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TechInsights confirms our analysis that the A12Z in the new iPad Pro is just an A12X with an extra GPU core enabled

The Apple A12X and the A12Z are exactly the same chip but the Z gets all eight GPU cores enabled. (Source: Apple)
The Apple A12X and the A12Z are exactly the same chip but the Z gets all eight GPU cores enabled. (Source: Apple)
As we reported exclusively, the iPad Pro (2020) is fitted with a rebinned A12X chip that it has simply renamed the A12Z. The confirmation comes after TechInsights carried out an x-ray of the A12Z highlighting it has exactly the same physical layout as the A12X.

A new x-ray analysis of the Apple A12Z Bionic chip in the iPad Pro (2020) confirms our exclusive report that the chip is a re-binned Apple A12X Bionic as originally found in the iPad Pro (2018). Early benchmarks showed that CPU performance was on part but there was a slight lift in graphics performance. An x-ray taken TechInsights shows that only difference between the two chips is that eighth GPU core that was disabled in the A12X has been enabled in the A12Z.

What the existence of the A12Z suggests is that Apple likely planned to have the A12X Bionic with all eight GPU cores active, however yield issues would have meant it could only reliably produce silicon where seven cores were fully functional. Thus, even if there are A12X chips with a functional core, Apple will have disabled each core with firmware to keep performance in line the range. It might also have simply binned these parts for later use, or started producing the A12Z with eight cores enabled when yield improved.

While many people had been expecting the new iPad Pro to pick up an A13X processor, Apple actually has a history skipping the odd number processor sequence for an ‘X’ variant. This aligns with another rumor that an iPad Pro with 5G radio will arrive late in 2020, alongside the new iPhone 12 5G models, but with an 14X chip. Apple took the opportunity now to give the current model a mild refresh ahead of the 5G model by using a rebinned A12X Bionic from the 2018 iPad Pro generation while also adding some other improvements like the new LIDAR scanner.

Our analysis confirms GPU chip found inside (model A2068) is the same as A12X predecessor. A report of our findings is underway & will be available as part of TechInsights' Subscription. Learn more here bit.ly/2V3Yros

- TechInsights

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > TechInsights confirms our analysis that the A12Z in the new iPad Pro is just an A12X with an extra GPU core enabled
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-04-15 (Update: 2020-04-15)
Sanjiv Sathiah
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.