Apple A7

Apple A7

The Apple A7 is a high-end ARM SoC launched in September 2013 alongside the iPhone 5S. The chip can also be found in the iPad Air. It is one of the first ARM SoCs to implement the 64-bit ARMv8 ISA. The two CPU cores are clocked at 1.3 GHz (iPad Air: 1.4 GHz) and are based on Apple's Cyclone architecture. Furthermore, the chip also integrates a PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) G6430 GPU and a 2x 32-bit LPDDR3 memory controller.

Architecture

Cyclone is the successor to the Swift architecture, which was used in the previous generation Apple A6/A6X SoCs (iPhone 5/iPad 4). The architecture is likely still a superscalar out-of-order design, but with significant revisions. Besides the new ARMv8 ISA, the chip offers various cryptography extensions (AES, SHA), extended registers and improved SIMD instructions. In combination with many other improvements like larger L1 caches and other optimizations, the performance per clock has been increased by about 50 percent. Even greater gains can be reported using 64-bit software.

Performance

Despite the low clock speed and only two CPU cores, the Apple A7 competes with other high-end ARM SoCs such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. In software with poor parallelization like browser benchmarks, the A7 can outperform the entire ARM competition and be on par with the AMD A4-5000 or Intel Atom Z3770.

Graphics

The SoC integrates a PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) G6430 GPU with 4 clusters. The G6430 offers more than twice the computing power of the SGX543MP3 in the Apple A6 and supports OpenGL ES 3.0 for the first time. The exact clock rate has not yet been confirmed, but it is probably in the 400 MHz range resulting in more than 100 GFLOPS. In the iPad Air, the GPU is clocked slightly higher at presumably about 450 MHz. Compared with other mobile graphics solutions, the G6430 performs similar to the tablet version of the Snapdragon 800 / Adreno 330 and is thus one of the fastest GPUs in its class. Therefore, even the most demanding iOS games of 2013 will run fluently.

Power Consumption

The A7 can be found in the Apple iPhone 5S, which offers a very long battery life despite its relatively low battery capacity. The chip is produced in a 28nm HKMG (High-K Metal Gate) process by Samsung and should have an estimated maximum power consumption of less than 2 - 3 W. In the iPad Air, the SoC should have a slightly higher TDP due to higher clock rates and less throttling.

SeriesApple
CodenameCyclone
Clock Rate1300 - 1400 MHz
Level 1 Cache256 KB
Level 2 Cache1024 KB
Level 3 Cache4096 KB
Number of Cores / Threads2 / 2
Transistor Count> 1000 Million
Manufacturing Technology28 nm
Die Size102 mm2
FeaturesARMv8 Instruction Set, PowerVR G6430 (4 Cluster Rogue), 2x 32 Bit LPDDR3-1333 Memory Controller
64 Bit64 Bit support
Announcement Date09/10/2013

CPU Benchmarks

Octane V2: Total Score
0% 100%
min: 5113     avg: 5146.5 (21.49%)     max: 5180 Points
Mozilla Kraken 1.1: Total Score
0% 100%
min: 5584.1     avg: 5872.4 (92.13%)     max: 6037.3 ms*
Geekbench 3: 32 Bit Multi-Core Score
0% 100%
min: 2449     avg: 2549.3 (19.86%)     max: 2687 Points
Geekbench 3: 32 Bit Single-Core Score
0% 100%
min: 1368     avg: 1413.3 (40.31%)     max: 1479 Points
3DMark (2013): Ice Storm Unlimited Physics 1280x720 offscreen
0% 100%
min: 7902     avg: 8099 (10.55%)     max: 8520 Points
3DMark (2013): Ice Storm Extreme Physics 1920x1080
0% 100%
min: 7672     avg: 7758.5 (16.28%)     max: 7845 Points
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1: CPU Tests
0% 100%
min: 35673     avg: 36662.3 (95.08%)     max: 38536 Points
Sunspider:
0% 100%
min: 271.8     avg: 356.8 (91.14%)     max: 413.1 ms*
Sunspider:
0% 100%
min: 310.7     avg: 377.2 (97.33%)     max: 414.4 ms*
Linpack for Android: Multi Thread
0% 100%
min: 931.38     avg: 969 (88.4%)     max: 998.18 MFLOPS
Linpack for Android: Single Thread
0% 100%
min: 518.44     avg: 537.5 (78.58%)     max: 557.99 MFLOPS
- Range of benchmarks for this CPU
- Average benchmark score

Linpack for Android in comparison
Snapdragon S1 MSM7227 (min)
7.4 
...
Samsung Exynos 5420 Octa
370.5 
Apple A6x
382.4 
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974
385.4 
Apple A7
537.5 
NVIDIA Tegra 4
556.3 
...
NVIDIA Tegra 4 (max)
556.3 

Reviews for the Apple A7 processor

Apple iPad Air (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 9.7")
» Review Apple iPad Air Tablet - Review
» Apple iPad Air - External Review

Apple iPad mini Retina (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 7.9")
» Review Apple iPad Mini Retina Tablet - Review
» Apple iPad mini Retina - External Review

Apple iPhone 5S (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 4.0")
» Review Apple iPhone 5S Smartphone - Review
» Apple iPhone 5S - External Review

» Mobile CPU Comparison
Comparison of all mobile CPU series

» Mobile Processors - Benchmarklist
Benchmarklist of all known CPUs that are used in laptops (desktop and laptop CPUs)

Other CPUs of the series

» VIA Nano QuadCore L4700
   1.2 GHz / 4 MB
» Apple A7
   1.3 GHz / 1 MB + 4 MB
» Kirin 910T
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» RK3188
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» Intel Celeron 220
   1.2 GHz / 0.5 MB
» AMD GX-210JA
   1 GHz / 1 MB
» Apple A6x
   1.4 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A6
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Marvell Technology Group PXA1088
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Intel Celeron 2.8
   2.8 GHz / 0.1 MB
» OMAP 4470
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» k3v2 Hi3620
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» RK3066
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB
» MP5232
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» Broadcom BCM21664T
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Marvell Technology Group PXA986
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» AML8726-MX
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB
» OMAP 4460
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» RK3168
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Broadcom BCM28155
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» OMAP 4430
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A5x
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A5
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Qualcomm 200 8210
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» NovaThor U8500
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» NovaThor U8420
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Qualcomm S2 MSM8255
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» RK2918 1.2 GHz
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» A10
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Cortex A8 1.2 GHz
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A4
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» A13
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» WM8950
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» OMAP 3630 1GHz
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» OMAP 3622
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» RK2918
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» TCC8803 1GHz
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» ZiiLABS ZMS-08
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Cortex A8
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» ATM7029
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Loongson 2F
   0.9 GHz / 0.5 MB
» unknown
   0 GHz / 0 MB

Surrounding CPUs

- AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56
   1.8 GHz / 1 MB
- Intel Celeron Dual-Core T1600
   1.66 GHz / 1 MB
- Intel Celeron Dual-Core T1500
   1.87 GHz / 0.5 MB
- Intel Pentium 977
   1.4 GHz / 0.5 MB + 2 MB
- Intel Celeron 877
   1.4 GHz / 0.5 MB + 2 MB
» Apple A7
   1.3 GHz / 1 MB + 4 MB
+ AMD Athlon 64 X2 TK-57
   1.9 GHz / 512 KB
+ Intel Core Duo T2050
   1.6 GHz / 2048 KB
+ Intel Celeron Dual-Core T1400
   1.73 GHz / 512 KB
+ AMD Turion II Neo K665
   1.7 GHz / 1024 KB
+ Intel Core i3 330UM
   1.2 GHz / 512 KB + 3072 KB
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > FAQ / Tips / Technics > Notebook Processors > Apple A7 SoC
Author: Klaus Hinum (Update: 2013-12-31)