Apple's iPhone 6 Will Have This Revolutionary Feature

Apple's iPhone 6 will have enough horsepower to outperform a good chunk of low-end PCs.

May 15, 2014 at 11:05AM

While many are looking forward to the next-generation Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone because it will likely be thinner, feature a larger screen, and even offer improved pixel density on its display, the really impressive part about the new iPhone will probably be the A8 processor. In fact, while Apple's A7 was touted as "desktop class" (and in many respects it was), the A8 should bring new meaning to that phrase.

The Apple A7 was a massive jump from the A6
The Apple A7 chip, according to Apple, sported "over 1 billion" transistors and fit all of that into a die area of 102 square millimeters. Apple has claimed that this is roughly twice the number of transistors found in the prior-generation A6, which implies some pretty substantial efforts on the design side of things as Samsung's 28-nanometer process did not offer anywhere close to twice the gate density of the 32-nanometer process.

Furthermore, the A7 also offered roughly twice the performance of the A6 chip, thanks to a significantly beefed-up CPU core, much faster graphics block, and a lot of system-level improvements. The trade-off here is that the A7 also seems to consume more power than the A6 at full load, but because the chip is much faster it can finish workloads more quickly, racing to an "idle" state more quickly and ultimately saving power consumed.

The A8 could be an even bigger jump
In moving from Samsung's 28-nanometer process to TSMC's (NYSE:TSM) 20-nanometer, Apple will again roughly double the number of transistors that it can put in a given chip area. Assuming it sticks to the roughly 100 square millimeter die sizes that have characterized its last couple of product generations, Apple should have north of 2 billion transistors at its disposal. To put this into context, this is about 43% more transistors than the Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Haswell chip found inside the MacBook Air.

It is very likely that with such a transistor count, as well as the performance/power improvements that the 20-nanometer transistors bring, the iPhone 6 will offer peak CPU and graphics performance that is well ahead of many of the Intel Bay Trail-M based notebooks and Bay Trail-D based desktops that will be shipped during this back-to-school season.

Did you just say Apple's iPhone 6 could outperform PCs?
Yes, you heard that right: Apple's iPhone 6 could offer more performance than many PCs. In fact, the A7 chip inside of the iPhone 5s already offers superior graphics performance to Intel's Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D parts found in low-cost notebooks/desktops, respectively, and the CPU performances of Bay Trail and Apple's A7 -- at least in the few cross-platform benchmarks out there -- seem roughly equivalent (A7 has higher single-core performance, but Bay Trail has more cores).

With A8, this will only get better for Apple, particularly as Intel is not planning to refresh its low-end PC chips this year in any meaningful capacity. The higher-end Haswell/Broadwell parts should still be noticeably faster (particularly Broadwell), but the fact that Apple will soon be selling customers a phone that will be across-the-board faster than the lowest-end PCs is quite exciting.

Foolish bottom line
The upcoming iPhone 6 will break ground in a number of key ways, but by far the most interesting from a technological perspective will be its performance. Apple's chip designs are world class, and with the increased transistor budget afforded to it by TSMC's 20-nanometer manufacturing process, the iPhone 6 should offer pretty unreal levels of performance.

Desktop class, indeed. 

The biggest thing to come out of Silicon Valley in years
If you thought the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were amazing, just wait until you see this. One hundred of Apple's top engineers are busy building one in a secret lab. And an ABI Research report predicts 485 million of them could be sold over the next decade. But you can invest in it right now... for just a fraction of the price of AAPL stock. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening new report.

Ashraf Eassa owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers