from the test results, the performance improvement is not large.

Although the graphics performance of the A16 Bionic has been significantly improved, the current test shows an increase of about 28%, but the number of GPU cores remains at five.