The 2020 iPad will be a quite powerful device, because it will be driven the high-speed A12 Bionic processor. The iPad lineup hasn’t seen a significant upgrade in terms of hardware performance since 2018. According to the latest rumours, this could change this year. The A12 Bionic processor is already by used the iPhone X family, specifically the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. The iPad model from last year had the A10 Fusion. Although it’s quite fast, but still not up to par with the latest SoCs in the market. The latest iPad model has 10.2-inch display and it’s possible that this year’s model will have a slightly bigger 10.8-inch display. The basic WiFi-only 2020 iPad could start from around $329 or lower. Apple’s A12 Bionic promises 40 percent better power efficiency compared the earlier A11 Bionic chip. The GPU is also about 50 percent more powerful and the actual impact on gameplay could be felt immediately.
A12 Bionic is a complex piece of engineering with hexa-core CPU and quad-core GPU. There’s also a dedicated octa-core processor for machine-learning tasks. It supports important features like Smart HDR. When taking a photo, A12 Bionic performs a trillion of computational operations and this ensure enhanced photo quality. SoCs from previous generations like Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and A11 Bionic were manufactured using 10nm process. The A12 Bionic SoC with its 7nm fabrication ensures lower power utilization. It means that the A12 could be clocked higher while maintaining the same level of power usage and temperature. Two of six cores in the CPU are the more powerful Vortex cores that operate up to 2.5GHz to provide higher level of performance. The Vortex cores are about 15 percent faster compared to the high-performance Monsoon cores used by the A11 Bionic. Other than the dual high-performance Vortex cores, the A12 Bionic chip also have four efficient Mistral cores. Although these four cores are power efficient, they still contribute to performance improvements. Compared to the efficiency cores of the A11, the Tempest, we could see a noticeable leap in performance.
The Neural Engine technology of A12 Bionic is based on a dedicated octa-core chip. It’s a huge improvement over the machine learning chip used by the A11. The Neural chip of the A12 Bionic is capable of performing 5 trillion operations each second. As comparison, the Neural Engine chip for the A11 is only capable of doing 600 billion operations each second. This should make any machine learning operations about 30 percent faster on devices with A12 Bionic chip. In iOS devices, machine learning operations are used for photography processing, depth detection in selfie photos, faster Face ID unlocking, better use of Animojis and others.
As a conclusion, we could expect that the 2020 iPad will be much faster in computational tasks and graphics processing, especially because the current iPad still uses the older A10 chip. The upcoming iPad should also be more efficient with its 7nm fabrication technology, compared to the A10 Bionic chip that’s still based on the less efficient 16nm technology.