'Fastest smartphone chip ever,' the A10 Fusion, powers Apple's new iPhone 7

Apple's new ARM processor allocates low-effort jobs to special low-powered cores, then ramps up the performance when needed. The upshot: better battery life.

At the heart of every Apple iPhone is usually an upgraded chip, and this year’s iPhone 7 is no different: the A10 Fusion, which Apple executives claimed is the fastest smartphone chip ever.

‘If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Apple’s chip team has been killing it in performance,” said

Apple has an existing license from ARM, the British smartphone chip designer that was recently acquired by Softbank. Rather than licensing a fixed design, Apple’s deal apparently permits tweaking for its own purposes, allowing the company to optimize it for new iPhone releases.

A10 Fusion chip progression

Apple’s new A10 Fusion chip is orders of magnitude faster than the original iPhone.

For generation after generation, Apple has had the fastest smartphone available, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, said during the Apple iPhone 7 launch Wednesday in San Francisco. “And that’s continued to this day,” Schiller added. “But what we have in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ blows that all away.”

Apple’s next-generation chip, the A10 Fusion, is a 64-bit, four-core processor with over 3.3 million transistors, Schiller said. The cores are split among two high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores, he said.

The high-performance cores, apparently similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE technology, run 40 percent faster than the previous A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and twice as fast as the earlier A8. From a performance perspective, the A10 Fusion chip is 120 times as fast as the chip in the first iPhone, according to Schiller. “The jumps in performance are just staggering,” he said.

The high-efficiency cores are optimized for low power, and consume just a fifth of the power of the faster cores. The iPhone 7 will switch to those cores, and power down the more powerful options, when you’re performing a task like checking your email. That all translates into longer battery life: 12 to 13 hours for browsing over LTE, or about two hours more than the iPhone 6s, Schiller said.

Apple A10 Fusion Broken Kingdom

A new game, Broken Kingdom, was shown running on the iPhone 7.

Graphics performance has also increased, Schiller said, with a six-core chip that’s 50 percent faster than the A9, and three times faster than the A8. Schiller promised “console-level” performance when running Codemasters’ F1 2016 and other games that could tap the chip’s GPU. All told, it’s 240 times faster than the iPhone’s original graphics chip.

“There is absolutely no question: the A10 Fusion is the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone,” Schiller said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AppleArmiPhone 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?