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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.

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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> 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)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.