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SoC - System on a Chip

Updated: 2022-04-02

System on a chip: a "chip" (integrated circuit) that integrates all or most components of a computer or other electronic system. (CPU + GPU + Memory + other chips)

Modern SoCs often have some lower-performance, battery-saving cores.

Heterogeneous computing: using multiple different chips.

Apple M Chips

ARM-based SoC.

All M1 Chips use 5nm process.

Name # Transistors CPU Cores GPU Cores Memory Bandwidth
M1 Max 57 billion 8 + 2 24 or 32 409.6 GB/s
M1 Pro 33.7 billion (6 or 8) + 2 14 or 16 204.8 GB/s
M1 16 billion 4 + 4 7 or 8 68.2 GB/s

CPU Cores = performance cores + efficient cores

Apple A Chips

Name # Transistors CPU Cores GPU Cores Memory Bandwidth
A15 15 billion 2 + 4 4 or 5 34.1 GB/s

Google Tensor

Google's own chip design, moving away from Qualcomm.

  • CPU: 2 high-performance cores (ARM Cortex-X1), 2 mid cores (Cortex-A76), 4 high-efficiency cores (Cortex-A55) In comparison, the Snapdragon 888 only features one of Cortex-X1.
  • GPU: 20 cores (Mali-G78 MP20)
  • System Cache
  • Security
  • Context Hub: ultra low power engine, powers some of the always-on machine-learning features on the phone.
  • TPU: ML engine
  • ISP: Advanced Image signal Processor

Google Tensor is used in Pixel 6.