Rumor | iPads in 2018 could be based on the 7nm Apple A11X Bionic octa-core CPU

The 7nm A11X Bionic could feature in the next gen iPad. (Source:
The 7nm A11X Bionic could feature in the next gen iPad. (Source:
Apple will be reportedly using the A11X Bionic CPU in the next generation iPads, which is an octa-core CPU based off TSMCs 7nm fabrication process.

If rumor on the street is to be believed, we could very well see a 7nm Apple SoC in the next generation iPad, possibly dubbed the A11X Bionic. Speculation is that the chip could be out by Q1 or Q2 2018 and TSMC will be in-charge of the design and production of the SoC. 

The A11X will feature an octa-core design with 3 high performance 'Monsoon' cores and 5 low power 'Mistral' cores (the current A11 Bionic in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 features 2 'Monsoon' and 4 'Mistral' cores) along with the M11 motion co-processor and the neural computing unit (NCU). The A11X will also feature TSMC's Integrated Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging (InFO-WLP). Think of InFO-WLP as a miniaturized version of the EMIB interconnect that features in the recently announced Intel-AMD Multi-Chip Module (MCM). Essentially, InFO-WLP enables buried interconnects directly within the substratum instead of making individual circuits out of various wafer slices, thereby, enabling smaller chips that find use in smartphones and the likes. 

Since the debut of the A10, Apple has preferred TSMC as its SoC supplier of choice. The A10 was also the first chip to feature InFO-WLP and we will very well see this partnership continue for the foreseeable future well into the development of the A12. Apple's ingenuity in chip engineering combined with TSMC's packaging advancements could very well be the reason why Apple's SoCs have set the bar in mobile CPU performance.

Source(s) (Chinese) via Pocketnow

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-11-15 (Update: 2017-11-15)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
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.