Apple Mobiles

Why does the Apple A13 processor allow the iPhone to regain its leading position in photography?

iPhone Photography
iPhone Photography

The brain of the iPhone, Apple A13 processor bionic chip. Both iPhone 11 and iPhone SE have the same chip as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the best mobile phone of 2019 evaluated by foreign media- “A13 Bionic Chip”. Because of the A13, the iPhone has regained its leading position in the photography industry. What is the power of the A13?

What is the A13 processor bionic chip?

A13 Bionic chip, this second-generation 7-nanometer chip developed by Apple itself, adopts a 2+4 design (2 high-performance cores + 4 energy-efficient cores), in which the CPU (the front 2) speed can be increased by 20% and energy consumption It can be reduced by up to 30%; the speed of the four energy-efficient cores can be increased by 20%, and energy consumption can be reduced by up to 40%. The biggest difference between A13 and A12 is that two new machine learning accelerators have been added to improve learning and image processing capabilities.

The best example to describe the high performance of the A13 processor is the Deep Fusion function, which takes 8 photos before the user presses the shutter, and merges a long exposure photo when the shutter is pressed to complete a high dynamic (HDR) )Photo. Even in a low-light environment, more details can be retained. At first glance, this seems to be nothing terrible. Usually, smart HDR is to get a better picture through stacking, and the data is provided by the ISP (similar to the photosensitive element in the camera), and then the neural network engine performs image calculation to assist in the formation of the film.

Since Deep Fusion must use the neural network engine of the A13 processor for image calculation, only the iPhone 11 series and iPhone SE can support it.

What is an ISP? What is neural network engine ?

  • What is an ISP?

ISP (Image Signal Processing): The image signal processing unit, which performs arithmetic processing on the signal input by the sensor, and finally obtains the results after linear correction, noise removal, dead pixel repair, color interpolation, white balance proofing, and exposure proofing. , Be regarded as the hero behind the lens and negatives. The ISP chip can determine the final image quality of a mobile phone camera to a large extent. Generally, it can improve the image quality by 10% to 15%.

At present, most mobile phones on the market have integrated ISP chips, and some use independent ISP chips. With the exception of Fujitsu which provides independent ISPs for many models, Apple customizes the iPhone’s ISP. 

  • What is a neural network engine?

Neural Engine is a data processing program generated by scientists referring to the structure of human neurons. The biggest feature of this type of calculation technology is the ability to learn from itself. Can learn the user’s operating characteristics, and set up an optimal input and output path. Therefore, once the learning is completed, the subsequent operations can be much faster than the previous software programs, which greatly improves the user experience. Apple’s iPhone is the most famous product.

Apple added Neural Engine technology to the 2017 iPhone A11 Bionic processor for the first time. According to Apple’s data, this neural network engine is a dual-core design with a maximum number of operations of 600 billion operations per second, which can greatly improve the performance of machine learning (Machine Learning). 

Back to the topic, A13’s image calculation is performed by the neural network engine for each pixel (usually 24 million pixels) on each photo to compare, and then synthesize a photo, and all this takes only one second. When you press the shutter and go back to the photo album to view the photo, the photo is already lying there waiting to be viewed by you!

The performance of A13 is almost twice that of non-Apple chips

Today, when the AI ​​functions of Andriod smartphones are popular, Apple seems to have not announced loudly that there are any special AI functions on the iPhone, but the iPhone’s bionic chip gives consumers a more personal experience through machine learning. Unlike other companies that use cloud data learning machines with TB-level cloud capacity, Apple allows this calculation to be executed by the chip in the mobile phone at an average of about 200MB. From your facial recognition to the use of sliding screen trajectory, everything Stored in the chip of the iPhone in encrypted form.

Everyone thinks that the iPhone is easy to use. Most of them think it is related to the iOS software version, but the chip is the core of the iOS ecosystem, which closely connects the entire system. Because Apple’s self-developed chips focus on overall performance, rather than a single indicator, they are not sold as merchandise. They only care about giving consumers a better experience, and can directly compare the main competing products at the 2019 conference.

Technology media AnandTech pointed out that the performance of A13 is almost twice that of non-Apple chips. In addition, it was also found that the performance of the A13 is basically comparable to the CPUs of AMD (AMD-US) and Intel (INTC-US) desktop computers. At the same time, the website also affirmed Apple’s leading position in the field of mobile phone chips.

Here are just one or two examples to let everyone understand the power of A13. In the final analysis, does it depend on what users want from their mobile phones? For example, playing smoothly running games on mobile phones, or taking beautiful and clean photos in the dim night. Apple said that the A13 chip will further expand the leading edge of smartphones. The A13 Bionic chip is the fastest smartphone processor (CPU) ever.