Apple A9X

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Apple A9X
Apple A9X.jpg
Apple A9X chip
ProducedFrom September 9, 2015 to June 5, 2017
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Max. CPU clock rate2.16 GHz[1] to 2.26 GHz[2]
Min. feature size16 nm (TSMC)[3]
Instruction setA64, A32, T32
MicroarchitectureTwister[4][5] ARMv8-A-compatible
Product codeAPL1021
Cores2[2]
L1 cachePer core: 64 KB instruction + 64 KB data
L2 cache3 MB shared
PredecessorApple A8X
SuccessorApple A10X
GPUPowerVR Series 7XT (12 cores)[3]
ApplicationMobile
VariantApple A9

The Apple A9X is a 64-bit ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. It first appeared in the iPad Pro, which was announced on September 9, 2015 and was released on November 11, 2015.[6] The A9X has the M9 motion coprocessor embedded in it, a new innovation not seen in previous chip generations. It is a variant of the A9 and Apple claims that it has 1.8 times the CPU performance and 2 times the GPU performance of its predecessor, the A8X.[7]

Design[edit]

The A9X features an Apple-designed 64-bit ARMv8-A dual-core CPU called "Twister".[5] It offers double the memory bandwidth and double the storage performance of the Apple A8X.[8]

Unlike the A9, the A9X does not contain an L3 cache due to its significant DRAM bandwidth. The A9X is paired with 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory in the 12.9" iPad Pro and 2 GB of LPDDR4 memory in the 9.7" iPad Pro with a total bandwidth of 51.2 GB/s. This high bandwidth is necessary to feed the SoC's 12-core PowerVR 7 Series GPU.[9] The RAM is not included in the A9X package unlike its sibling, the A9.

The A9X uses the same NAND interface as the A9, which uses an Apple-designed NVMe-based controller that communicates over a PCIe connection.[10] The iPad Pro's NAND design is more akin to a PC-class SSD than embedded flash memory common on mobile devices. This gives the iPad Pro a significant storage performance advantage over competitors which often use mSATA or eMMC to connect to their storage systems.

Products that include the Apple A9X[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 9.7 inch iPad Pro includes 2 GB RAM, slightly slower CPU than 12.9 inch iPad Pro
  2. ^ a b "The A9X SoC & More To Come - The iPad Pro Preview: Taking Notes With iPad Pro". AnandTech. November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Ryan (November 30, 2015). "More on Apple's A9X SoC". AnandTech. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  4. ^ Joshua Ho. "iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Preliminary Results". anandtech.com.
  5. ^ a b Joshua Ho, Ryan Smith. "A9's CPU: Twister - The Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Review". anandtech.com.
  6. ^ "Apple Introduces iPad Pro Featuring Epic 12.9-inch Retina Display" (Press release). Apple. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  7. ^ Chester, Brandon (September 9, 2015). "Apple Announces the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4". AnandTech. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "Apple's new iPad Pro is an expansive 12.9 inches, available in November". Ars Technica. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  9. ^ "More on Apple's A9X SoC: 147mm2@TSMC, 12 GPU Cores, No L3 Cache". AnandTech. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  10. ^ "The Apple iPad Pro Review". Retrieved 25 January 2016.