Apple's New A8 Chip: A 64-Bit Monster (But Just 1GB of RAM)

By Gerald Lynch on at

A new iPhone always needs a new faster chip, and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will ship using the new Apple A8 chipset. A 64-bit beast, it's using two billion transistors, is 25 per cent faster, 50 per cent more efficient and 13 per cent smaller than its A7 predecessor.

Dual-core, it's manufactured using a 20nm process as opposed to the A7's 28nm process. However, unlike some of the competition, all that power's being funnelled through just 1GB of RAM. Considering the way Apple's hardware and software are so closely built together, any more than that must have been considered overkill by Apple's engineers. Either that or they've just cheaped out on us.

With better "sustained performance" according to Apple's Phil Schiller, the device should be able to run at full whack without generating too much heat. No need to burn your fingertips then just to play Grand Theft Auto.

The A8 will be paired with a new M8 "motion co-processor" to aid fitness apps. It can tell the difference between when you may be having a jog or are out on a bike, as well as elevation and distance calculations. Elevation is handled by an on-board barometer, figuring out height based on air pressure in your surroundings. That's something that will integrate with a new version of the Nike+ app, which presumably will be able to understand just how hard you're working among the thinning air or a mountain top, or something.


Read all Apple announced at the iPhone and Watch event, plus Giz readers' reactions