Apple A9X

The Apple A9X is a 64-bit ARM architecture-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.[7] The A9X has the M9 motion coprocessor embedded in it, something not seen in previous chip generations. It is a variant of the A9 and Apple claims that it has 80% more CPU performance and twice the GPU performance of its predecessor, the A8X.[8]

Apple A9X
Apple A9X.jpg
Apple A9X chip
General information
LaunchedSeptember 9, 2015
DiscontinuedJune 5, 2017
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Product codeAPL1021
Performance
Max. CPU clock rate2.16 GHz[1] to 2.26 GHz[2]
Cache
L1 cachePer core: 64 KB instruction + 64 KB data
L2 cache3 MB shared
Architecture and classification
ApplicationMobile
Min. feature size16FF+ nm (TSMC)[3]
MicroarchitectureTwister[4][5]
Instruction setARMv8-A: A64, A32, T32
Physical specifications
Cores
GPU(s)Custom PowerVR Series7XT (12 cores)[3][6]
Products, models, variants
Variant(s)Apple A9
History
PredecessorApple A8X
SuccessorApple A10X

DesignEdit

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.[9]

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 custom 12-core PowerVR Series7XT GPU.[10][11] 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.[12] 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 A9XEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ Kanter, David. "A Look Inside Apple's Custom GPU for the iPhone". Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  7. ^ "Apple Introduces iPad Pro Featuring Epic 12.9-inch Retina Display" (Press release). Apple. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Chester, Brandon (September 9, 2015). "Apple Announces the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4". AnandTech. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  9. ^ "Apple's new iPad Pro is an expansive 12.9 inches, available in November". Ars Technica. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  10. ^ "More on Apple's A9X SoC: 147mm2@TSMC, 12 GPU Cores, No L3 Cache". AnandTech. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  11. ^ Kanter, David. "A Look Inside Apple's Custom GPU for the iPhone". Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  12. ^ "The Apple iPad Pro Review". Retrieved 25 January 2016.