iPhone 12 leak reveals A14 Bionic chip — here's what to expect

(Image credit: ConceptsiPhone)

With the iPhone 12 launch drawing nearer and nearer, leaks surrounding Apple's next handsets are emerging with increasing frequency. Now an image is making the rounds that might provide us with our first look at the very silicon that will power Apple's upcoming flagships.

The picture comes from a leaker by the name of Mr·white on Twitter, and shows a group of A14-branded chips from the top down. We can't speak to the legitimacy of the image — of course, it could have been easily photoshopped — though it does come days after chip maker TSMC revealed it's currently producing 5-nanometer chips for a device due in the fall, which is very likely to be the iPhone 12.

The best CPUs you can get in phones today, Apple's A13 Bionic and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (as well as its new, slightly speedier 865 Plus variant) are 7nm chips. Shrinking a chip by even a nanometer or two makes it simultaneously faster and more power efficient, and that's precisely what Apple is expected to have done for the A14 Bionic.

In fact, TSMC says this 5nm chip in question "is about 15% faster but uses a full 30% lower power than the current 7nm node that is in the Snapdragon 865 Plus or Apple A13." That should mean wonderful things for battery life and longevity on a charge, particularly in this day and age where phones have more energy demands than ever before, between 5G modems, high refresh-rate OLED screens and other features.

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The other advantage Apple enjoys with its chips is ubiquity. The A14 will make it into every handset Cupertino releases between now and the end of the year, meaning all iPhone 12 models — from the 5.4-inch entry level phone, believed to start in the neighborhood of $700, to the range-topping, 6.8-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max well north of quadruple digits — will benefit from the same, class-leading performance.

Back in March, a Geekbench listing for the A14 purportedly leaked online. Benchmarks like this are easy enough to falsify, though the listing placed the A14's multicore score at 4,612 points which, as AppleInsider notes, is even better than the 4,568-point result from the A12X processor in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

So, as usual, Apple's next A-series chip is shaping up to be a beast. The upcoming iPhone 12 range will reportedly employ 4GB of RAM to go along with it in the standard models, and 6GB for the Pro variants, which may also get 120Hz refresh-rate displays, a LiDAR sensor for improved augmented reality applications and mmWave 5G connectivity.

Benchmarks for the newly-minted Snapdragon 865 Plus, which will power upcoming performance-minded Android phones like Asus' ROG Phone 3, remain a mystery, though we don't expect them to outperform those leaked A14 numbers if they are indeed true. For what it's worth, the OnePlus 8 Pro, which uses a standard Snapdragon 865, scored 3,517 points on Geekbench 5.

We look forward to putting the A14 Bionic, and everything the iPhone 12 line has to offer, through their paces in the coming months once we get our hands on the phones.

Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.

  • Elterrible
    Wait what? There’s an A14 in the works? What next an A15? How would we have figured this out without the leak?

    This is really what qualifies as a leak these days? An improved CPU design with an incremental name.
  • wschloss
    Elterrible said:
    Wait what? There’s an A14 in the works? What next an A15? How would we have figured this out without the leak?

    This is really what qualifies as a leak these days? An improved CPU design with an incremental name.

    Elterrible so they're only supposed to report on really interesting news like if some fascist were to die of Covid? Well I won't name names but I hope you get something newsworthy very soon!