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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 Cache1 MB
Level 3 Cache4 MB
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
ArchitectureARM
Announcement Date09/10/2013

Benchmarks

PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - PerformanceTest Mobile CPU Tests
min: 35280     avg: 36317     median: 35725.5 (5%)     max: 38536 Points
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

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Reviews for the Apple A7 processor

Apple iPad Air (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 9.70")
» Review Apple iPad Air Tablet - Review
» Apple iPad Air - External Review

Apple iPad Mini 3 (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 7.90")
» Apple iPad Mini 3 Tablet Review - Review
» Apple iPad Mini 3 - External Review

Apple iPad mini Retina (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 7.90")
» Review Apple iPad Mini Retina Tablet - Review
» Apple iPad mini Retina - External Review

Apple iPhone 5S (Imagination PowerVR G6430, 4.00")
» 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

» HiSilicon Kirin 9000
   8x 2.05 GHz - 3.13 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G
   8x - 2.86 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 990
   8x - 2.86 GHz
» MediaTek Dimensity 1000+
   8x 2 GHz - 2.6 GHz
» MediaTek Dimensity 820
   8x 2 GHz - 2.6 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 820
   8x 1.84 GHz - 2.36 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 810
   8x 1.88 GHz - 2.27 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 980
   8x - 2.6 GHz
» MediaTek Dimensity 800U
   8x 2 GHz - 2.4 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 970
   8x 2.4 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 960
   8x 2.4 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 960s
   8x 2.1 GHz
» Apple A9X
   2x 2.26 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 955
   8x 2.5 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 950
   8x 2.3 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 710
   8x 2.2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 710A
   8x 2 GHz
» Apple A9
   2x 1.8 GHz
» Samsung Exynos 850
   8x - 2 GHz
» Apple A8X
   3x 1.5 GHz
» Apple A8
   2x 1.4 GHz
» UNISOC SC9863A
   8x 1.6 GHz
» VIA Nano QuadCore L4700
   4x 1.2 GHz - 1.46 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 925
   8x 1.8 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 920
   8x 1.7 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 935
   8x 2.2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 659
   8x 2.36 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 658
   8x 2.35 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 655
   8x 2.1 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 650
   8x 2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 930
   8x 2 GHz
» Apple A7
   2x 1.3 GHz
» MediaTek MT8168
   4x 2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 620
   8x 1.2 GHz
» Rockchip RK3288
   4x 1.8 GHz
» MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
   4x 1.5 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 910T
   4x 1.8 GHz
» MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
   4x 1.3 GHz
» MediaTek MT8161
   4x 1.3 GHz
» Rockchip RK3188
   4x 1.8 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 910
   4x 1.6 GHz
» Intel Celeron 220
   1x 1.2 GHz
» AMD GX-210JA
   2x 1 GHz
» Marvell Armada PXA1908
   4x 1.2 GHz
» Apple S6
   2x
» Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+
   4x - 1.7 GHz
» Apple A6x
   2x 1.4 GHz
» Apple A6
   2x 1 GHz
» Apple S5
   2x
» Marvell PXA1088
   4x 1.2 GHz
» Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
   4x - 1.2 GHz
» Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
   4x - 1.2 GHz
» Intel Celeron 2.8 GHz
   1x 2.8 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 4470
   2x 1.5 GHz
» HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620
   4x 1.2 GHz
» Rockchip RK3066 1.5 GHz
   2x 1.5 GHz
» Renesas MP5232
   2x 1.5 GHz
» Broadcom BCM21664T
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Marvell PXA986
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Amlogic AML8726-MX
   2x 1.5 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 4460
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Rockchip RK3168
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Broadcom BCM28155
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 4430
   2x 1 GHz
» Apple A5x
   2x 1 GHz
» Apple A5
   2x 1 GHz
» Samsung Exynos 9110
   2x 1.15 GHz
» ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500
   2x 1 GHz
» ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8420
   2x 1 GHz
» NXP i.MX 6SLL
   1x 1 GHz
» Rockchip RK2918 1.2 GHz
   1x 1.2 GHz
» AllWinner A10
   1x 1.2 GHz
» ARM Cortex A8 1.2 GHz
   1x 1.2 GHz
» Apple A4
   1x 1 GHz
» AllWinner A13
   1x 1 GHz
» WonderMedia PRIZM WM8950
   1x 1 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 3630 1GHz
   1x 1 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 3622
   1x 1 GHz
» Rockchip RK2918
   1x 1 GHz
» Telechips TCC8803 1GHz
   1x 1 GHz
» ZiiLABS ZMS-08
   1x 1 GHz
» ARM Cortex A8 1GHz
   1x 1 GHz
» Actions ACT-ATM7029
   4x 1 GHz
» Loongson 2F 900MHz
   1x 0.9 GHz
» CSR8670
   2x 0.08 GHz
» Huawei Kirin A1
   1x 0.2 GHz
» Cypress PSoC6 MCU
   2x 0.15 GHz
» DK3.5+ST
   2x
» unknown
   

Surrounding CPUs

+ HiSilicon Kirin 650
   8x 2 GHz
+ HiSilicon Kirin 930
   8x 2 GHz
+ Mediatek Helio P35 MT6765
   8x 2.3 GHz
+ Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
   8x 2 GHz
+ Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755
   8x 2 GHz
» Apple A7
   2x 1.3 GHz
- Intel Atom Z3570
   4x 2 GHz
- MediaTek MT8168
   4x 2 GHz
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
   8x 1.8 GHz
- Intel Atom Z3560
   4x 1.83 GHz
- Samsung Exynos 5410 Octa
   8x 1.6 GHz
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Benchmarks / Tech > Notebook Processors > Apple A7 SoC
Klaus Hinum (Update: 2013-12-31)