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Apple offers an in-depth look at the A13 Bionic GPU's Metal Engine enhancements

The Apple A13 Bionic's GPU is 2.9x faster than that of the A12 Bionic. (Source: The Verge)
The Apple A13 Bionic's GPU is 2.9x faster than that of the A12 Bionic. (Source: The Verge)
Following the launch of the latest iPhones at its September 2019 event, Apple has detailed some of the improvements to Metal Engine on the A13 Bionic and how developers can implement them in their apps. These improvements result in a faster overall GPU performance with reduced power consumption.
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Apple's new iPhones have a lot going on, but the A13 Bionic is what powers them all. Apple's new SoC is fabbed on TSMC's new 7nm EUV process and packs in a cool 8.5 billion transistors. One of the touted features in the A13 Bionic is the 20% higher GPU performance with a 40% lesser power consumption. Apple has released a new developer video that explains some of the improvements on the GPU side of things. 

The A13 Bionic's GPU brings improvements in three main areas — performance, architecture improvements, and Metal features. The A13's GPU offers 2x faster FP16 texture filtering for improved HDR along with improvements in parallel render and compute processing. 

Apple detailed some of the A13's new Metal features such as Sparse textures, Rasterization Rate Maps, and more. Sparse textures allow for controlling which Metal textures you want to store on a special memory space called a Sparse Heap. This allows for texture streaming by loading only the mipmaps needed for the current view.

Another improvement that allows for better GPU utilization is rasterization rate maps (RRM). RRM allows for displaying the areas of the image that matter most at the highest resolution. Those areas that are not really perceivable at rasterized at lower resolutions to save GPU bandwidth.

Apple says that these, combined with other Metal enhancements such as Vertex Amplification, Tier-2 Argument Buffer, new SIMD instructions, and ASTC HDR play a role in the A13's quad-core GPU's faster GPU performance with significantly reduced power consumption compared to the A12 Bionic

Check out the full presentation in the Source link below for a more comprehensive overview of Metal improvements in Apple's latest SoC. 

Improvements to Metal on the Apple A13 Bionic GPU. (Source: Apple)
Improvements to Metal on the Apple A13 Bionic GPU. (Source: Apple)
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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1358 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 09 > Apple offers an in-depth look at the A13 Bionic GPU's Metal Engine enhancements
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-09-14 (Update: 2019-09-14)