Apple’s A12Z Processor Confirmed to Reuse A12X Silicon

erek

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Looks like no A13X for this.

"As for why Apple would opt to re-use A12X for their 2020 tablets instead of commissioning an A13X, while we can only speculate, it almost certainly comes down to economics, as the tablet market is quite different from the smartphone market. Apple is virtually unchallenged as far as high-performance Arm tablets go, and even then, the number of iPads they sell has always been a drop in the bucket compared to the number of iPhones they sell. So there are fewer devices to aromatize the costs of chip development against, and all the while chip development costs are continuing to rise with each new generation of photolithography technology. In short, at some point it has to stop making sense to create new chip designs on a yearly basis for mid-volume products, and Apple may very well have finally hit that mark with their tablet SoCs."

https://www.anandtech.com/show/15716/apples-a12z-processor-confirmed-to-reuse-a12x-silicon
 

Red Falcon

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I suppose Apple wouldn't want to cannibalize their future ARM-base laptops and all-in-ones, assuming that is indeed the direction they are moving in within the near-future.
 

Mchart

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I suppose Apple wouldn't want to cannibalize their future ARM-base laptops and all-in-ones, assuming that is indeed the direction they are moving in within the near-future.
This is likely why; They are investing all their serious resources towards a common chip that will be ready for the 2021 architecture convergence.
 
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I suppose Apple wouldn't want to cannibalize their future ARM-base laptops and all-in-ones, assuming that is indeed the direction they are moving in within the near-future.

They are not comparable platforms. A laptop can be actively cooled using a processor with more grunt. The iPad cannot in its form factor.

and for anyone saying they are doing it to milk new sales with this new model, it is a minor update and all the new accessories are backwards compatible with the last model.
 

Red Falcon

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They are not comparable platforms. A laptop can be actively cooled using a processor with more grunt. The iPad cannot in its form factor.
For now, but a year from now, we will see what unfolds.
 

next-Jin

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This is likely why; They are investing all their serious resources towards a common chip that will be ready for the 2021 architecture convergence.

Thought I read somewhere a code dump showed Ryzen systems coming?
 

Mchart

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They are not comparable platforms. A laptop can be actively cooled using a processor with more grunt. The iPad cannot in its form factor.

and for anyone saying they are doing it to milk new sales with this new model, it is a minor update and all the new accessories are backwards compatible with the last model.

Possibly for the Mac Pro, but highly doubtful for iMac/Macbook.
 

UnknownSouljer

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If you’re into Apple news, it’s noted that a completely new iPad Pro is scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021, which will likely have a more significant update to internal hardware.
This is a stop gap model since they weren’t ready for a full redesign yet or more likely it took longer than they expected to finish. Apple did similar with the 2016 MacBook Pro. They released a late 2019 refresh and followed it up 6 months later as the 16” got delayed by probably more than a year in total.

EDIT: Here's just a reference link to what I'm talking about for those that don't know: https://www.macrumors.com/2020/04/16/mini-led-ipad-pro-early-2021-release-rumor/
Back in December, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was developing up to six Mini-LED products, including a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with an A14X chip for release in the third quarter of 2020. This was before the global health crisis began, however, so it would be understandable if the timeframe has been pushed back due to supply chain disruptions and Apple engineers being forced to work from home until at least early May.
 
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wicktr0n_

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This is the iPad 3 all over again.

It is going to get obsoleted soon and not worth the upgrade over the 2018 model.
 
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Smashed Ixnay

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Just bought my wife an iPad Pro 2020 model because my daughter needed a tablet, so we did a hand me down with her iPad 5th gen model. I probably could have saved a few bucks by getting her a 2018 model, but she's happy. Ordering her that Magic Keyboard thing since she saw it and wants it now.
 
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This is the iPad 3 all over again.

It is going to get obsoleted soon and not worth the upgrade over the 2018 model.

LOL there won’t be a new iPad pro in the same year as this one. That just won’t happen.
 

UnknownSouljer

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This is the iPad 3 all over again.

It is going to get obsoleted soon and not worth the upgrade over the 2018 model.
Indeed. But if you need to buy now it's better to have the update than not. But there is literally no reason to upgrade from an iPad Pro 3 to the 2020 iPad Pro.
LOL there won’t be a new iPad pro in the same year as this one. That just won’t happen.
It's way more likely thank you think. Feel free to read up on it, although it's now more likely to be first quarter 2021 due to Covid 19 making it difficult to do all the design and engineering as employees have to work from home.
Basically the iPad Pro 2020 isn't really even an update. It's rebinned silicon and a lidar sensor with some additional magnets on the back. It's obvious that the 2020 iPad Pro is a placeholder. Like the late 2019 Macbook Pro and iPad 3.
 
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Indeed. But if you need to buy now it's better to have the update than not. But there is literally no reason to upgrade from an iPad Pro 3 to the 2020 iPad Pro.

It's way more likely thank you think. Feel free to read up on it, although it's now more likely to be first quarter 2021 due to Covid 19 making it difficult to do all the design and engineering as employees have to work from home.
Basically the iPad Pro 2020 isn't really even an update. It's rebinned silicon and a lidar sensor with some additional magnets on the back. It's obvious that the 2020 iPad Pro is a placeholder. Like the late 2019 Macbook Pro and iPad 3.

There was no need for a “placeholder” all the accessories work with the old one anyway and performance is basically the same, just better yields. It would have cost more in additional R&D and marketing than what they will make in additional sales if it was replaced in less than 12 months.
 

erek

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even the new iPhone SE will have the latest A13 microprocessing unit
 
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even the new iPhone SE will have the latest A13 microprocessing unit

The phone and iPad variants of chips are not the same. iPads use large variants of chips and iPhone 11 Pro already has the A13 instead of the A12Z.

Just because the number is higher, doesn’t mean it’s faster.
 

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UnknownSouljer

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There was no need for a “placeholder” all the accessories work with the old one anyway and performance is basically the same, just better yields.
What you just said is essentially what they did. What you're repeating back to me is the description of a placeholder.
However all the accessories do not work with the 2018 model. Notably the "brand new" keyboard with touch-pad. Additional magnets that the 2018 doesn't have were inserted into the 2020 model. That takes some amount of R&D time, but not as much as a real refresh.

It would have cost more in additional R&D and marketing than what they will make in additional sales if it was replaced in less than 12 months.
In order for your argument to make sense, you'd have to prove the opposite of what I'm saying. You'd have to show that the 2020 iPad Pro had a huge amount of design cost and huge amount of R&D cost to produce. But the fact is that it's quite the opposite. There are virtually no changes to the design.

The only changes to the iPad Pro 2020 is the iPhone 11 camera module (R&D/design already paid for) with a new LIDAR sensor (which is a sunk cost as the LIDAR sensor will be in every iOS device moving forward, not just the iPad Pro), new magnets in the back of the device in order to attach the new keyboard, and a chip they've already been making for 2 years binned slightly better. All things that costed them virtually nothing to do in comparison with a real refresh.

You're also avoiding the fact that Apple has done this before. The Late Macbook Pro 15" (a much more expensive and difficult product to design), was superceded by the long awaited and rumored 16" Macbook Pro in less than 6 months (from May to November). They did the same thing, they made a placeholder Macbook Pro because their true redesign and refresh was taking longer than they anticipated. And they also released the iPad 3 and iPad 4 inside an 8 month window. The placeholder is just there to get people to buy now rather than wait for the real redesign, because buying a 2020 iPad Pro feels better than buying a 2018 iPad Pro despite them essentially being the same with minor tweaks.

And also you're avoiding talking about Mini-LED and Ming-Chi Kuo's inside information. Basically the only proof you have to support your position is thinking you know their economics better than they do.
 

Grimlaking

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I see people saying 2018 Ipad. I just got my wife the late 2019 model Ipad with the 128 gig storage. She already has a surface book and a samsung phone so now she has compute devices from each major school. Kinda funny. I asked if she wanted an Iphone and she said no she likes her Note.
 
D

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What you just said is essentially what they did. What you're repeating back to me is the description of a placeholder.
However all the accessories do not work with the 2018 model. Notably the "brand new" keyboard with touch-pad. Additional magnets that the 2018 doesn't have were inserted into the 2020 model. That takes some amount of R&D time, but not as much as a real refresh.


In order for your argument to make sense, you'd have to prove the opposite of what I'm saying. You'd have to show that the 2020 iPad Pro had a huge amount of design cost and huge amount of R&D cost to produce. But the fact is that it's quite the opposite. There are virtually no changes to the design.

Quit spreading BS... both the old and new ipad pro support the new keyboard and no the design is not mostly unchanged, because it is a unibody construction, the new camera design required a complete retooling of the chassis and jigs. This is a huge cost on the manufacturing side.

DCB22BBE-6E72-46D2-8598-9182A82A108A.jpeg
 

UnknownSouljer

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Quit spreading BS... both the old and new ipad pro support the new keyboard and no the design is not mostly unchanged, because it is a unibody construction, the new camera design required a complete retooling of the chassis and jigs. This is a huge cost on the manufacturing side.

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Okay cool. So you're saying that they only had to do two minor changes and not even three to the iPad Pro to move it from the third generation to the fourth generation?
I guess you get a point here, but the overall point of this being a placeholder iPad Pro is still 100% unanswered. In fact you're basically just proving my point more.
 
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Okay cool. So you're saying that they only had to do two minor changes and not even three to the iPad Pro to move it from the third generation to the fourth generation?
I guess you get a point here, but the overall point of this being a placeholder iPad Pro is still 100% unanswered. In fact you're basically just proving my point more.

How the hell in your eyes is redesigning the largest part of a device a minor change? The chassis is completely new, the camera module is completely new and the mainboard would have been redone for the lidar interface also. These are big changes and the only things that are the same are the speakers, battery and possibly screen which may have had a revision in 2 year also. I bet the battery has been revised also.

As for the Macbook Pro refresh, because they changed keyboards, it required a whole new chassis so they used that opportunity to revise the entire design to 16” and retool the production line. Compared to the 15” refresh which was nothing more than a CPU refresh by Intel. That is the complete reverse of what we are talking about here.

You don’t retool an entire production line for a product that will have a 6 month life and be redesigned again from scratch. This iPad Pro will exist for 12 months at a minimum and even then any updates will be minor just to the processor.
 

UnknownSouljer

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How the hell in your eyes is redesigning the largest part of a device a minor change? The chassis is completely new, the camera module is completely new and the mainboard would have been redone for the lidar interface also. These are big changes and the only things that are the same are the speakers, battery and possibly screen which may have had a revision in 2 year also. I bet the battery has been revised also.
Now you're spreading misinformation. They changed none of those things.
https://www.macrumors.com/2020/03/28/2020-ipad-pro-teardown-ifixit/
QUOTE: iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update.
Chassis isn't new (if it was, how would the keyboard work on third gen?). Mainboard isn't new. Battery isn't new either. LIDAR is the only change, but that is a cost that is going to be in every iOS device. So you're describing R&D that was done anyway for future iOS devices.

EDIT: Here is the video, queued up with the relevant info:


As for the Macbook Pro refresh, because they changed keyboards, it required a whole new chassis so they used that opportunity to revise the entire design to 16” and retool the production line. Compared to the 15” refresh which was nothing more than a CPU refresh by Intel. That is the complete reverse of what we are talking about here.
As I just noted, that's essentially what has happened here with this product. There was no redesign. Which is exactly what happened with the 15". No substantive change had to be made to their production line. Again, proving my point over again.

You don’t retool an entire production line for a product that will have a 6 month life and be redesigned again from scratch. This iPad Pro will exist for 12 months at a minimum and even then any updates will be minor just to the processor.
Again, they didn't do that. And you have no evidence that they did. The teardown shows the exact opposite.
I would also say that you have it backwards, if they did update the processor that would be a massive change. The A12X/A12Z is substantively different from the regular A12. That required real actual R&D. If this contained an A13X that would be different, or the A14X which will be in the next iPad Pro likely first quarter 2021. Unlocking a single core took no effort, just better binning over time.

To your credit, it's likely you're right that it will take a year to update the iPad Pro again, which was the point of this placeholder device. They did an incremental update to let people that were waiting buy something "new". Obviously the real update is taking much longer than they anticipated and got pushed into next year. If they were able to produce that product in fourth quarter 2020 like they originally intended, they probably wouldn't have made this device.
 
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Now you're spreading misinformation. They changed none of those things.
https://www.macrumors.com/2020/03/28/2020-ipad-pro-teardown-ifixit/
QUOTE: iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update.
Chassis isn't new (if it was, how would the keyboard work on third gen?). Mainboard isn't new. Battery isn't new either. LIDAR is the only change, but that is a cost that is going to be in every iOS device. So you're describing R&D that was done anyway for future iOS devices.


As I just noted, that's essentially what has happened here with this product. There was no redesign. Which is exactly what happened with the 15". No substantive change had to be made to their production line. Again, proving my point over again.


Again, they didn't do that. And you have no evidence that they did. The teardown shows the exact opposite.
I would also say that you have it backwards, if they did update the processor that would be a massive change. The A12X/A12Z is substantively different from the regular A12. That required real actual R&D. Thething you keep bringing up. Unlocking a single core took no effort, just better binning over time.

You have NFI what you are talking about. The chassis is completely new, I don’t care if you think it looks the same or it is the same dimensionally aside from the camera area, as it is a unibody chassis and a SINGLE PART, it requires a whole new design and tooling / jigs to make it.

The Lidar and extra camera require more connections which didn’t exist before which means the board has to be redesigned also with extra traces and more connectors.

This is also the first implementation of LIDAR for Apple so it is the first time it has been added into their manufacturing lines.
 

UnknownSouljer

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You have NFI what you are talking about. The chassis is completely new, I don’t care if you think it looks the same or it is the same dimensionally aside from the camera area, as it is a unibody chassis and a SINGLE PART, it requires a whole new design and tooling / jigs to make it.
Did you watch the iFixit video teardown? That unequivocally shows that you're incorrect. As he describes at the beginning of the video, it's the same. Even the disassembly is the same. I believe people who've done the work over anything you have to say about it. (Also, it's been one single part since the first iPad Pro in 2017. Feel free to read up on that as well. Actually all iPads in general have been single part chassis' since their inception in 2011. The designs have changed but their being one part has not. It has always been single part chassis at the back bonded to display at the front).

EDIT: I mean really, post evidence! If it's different or substantively different like you say it is, you should be able to post even a single link showing how it's different. iFixit shows it's not. This is obvious.

The Lidar and extra camera require more connections which didn’t exist before which means the board has to be redesigned also with extra traces and more connectors.

And you consider that to be anything more than incremental? For the third time: this isn't even my description of it, it's iFixits. But beyond that ONLY two specs have changed and you consider that to be more than incremental?
Do you not get how your position isn't even tenable? They made no changes to the chassis, the battery (which I linked up even though you said they did change it, they didn't), the main motherboard, the display, the processor, the Face-ID system, the front facing cameras, and technically not even the processor, on down the list.
Seriously, you're dense as bricks. They changed the camera module which they had already and the camera module controller (which didn't even require changes to the motherboard as it's a separate part). Like do you not know the definition of iterative?
 
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Did you watch the iFixit video teardown? That unequivocally shows that you're incorrect. As he describes at the beginning of the video, it's the same. Even the disassembly is the same. I believe people who've done the work over anything you have to say about it.



And you consider that to be anything more than incremental? For the third time: this isn't even my description of it, it's iFixits. But beyond that ONLY two specs have changed and you consider that to be more than incremental?
Do you not get how your position isn't even tenable? They made no changes to the chassis, the battery (which I linked up even though you said they did change it, they didn't), the main motherboard, the display, the processor, the Face-ID system, the front facing cameras, on down the list.
Seriously, you're dense as bricks. They changed the camera module which they had already and the camera module controller (which didn't even require changes to the motherboard as it's a separate part). Like do you not know the definition of iterative?

Ok then, if the chassis is identical, explain to me how you fit 3 cameras in a rectangular layout in the same position where there was a single camera originally... Also notice the antenna line is different... because guess what, its a different chassis! WOW!

If you had done some actual research yourself instead of taking bloggers as gospel, you would see that the old camera was a single connector and the new one is dual connectors, an extra connector which didn’t exist on the mainboard previously...

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UnknownSouljer

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Ok then, if the chassis is identical, explain to me how you fit 3 cameras in a rectangular layout in the same position where there was a single camera originally... Also notice the antenna line is different... because guess what, its a different chassis! WOW!

If you had done some actual research yourself instead of taking bloggers as gospel, you would see that the old camera was a single connector and the new one is dual connectors, an extra connector which didn’t exist on the mainboard previously...

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Alright. Last post from me. If you want to feel like a winner. Good for you. But at the end of the day, they changed 2 things. Which aren't not substantive or expensive to do and they already had the technology for.
If you can't see how they have already done this camera redesign on their other products and that LIDAR was a sunk cost they've already sunk into R&D and that internally all of it runs essentially the same then there isn't really hope for conversations.
At the end of the day multiple sources say it's iterative: because it is. And you clearly don't understand definitions, nor logical arguments, nor what R&D costs really are. Everything you're showing even with chassis design is just carry over from design language on other products. Nothing new had to be done in order to make this (including LIDAR, which once again will be used on all other iOS products, it's not something specifically just for iPad Pro).

Also, you're wrong about the antenna too.
Apple iPad Pro 11 WiFi Late 2018_1.jpg
That line is dependent on whether it's cellular or wi-fi only. The only change to their chassis production line as you would call it is extruding a rectangular hole where there was a round one before, but the module itself all takes the same space on the inside (whether the 2018 model or 2020 model), as has been shown.
I addressed the camera and camera module already multiple times. The mainboard didn't change. The camera processing module did. And the camera module did. Those are two separate parts, which again, you can see in the video. You're only posting the camera module just for your reference. Both of those items already exist in the iPhone 11 however.
A big part of the reason why this argument has gone on as long as it has is because you don't read or you don't comprehend. One or the other or more than likely both.

Also, iFixit aren't bloggers. They're the authorities on understanding this technology and one of the major reasons we know what is inside these things.

The real update with have Mini-LED, A14X, and 5G. https://www.macrumors.com/2019/12/02/16-inch-macbook-pro-mini-led-2020/
All of which are a much bigger deal than a wide angle camera, and LIDAR with no other changes.
 
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No, the board is a single piece so the whole thing has to be revised / redesigned for the extra camera and LIDAR connections which means a full PCB redesign, new solder masking and component placement process. The chassis is also not extruded, it is milled from a solid billet of aluminium which means all new jigs, tooling and QA processes. Even if it was extruded, it would require completely new dies and tooling.

You see a minor change on a spec sheet, what you don’t see is the insane amount of design and process changes that are required in mass manufacturing to facilitate such a change. You dont just drill a bigger hole, slap in a new sensor, solder on another connector and call it a day.
 

Grimlaking

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Wow it's like watching a tennis match between a pro and a gold medal Olympian from the "off season" Olympics in here.

I loke the current iPad. My wife loves hers. Should you buy a newer one when it drops? Does it do something you need it to do that your current one doesn't? Then yes. If not... Then no. Anything outside of that is discretionary spend.
 

zehoo

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The real update with have Mini-LED, A14X, and 5G

I’ll most likely update my 1st gen iPad Pro when something like this comes out. My current one still meets most of my needs for portable synth use, but I’d like a better screen for media and a new chip for better codec support. (AV1 and VP9 support perhaps, so YouTube can run at better resolutions)
 
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