The next major update to Apple's iPhone line-up, presumably called the "iPhone X" or whatever the company will finally call it, will pack unprecedented computing power that can give rival devices a run for their money. The 10th anniversary iPhone is expected to be powered by Apple's own A11 chip, which will have six independently addressable CPU cores that can run simultaneously.
The latest information is based on code strings spotted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith in a leaked iOS 11 Gold Master build. According to Troughton-Smith, the A11 is a six-core chip with two high-power "Monsoon" cores and four low-power "Mistral" cores. It's important to note that Apple uses CPU code names that are based on wind names. Here's a rundown:
A10—"Hurricane" and "Zephyr"
The A10 Fusion processor, which is featured in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets, has two low-performance cores and two-high performance cores. However, the chip can have only one type of core active at a time – the reason why the A10 Fusion processor appears as a dual-core chip in benchmark tests.
…this sounds like it's going to be a Geekbench monster. RIP the rest of the industry— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2017
On the other hand, all six cores in the iPhone X's A11 chip will be independently addressable at any given time, allowing for workloads to run in parallel. Apple may choose to assign threads with high priority or computational intensity to the high-performance Monsoon cores, and threads with low priority or less computational intensity to the low-power Mistral cores.
This is something that Apple's Grand Central Dispatch system has already determined to preserve battery life. The new A11 chip, therefore, will help the iPhone X provide significantly improved processing power by having more CPU cores running at the same time.
…I might take back the 'Fusion' part. While this is 4 Mistral and 2 Monsoon cores, they all show up as distinct cores. Hexacore iPhone?— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2017
While this is still a calculated guess, assuming that clock speed will remain unchanged from the A10 Fusion, the iPhone X will be an even bigger powerhouse performer if Apple boosts the CPU clock frequency.
There's hardly any doubt that the iPhone X will be the most powerful iOS device till date. However, the device will also make it extremely difficult for competing Android handsets to catch up.
Apple will unveil the iPhone X on Tuesday, along with two more upgraded versions of the existing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, expected to be called iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. In addition to the iPhone X, the A11 chip will also likely power the other two new models.
With a 5.8-inch OLED screen, the iPhone X will sport a bezel-less display with a small strip on top to include the front camera, earphone and other sensors. The phone is highly expected to have some computationally intensive features including depth-sensing augmented reality, 3D facial recognition and increased resolution.