iPhone 15 brings more than just a new design. It’s carbon neutral with 75% recycled aluminum and 100% recycled cobalt in the battery. It features USB-C and a redesigned MagSafe connector.
It also uses a custom image signal processor and Neural Engine to deliver a better camera experience. Dynamic Island is an adaptable bar that shows app alerts, and it’s now available on all models.
A major upgrade from the iPhone 14 is the inclusion of USB-C ports. This means Apple’s new phones will no longer use Lightning cables, but don’t worry, you can still use your existing chargers and portable batteries.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro will also feature a six-core GPU in the A17 chip. This will provide faster sustained gaming performance than ever before.
With this new processor, you can expect an estimated 10% increase in CPU speed, a 30% reduction in power consumption, and better graphics performance. This makes the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro great for heavy gamers or anyone who needs a powerful mobile device.
Apple’s custom chip of choice is based on TSMC’s advanced 3nm technology. This means the chip is up to 25% smaller and more tightly packed. The reduced size will mean the chip uses less power and is more efficient. This is important because it will make the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro battery last longer.
A16 Bionic chip
Each year Apple introduces a new A-series system-on-chip to pair with its latest iPhone models. This year’s chip is called A16 Bionic and it’s the fastest processor ever made for a smartphone.
The A16 Bionic is built on TSMC’s 4nm process architecture. The transistor count has increased only slightly from 15 billion to 16 billion, and the cores remain the same (two high-performance and four power-efficiency).
This year’s chip is able to process more complex algorithms that enable advanced camera features like real-time image stabilization. The A16 Bionic is also able to do more with less power, thanks to improved memory bandwidth.
The A16 Bionic’s performance CPU cores reach 3.5GHz, which is faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s prime Cortex-A53 core. This means it can do more tasks at the same time, and it has a lower thermal budget that allows for thinner phones and longer battery life. It also has a dedicated ProRes codec and AV1 decoder that should improve video streaming.
Performance and efficiency
The custom chip in the iPhone 15 is faster than its predecessor, but it also consumes less power. This may help resolve the excessive heat issues some users have been experiencing.
Apple’s new A17 Pro chip uses a 3-nanometer process to squeeze more transistors onto the same size chip. Its efficiency core is said to help it run fast while consuming less power than its predecessor, while the 3nm process improves overall performance.
TSMC, the manufacturer of Apple’s chips, has started production on the A17’s 3nm process. This means that the chips will be smaller and more powerful, allowing them to consume 30 to 35 percent less power than their 5-nanometer counterparts. This could be a big boon for the battery life of future iPhones. Apple says the A17’s improvements are a “dramatic leap” over last year’s A16 Bionic chip, but Geekbench scores don’t confirm this yet.
At Apple’s big iPhone launch event this week, the company’s custom Arm-compatible chips got a little short shrift. But the new A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 is an important one. It’s the first chip to be made with TSMC’s 3-nanometer process, which means it will use less power.
The chip’s central processing unit is 10% faster than the A16’s and its GPU has undergone “the biggest redesign in Apple history.” It enables hardware-accelerated ray tracing that’s up to four times quicker than software-based rendering. It also powers a feature that lets the phone record 4K video directly to storage, and offers support for the Academy Color Encoding System used by filmmakers.
All that power should mean better battery life for the iPhone. But it’s too early to say whether that benefit will materialize. The next generation of iPhones should have even more powerful chips that run faster, consume less power, and deliver even better performance.