Easy-to-follow analysis from a guy who knows his chips.
From How Apple Dethroned Intel As the World’s Most Innovative Chipmaker, posted Sunday on The Motley Fool:
Back in 2013, Apple introduced the A7 system on a chip (SoC) as part of its then-flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5s. The A7 was impressive for several reasons. Firstly, it was the very first 64-bit ARM processor to ever hit the market, which gave Apple some performance and efficiency advantages over its fellow mobile competitors (who, rather comically, tried to downplay the need for 64-bit chips as they furiously worked on their own).
What caught my attention at the time, though, was that the A7 delivered CPU performance at a frequency of 1.3 gigahertz that was very similar to chip giant Intel’s very best processor, known as Haswell, at the same frequency. Now, Intel’s chips, at the time, ran at much higher frequencies (in excess of 3 gigahertz), but what the strong per-gigahertz performance of the A7 chip signaled to me was that Apple had built a very impressive base from which to build up in future smartphone chips.
Fast forward to today, and Apple’s best iPhone and iPad processors deliver performance for CPU tasks — Intel’s specialty — that’s competitive with Intel’s best notebook computer processors but in sleeker, lower-power devices than what Intel’s chips can fit into.
I believe that when Apple introduces its next iPhone in about four months, it will deliver equal or better CPU performance to Intel’s best notebook processors designed to consume 15 watts but at a fraction of the power consumption. [More details follow.]
My take: If I didn’t already suspect it, Eassa would have convinced me. Thanks to friend-of-the-blog John Garner for the pointer.
See also: Ben Bajarin on Apple’s secret sauce