How do phones get faster every year?


Like when apple releases a new iPhone and there’s a new A17 bionic chip, or whatever they’re on now, how is it 40% faster than the last one? What did they discover in 1 year to make it faster? Why didn’t they make these changes in the last one??

In: 513

Uhm, 40% faster at what. These days i’d guess most performance gains are far more modest than that and the claim is Apple’s marketing team at its finest.

Moore’s Law, mostly…. Processors get more transistors, cores and can therefore process faster and faster with each generation. 12nm chip imaging process is quickly moving to 3nm which makes the chips smaller and more energy efficient as well.

It used to be that the individual gates storing a charge and performing conditional logic on other gates would get smaller every year, so you could pack more of them together. Your computer would have twice as much computer per unit volume year to year.

But thats slowed down, as at a certain point you can’t pack gates any closer together – adjacent gates start reading the charge off each other. Nowadays, if I understand correctly its new methods on the software front to run pieces of logic at the same time, so more of your program is running at the same time as another part of the program, instead of your program running those pieces one after the other.

They could have made it that fast a while ago but they don’t because then you won’t get a new phone as often.

The original iPhone didn’t take video even thou plenty of other phones could. Then when they add video it seems like a big deal and people buy the new one. It’s a strategy

Apple and all other big hardware manufacturers have huge Research and Development teams (more commonly called R&D) to try and cram every last drop of performance out of every new piece of hardware they work on. At this stage in the technology game we’re literally pushing the physics to it’s (known theoretical) limit to make smaller and smaller components.

Chances are they had the concept of whatever made the newest phone X% faster in the works for years but couldn’t source materials or funding to bring it to fruition, and instead worked towards it over time, and in the future they’ll increment performance a little bit more.

What exactly Apple doing we do not know. Because they now produce their CPUs in house they could be adding almost anything to them and wouldn’t need to tell the general public anything about it. Although I’d wager the 40% figure you quoted comes from a very specific task that a previous iPhone just wasn’t necessarily designed to do (4K+ video editing perhaps?)