Joining the 2020 iPad Air unveiled last month, Apple announced today that its new iPhone series will use the company’s newest A14 Bionic chipset. Speaking at the company’s “Hi, Speed” event, Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced that 5G is coming to the new iPhones.
“5G will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real-time interactivity and so much more,” Cook said. “You can get higher network speeds even in densely populated areas.”
Cook says Apple will collaborate closely with carrier partners around the world to “ensure iPhone users get the best possible experience.”
During the Apple event, Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said the new iPhones will be able to access Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband. Built with large quantities of mmWave spectrum, 5G Ultra Wideband has been recognized as the fastest 5G in the world, according to Vestberg.
Vestberg also announced a big expansion of Verizon’s 5G network in the US — rolling out nationwide support for the new networking standard which they expect to reach more than 200 million people. He said the company will be doubling coverage in cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, while rolling it out in additional cities, and will expand its coverage for areas such as sports stadiums, landmarks, and parks.
The new iPhone 12 series includes the most 5G bands in a single phone but still remain space sufficient, the company claims. Another advantage lies in Apple’s fully integrated system from silicon to software, which enables Apple products to take advantage of 5G speed by analyzing the entire software stack from applications to firmware.
The company says the A14 Bionic system on a chip that powers the new iPhones is the fastest smartphone chip ever and the first built on a 5nm process technology — leading to added features, increased performance, and improved energy efficiency.
The new 6-core CPU in A14, Apple says, is up to 50 percent faster than the leading chips in other smartphones. The A14 also features the company’s latest 4-core GPU designs — driving image quality and overall efficiency which Apple says is the best in any mobile phone.
Apple also made significant architectural changes that push the limits of machine learning (ML) processing: By dramatically increasing the performance of their Neural Engine in A14 by growing 8 to 16 cores for example, the company is launching “a critical design investment to enable new experiences.” The new Neural Engine delivers up to 80 percent faster performance on some of the most critical ML models and is capable of 11 trillion operations per second, the company says.
With an additional CPU dedicated ML accelerator in A14, Apple believes developers will benefit from the improved ML performances on the entire chip.
For the more advanced iPhone 12 Pro series, the Image Signal Processor (ISP) built in the A14 chip enables a new feature called “computational photography.” For example, the Deep Fusion mode uses ML on the Neural Engine to provide pixel-by-pixel processing of photos with “unprecedented detail, texture, and minimal noise.”
The new iPhone 12 Pros also adopt LiDAR technology with a LiDAR scanner. With the ML and depth framework of iOS 14, the phones can better “understand” their surroundings and build a depth map of the scene to enable features such as object and room scanning, photo and video effects, and precise placement of AR objects.
The LiDAR scanner not only makes the iPhone 12 Pro a powerful device for delivering instant AR and unlocking AR features in apps, but also boosts the camera systems’ ability to see in the dark. The new iPhones can use the tech for autofocus in low-light scenes in both photos and videos, the company says.
The Apple ‘Hi, Speed’ Event can be streamed here.
Reporter: Yuan Yuan | Editor: Michael Sarazen
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