Apple A12 Vortex CPU To Offer Huge Performance Boost Over A11 For 2018 iPhones

One thing that's been interesting to watch at Apple is how its custom processors always seem to outperform their specs, compared to other chipsets on the market. It's a remarkable thing, and rumor has it that will again be the case when Apple releases upgraded iPhone models later this year. The company is reportedly prepping a couple of 'Vortex' processors, the A12 and A12X, and they're said to be significantly faster than its current A11 Bionic silicon.

Apple A11
Apple's next-gen A12 and A12X processors are said to be much faster than its current A11 Bionic.

This sort of thing should always be taken with a heap of salt, of course, but a roundup of the rumors and leaked information on Apple's plans indicates that the company is already producing next-generation processors built on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process. If the early information is accurate, the 7nm A12 part will be around 40 percent more energy efficient than chips built on a 10nm process.

As to the actual performance, the number that's being floated around is a 20 percent improvement. That might actually be a conservative figure. It was TSMC that quoted the 20 percent figure, but in a leaked benchmarking report, the performance gain was more in line with a 30 percent jump compared to Apple's A11 Bionic. Let that sink in a moment. A 30 percent jump would be a massive jump, especially considering that the A11 Bionic is already a fast part.

What's also interesting here is that the A12 and A12X could be the first 7nm mobile chips to arrive, if they land in iPhones later this year. Samsung is also moving to a 7nm manufacturing process for its Exynos parts, though barring a change in plan, they will arrive sometime next year.

The other thing to keep an eye on is which iPhone models the A12 finds its way into. Analysts have been a bit sour on the iPhone X, suggesting that demand has not met Apple's expectations, but it was also reported to be the best selling single smartphone model in the first quarter of this year.