Rumor: 2018 iPad Pro with Face ID will be powered by 8-core 'A11X' chip

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in iPad
In a move that would follow Apple's usual strategy, it's expected that new iPad Pros due in 2018 will feature a beefed up version of the A11 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X lineups, adding two more processing cores into the mix.




The current A11 Bionic features two performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, as well as an Apple-designed graphics processor. The same chip powers the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, though the 8 is limited to 2GB of RAM while the 8 Plus and X have 3GB.

According to the latest rumor from MyDrivers, an "A11X" chip set to debut in next year's iPad Pro models will add two more cores, bringing the total to eight.

Three of those are said to be high-performance cores dubbed "Monsoon," while the five remaining energy-efficient cores are branded "Mistral."




In another potential change from the standard A11 Bionic, it was said that the "A11X" will boast a 7-nanometer manufacturing process from chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. In contrast, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 chips are made with a 10-nanometer process.

Apple's 2018 iPad Pro refresh is expected to ditch the home button for Face ID, just as the iPhone X has done. Accordingly, the "A11X" would likely include the same neural engine found on the iPhone X for quickly authenticating a user based on biometric facial recognition.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 2018 iPad Pro models will have greatly reduced bezels with the elimination of the home button, potentially allowing for smaller and lighter iPads. The devices are not, however, expected to feature costly OLED displays like the iPhone X, and will instead stick to LCD.

That means an edge-to-edge display is probably not in the cards -- something that will help keep costs down with the large 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPads, but will also allow for a small bezel that would house the TrueDepth camera. In other words, the 2018 iPad Pros are not expected to feature a camera notch like the iPhone X.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,816member
    Wow. Sure would love to see that in a Mac 
    xzutipoo
  • Reply 2 of 38
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,405member
    Face ID will be across all iDevices. As of now current LCD on iPads is fine until OLED prices go way down. I rather have thin bezel than so called edge to edge screen. Usability, no difference.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 3 of 38
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,386member
    I’m still coming to grips with so many hi efficiency cores. So now they will be going to 5? I thought the point to that was to use less processing performance when the device wasn’t doing anything stressful. So reading a book would just use a low power core, or maybe two. The GPU also goes into 30FP/s, or slower mode, until you turn a page.

    so why have so many of them? I get what Apple is apparently doing with them technically, as far as their abilities go, but I can’t help but think that an additional performance core, with fewer efficiency cores would be better. I suppose Apple is doing things with the OS that makes this worthwhile. But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. 
    netmage
  • Reply 4 of 38
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    blastdoor said:
    Wow. Sure would love to see that in a Mac 

    I thought of Apple TV first. Can’t wait until console developers start migrating over to TV. I’m guessing Apple will wait until they have A12X until they develop a new TV and hopefully announce a Halo-level game like they did when Halo was announced at Macworld.

    wood1208 said:
    Face ID will be across all iDevices. As of now current LCD on iPads is fine until OLED prices go way down. I rather have thin bezel than so called edge to edge screen. Usability, no difference.
    Don’t forget Mac as this is a logical step forward. Apple could also be waiting until they get all the current FaceID kinks out before they release it on more platforms. 

    I’m predicting films will be released in the near future using Apple’s TrueDepth cameras for effects and facial animation.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,665member
    melgross said:
    I’m still coming to grips with so many hi efficiency cores. So now they will be going to 5? I thought the point to that was to use less processing performance when the device wasn’t doing anything stressful. So reading a book would just use a low power core, or maybe two. The GPU also goes into 30FP/s, or slower mode, until you turn a page.

    so why have so many of them? I get what Apple is apparently doing with them technically, as far as their abilities go, but I can’t help but think that an additional performance core, with fewer efficiency cores would be better. I suppose Apple is doing things with the OS that makes this worthwhile. But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. 
    There is increasingly more co-processing being done, either its done on the main CPU. or a specilized CPU. Background apps in particular waking the main CPU is a big drain on battery, if you could keep it on the high efficiency ones, you''d last a lot longer. Apple since it controls HW/SW can make this happen a lot better than Android.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 38
    melgross said:
    I’m still coming to grips with so many hi efficiency cores. So now they will be going to 5? I thought the point to that was to use less processing performance when the device wasn’t doing anything stressful. So reading a book would just use a low power core, or maybe two. The GPU also goes into 30FP/s, or slower mode, until you turn a page.

    so why have so many of them? I get what Apple is apparently doing with them technically, as far as their abilities go, but I can’t help but think that an additional performance core, with fewer efficiency cores would be better. I suppose Apple is doing things with the OS that makes this worthwhile. But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. 

    If I remember correctly, even the efficiency cores are activated when the CPU/compound benchmarks are run. I also need to add this - I don't have any clue whether they get activated along with high power cores in actual-usage scenarios. Just a random thought/speculation - Is Apple showcasing its capabilities in topping benchmark scores (which Android SoC manufactures were/are doing, without focusing as much on improving the performance of real-world usage scenarios) as well, not just real-world usage which they have been doing from the beginning? A new marketing strategy - show up the Android SoCs where they belong in real world usage AND benchmarks???


    Edit: I don't intend to suggest Apple is cheating in benchmarks like Samsung did in the past or OnePlus is doing even now. What I meant is - Is Apple focusing on topping the benchmarks ALSO, along with improving the performance in real-life scenarios which they have been doing always?

    edited November 2017
  • Reply 7 of 38
    melgross said:
    I’m still coming to grips with so many hi efficiency cores. So now they will be going to 5? I thought the point to that was to use less processing performance when the device wasn’t doing anything stressful. So reading a book would just use a low power core, or maybe two. The GPU also goes into 30FP/s, or slower mode, until you turn a page.

    so why have so many of them? I get what Apple is apparently doing with them technically, as far as their abilities go, but I can’t help but think that an additional performance core, with fewer efficiency cores would be better. I suppose Apple is doing things with the OS that makes this worthwhile. But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. 
    But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. - I have a theory for this. It could be that Apple found out that by increasing the performance of hi efficiency cores, there are MANY more tasks which can be accomplished with the efficiency cores themselves, which otherwise would have needed the high performance cores to be activated. That would possibly give a significant battery life boost considering the typical usage patterns for normal users. There would always be exceptions to this based on real-life usage patterns. But my guess is that Apple is trying to cover majority of the real-life usage scenarios with efficiency cores themselves and leave only real-heavy workloads to high power cores.
    macplusplusnetmage
  • Reply 8 of 38
    Can’t wait! Love my first gen iPad Pro 12.9, still runs butterly smooth, love that Apple put 4 gigs of ram in it when it was first released, it really will be able to run well for a long time it seems. Didn’t upgrade yet, really waiting and wanting this redesign on the iPad, we’ve been on the same basic iPad form factor for iPad since the mini/ first iPad Air were released. I’m def ready and excited for a new design. And if they can bring the weight down on the 12.9 with the smaller bezels, it will make this iPad ( my favorite Apple product) that much better. I love my iPhones, but when I reach my house my iPad is the device in the hands basically all night long, couldn’t live without it! 
    watto_cobranetrox
  • Reply 9 of 38
    What I don’t understand about this strategy is, Apple will launch the iPad “Pro” with A-something-X chip then launch the new iPhone in that same year with a faster, higher numbered A-series chip. If it’s a “Pro” device that is designed to replace laptops, I’d expect it to be faster than the iPhone at least for that year. 
  • Reply 10 of 38
    My next IPad will be a 12.9” OLED with an edge-to-edge display.  It will probably take 2-3 years...

    But I want it with 5G LTE.

    That’s the device that will be a true PC killer, and be light enough to be truly portable.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    wood1208 said:
    Face ID will be across all iDevices. As of now current LCD on iPads is fine until OLED prices go way down. I rather have thin bezel than so called edge to edge screen. Usability, no difference.
    How about soft-bezel?
  • Reply 12 of 38
    jason98 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Face ID will be across all iDevices. As of now current LCD on iPads is fine until OLED prices go way down. I rather have thin bezel than so called edge to edge screen. Usability, no difference.
    How about soft-bezel?
    As long as the total dimensions are shrunk to close to 12.9” it’s all good.  The current model is a beast compared to my 9.7”
  • Reply 13 of 38
    Face unlock is unacceptable for security, not because of the effectiveness of the tech, but because of the legal precedent set by fingerprint unlock. Things you know (passwords) are legally protected. Things you have on you (your fingerprint or face) are not.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,360member
    I'm not understanding the use of "performance" by commenters. Why would anyone expect or want performance to go down?
  • Reply 15 of 38
    My iPad Air 2's bezels are already too small. The ability of most apps to ignore a thumb holding the device is abysmal.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,665member
    Nameo_ said:
    What I don’t understand about this strategy is, Apple will launch the iPad “Pro” with A-something-X chip then launch the new iPhone in that same year with a faster, higher numbered A-series chip. If it’s a “Pro” device that is designed to replace laptops, I’d expect it to be faster than the iPhone at least for that year. 
    It has to do with what process is available usually. This year, the Ipad got the new process first, usually that's not the case.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,665member
    melgross said:
    I’m still coming to grips with so many hi efficiency cores. So now they will be going to 5? I thought the point to that was to use less processing performance when the device wasn’t doing anything stressful. So reading a book would just use a low power core, or maybe two. The GPU also goes into 30FP/s, or slower mode, until you turn a page.

    so why have so many of them? I get what Apple is apparently doing with them technically, as far as their abilities go, but I can’t help but think that an additional performance core, with fewer efficiency cores would be better. I suppose Apple is doing things with the OS that makes this worthwhile. But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. 
    But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. - I have a theory for this. It could be that Apple found out that by increasing the performance of hi efficiency cores, there are MANY more tasks which can be accomplished with the efficiency cores themselves, which otherwise would have needed the high performance cores to be activated. That would possibly give a significant battery life boost considering the typical usage patterns for normal users. There would always be exceptions to this based on real-life usage patterns. But my guess is that Apple is trying to cover majority of the real-life usage scenarios with efficiency cores themselves and leave only real-heavy workloads to high power cores.
    High performance cores are near the max they can go with the thermal envelope they have, the power budget they have, on the process, look at the single core scores for Apple vs Intel.

    Being able to throw more core at it and actually use them efficiently is a very hard problem. Android has had a lot of cores for a very long time, doesn't mean they're actually doing a lot of stuff (outside benchmarks),. If Apple can get the performance of the high efficiency cores up 70%, while not using more power, then you could do a more intensive tasks in the background (say machine learning) without waking up the main cores.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,334member
    melgross said:
    I’m still coming to grips with so many hi efficiency cores. So now they will be going to 5? I thought the point to that was to use less processing performance when the device wasn’t doing anything stressful. So reading a book would just use a low power core, or maybe two. The GPU also goes into 30FP/s, or slower mode, until you turn a page.

    so why have so many of them? I get what Apple is apparently doing with them technically, as far as their abilities go, but I can’t help but think that an additional performance core, with fewer efficiency cores would be better. I suppose Apple is doing things with the OS that makes this worthwhile. But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. 
    But it does seem odd that they would raise the performance of the hi performance cores by 30%, and the performance of even more hi efficiency cores by 70%. - I have a theory for this. It could be that Apple found out that by increasing the performance of hi efficiency cores, there are MANY more tasks which can be accomplished with the efficiency cores themselves, which otherwise would have needed the high performance cores to be activated. That would possibly give a significant battery life boost considering the typical usage patterns for normal users. There would always be exceptions to this based on real-life usage patterns. But my guess is that Apple is trying to cover majority of the real-life usage scenarios with efficiency cores themselves and leave only real-heavy workloads to high power cores.
    I think you need to look at the cumulative effect of all proposed changes. Moving to 7 nm fab technology reduces power (and heat) across the board so the impact of adding more cores of any type is mitigated. Adding additional "efficiency" cores allows Apple to increase the number of always-running services. This will allow more "presence" and "ambient" types of applications, e.g., detecting when the user approaches, hand and facial gestures (as opposed to just touch gestures), and more environmental and situational awareness. Adding more "performance" cores reflects a shift towards newer types of applications the next generation of iOS devices are expected to support, including virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, and additional neural network enabled applications. The performance cores are likely optimized around applications that benefit more from deep pipelines, parallel processing, big data sets, and higher clock rates. In other words, Apple is building a computing core that is optimized for where they think the puck will be in 1-3 years, not necessarily where it is today. Seems like a great strategy to me.
    tmaypatchythepirate
  • Reply 19 of 38
    netroxnetrox Posts: 575member
    IPS LCD display remains the best option for medium size and it can be edge to edge. I would love microLED display as it would be a LOT better than OLED in terms of energy efficiency but I don't see it happening for the next three years for tablets, only starting with watches then phones and finally tablets. If they can bring it to laptops, that would be incredible!
  • Reply 20 of 38
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,360member
    netrox said:
    IPS LCD display remains the best option for medium size and it can be edge to edge. I would love microLED display as it would be a LOT better than OLED in terms of energy efficiency but I don't see it happening for the next three years for tablets, only starting with watches then phones and finally tablets. If they can bring it to laptops, that would be incredible!
    I would suspect we’ll see it in the Apple Watch at least 2 calander years ahead of any iPad, and at least one ahead of any iPhone.
    watto_cobra
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