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. 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.
Apple A9X chip
|Produced||From September 9, 2015 to June 5, 2017|
|Designed by||Apple Inc.|
|Max. CPU clock rate||2.16 GHz to 2.26 GHz|
|Min. feature size||16 nm (TSMC)|
|Instruction set||A64, A32, T32|
|L1 cache||Per core: 64 KB instruction + 64 KB data|
|L2 cache||3 MB shared|
|GPU||PowerVR Series 7XT (12 cores)|
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. 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. 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
- 9.7 inch iPad Pro includes 2 GB RAM, slightly slower CPU than 12.9 inch iPad Pro
- "The A9X SoC & More To Come - The iPad Pro Preview: Taking Notes With iPad Pro". AnandTech. November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
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- Joshua Ho, Ryan Smith. "A9's CPU: Twister - The Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Review". anandtech.com.
- "Apple Introduces iPad Pro Featuring Epic 12.9-inch Retina Display" (Press release). Apple. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
- Chester, Brandon (September 9, 2015). "Apple Announces the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4". AnandTech. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
- "Apple's new iPad Pro is an expansive 12.9 inches, available in November". Ars Technica. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "More on Apple's A9X SoC: 147mm2@TSMC, 12 GPU Cores, No L3 Cache". AnandTech. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "The Apple iPad Pro Review". Retrieved 25 January 2016.