By: Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org), March 18, 2020 10:51 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Trigger warning: Apple related post!

Apple announces new iPad Pro's with A12Z

Unclear quite how an A12Z differs from an A12X. The page says "eight-core CPU", but unclear if that means 8 large (and no small? strange) or 8+8 or 4+4 or something in between.
I'm a strong believer that when Apple changes names it means something (to the extreme irritation of some of you). My guess is there are significant changes here that herald the next step, ie the ARM Macs. Given that the baseline is A12, not A13, I assume the reworking is around packaging. The A12X, recall, was a bizarre little package that was basically poor man's 2.5D HBM packaging, using LPDDR not HBM, but using an RDL and two adjacent DRAM chips (rather than the single above-mounted DRAM of POP). So my guess is an evolution of that structure, and an evolution significant enough that it required starting with the A12X as a base, not just a minor reworking of the A13.

(What you give up with A12 rather than A13 is generic performance stuff, sure. But you also give up some Metal features, the ARMv8.4 ISA features, and UWB. It's not a catastrophe, but it's sub-optimal compared to moving the feature set forward.
It also means there's just not much to justify rapid upgrades. Those on A10X iPad Pro's may think it's worth the update, but I think even most fanatics like myself, if on an A12X, won't consider that there's enough new here [mainly better camera and mics] to justify a new purchase after ~18 months.

All of which means I can only see learning-by-doing for the ARM macs as justifying staying with an A12 base for this device rather than using A13.)

Should be available physically next week. Given coronavirus who knows exactly when the usual suspects at iFixIt rip it apart, but hopefully by Fri 27th or so. Even with their board-level ripping we should be able to see the general packaging structure, and the size' and if they can get an X-ray...
Presumably the immediate thing to look for is leaked benchmarks.
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A12ZMaynard Handley2020/03/18 10:51 AM
  A12ZDoug S2020/03/18 11:06 AM
    A12ZPaul2020/03/18 12:29 PM
      Macbook Air stayed x86, going from AML-Y to ICL-Yanonymou52020/03/18 12:41 PM
        Macbook Air stayed x86, going from AML-Y to ICL-YMaynard Handley2020/03/18 12:58 PM
  A12ZDB2020/03/18 11:13 AM
    A12ZMark Roulo2020/03/18 11:36 AM
      A12ZDoug S2020/03/18 02:10 PM
        A12ZAnon2020/03/18 02:42 PM
          A12ZMaynard Handley2020/03/18 03:54 PM
            A12ZAnon22020/03/18 05:25 PM
            A12ZDoug S2020/03/19 12:35 AM
            A12ZAnon2020/03/19 01:45 AM
              A12ZMaynard Handley2020/03/20 01:44 PM
                A12ZDoug S2020/03/20 02:37 PM
                  A12ZMaynard Handley2020/03/20 04:22 PM
                    A12Zme2020/03/20 06:35 PM
                    A12ZDoug S2020/03/21 10:47 AM
                      A12ZMaynard Handley2020/03/22 09:33 AM
  A12Znone2020/04/14 01:09 AM
    ... to the extreme irritation of some (NT)anon2020/04/14 03:44 AM
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