The A17 Bionic may be more focused on saving battery for the higher-end iPhone 15 models; Here’s why

For the A16 Bionic, Apple stated that its latest SoC will bring a 20 percent improvement in power savings, and the company may be aiming for battery savings when it launches the A17 Bionic next year. However, this could mean that next-generation chipsets don’t offer a huge performance jump, which may not matter to the average iPhone customer, but it could mean that it will give competitors like Qualcomm and MediaTek a chance to take advantage of this opportunity.

With Apple giving TSMC orders for the A17 Bionic, a lot of focus has been placed on power efficiency, not performance

TSMC recently held a party to announce the mass production of 3nm chips at its new Fab 18 facility located in the South Taiwan Science Park (STSP). This hub will likely be used for mass production of the A17 Bionic in the second half of 2023, but there has been an interesting metric surrounding the benefits of using 3nm technology. The new process will offer up to 35 percent power savings compared to the 4nm node (TSMC calls it an improved version of 5nm), and surprisingly little information has been given about the performance boost.

Even Bloomberg mentioned that according to the company’s president, Mark Liu, the new 3nm process will bring 35 percent energy efficiency, but no one has talked about performance gains. Now, this does not mean that the A17 Bionic will not see some performance improvements compared to the A16 Bionic, but there may not be major differences that Apple includes in its marketing slide when announcing the iPhone 15 series.

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Apple’s A16 Bionic chip does not compare to the A15 Bionic chip when it comes to CPU performance

Also, if you’ve noticed, for a long time, and this year too, Apple hasn’t directly compared the A16 Bionic to the A15 Bionic, or the A14 Bionic for that matter. Its chip has been compared to the A13 Bionic, which indicates that the company is unable to come up with similar performance stats to include in its keynote. The reason for this is simple. Apple lost a lot of talent in chips to competitors, which led to a massive brain drain. The A15 Bionic lacks sufficient CPU performance gains compared to the A14 Bionic for this very reason.

Even here, Apple didn’t mention any performance comparison when highlighting the A16 Bionic’s features

The A17 Bionic may go down the same path if that is the path that Apple has planned. Then again, just because TSMC’s latest 3nm process delivers a 35 percent energy savings benefit doesn’t mean the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra will see those benefits right away. Apple would be free to use the improved transistor density of 3nm, and that could also mean fine-tuning performance while sacrificing some battery life. However, Apple wouldn’t have much motivation to go this route given that the A16 Bionic is still the fastest SoC in existence at this time.

However, since the A17 Bionic may feature more power efficiency, Apple could use this feature to incorporate features it had to get rid of in the A16 Bionic such as ray tracing support, which could not be added due to unacceptable power consumption, among other drawbacks. Whatever Apple decides, we can’t wait to see the A17 Bionic in action.

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