Apple is planning to debut a new octa-core chip reportedly named "A11x Bionic," which, as rumors say, will power the next-generation iPad Pro, probably out 2018.
These are all guesswork and rumors, it's worth noting, so keep those hopes at bay. Even still, it makes sense if Apple does plan to update the A11 Bionic chip — currently inside iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X — to be more suitable and optimized for higher-level and more power-intensive tasks done on an iPad Pro.
2018 iPad Pro Chip Revealed
They will be based on Taiwanese supplier TSMC's improved 7-nanometer manufacturing process, according to Chinese publication MyDrivers.
This chip will reportedly come with three high-performance "Monsoon" cores, plus five energy-efficient "Mistral" cores. Similar to the latest chip, it'll feature TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer level packaging.
Take all these with a grain of salt, of course, but even if the above-mentioned specs end up being true, for now it's still hard to determine just how fast the rumored chip would be over Apple's A11 Bionic chip. By contrast, the A11 Bionic offers 25 percent faster high-performance cores and 70 percent faster high-efficiency cores than the Apple A10 chip from 2016.
Another interesting tidbit is that this next-generation chip will apparently include an M11 coprocessor and neural engine for artificial intelligence tasks, such as facial recognition processing. This seems to line up with a previous rumors suggesting the next iPad will have Face ID like the iPhone X.
Apple's current iPad Pro lineup, which includes the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models, are currently powered by the Apple A10X Fusion chip based on TSMC's 10-nanometer manufacturing process.
2018 iPad Pro Rumors
In addition to Face ID, the next iPad Pro models will sport nearly bezel-less displays and discard Touch ID entirely, which makes sense if Face ID will be added. These are all based on rumors, however. There's also speculation that Apple will refrain from using OLEDs this time to avoid the same manufacturing problems the iPhone X suffered from.
Other details about the next-generation iPad remain uncertain, including whether Apple plans to release various screen configurations or whether the new iPad's camera will also support Portrait Mode, Apple's latest camera feature that makes photos look as if they were taken inside a studio.
However, the real question is whether this forthcoming iPad is powerful enough for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to consider them as "real computers."