The “heart” of the recently introduced iPad Pro tablet (2020) was the Apple A12Z Bionic processor, an uncharacteristic letter Z in the name of which interested tech-bloggers. The TechInsights portal experts conducted a detailed study of the new chip – and found a technical feature that distinguishes it from the previous model of the line.
The key difference between the two generations of mobile platforms was the “extra” GPU core in the version with the prefix Z. Engineers found that last year’s Apple A12X Bionic has the same eight physical GPU cores as the newer chip, but one of them is disabled.
According to experts, both models are technically identical – most likely, it is a commercial decision to divide the batch into two lines. For example, the NVIDIA GeForce Titan RTX graphics card uses all 4,608 CUDA cores, while the RTX 2080 Ti only offers 4,352 cores, although both adapters use the TU102 graphics processor.
An alternative explanation is that Apple intentionally turned off one of the blocks in order to skip the development of the A13X chip, which will be replaced by the A12Z in the product line. This will allow the company to focus on manufacturing the 5nm A14X Bionic for the next generation 5G series of devices.