Apple Started Developing the A11 Bionic Processor Three Years Ago


As is par for the course at any of Apple’s major events, there are a lot of little details mixed in with the biggest parts, and the same is true for Apple’s newest, most powerful processor to date, the A11 Bionic.

In light of Apple showing off a ridiculously powerful chipset, which is also sprinkled with plenty of other features that give the iPhone X (and iPhone 8/8 Plus) their brains, Mashable sat down with Apple’s Phil Schiller and Johny Srouji to talk about the new processor in an interview following Tuesday’s big event.

According to the executives, the chips that are in Apple’s devices are now an intrinsic part of the company’s efforts as a whole, and that they are a core definition of the products themselves. It’s not simply just a piece that goes inside and powers the rest of the puzzle pieces. It’s a part of Apple’s DNA now, building chipsets.

According to Srouji, developing their own processors started 10 years ago for Apple, and it’s something that they’ve had to make forward-thinking bets on quite a bit. Specifically with the A11 Bionic, considering it relies heavily on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and, as Srouji puts it, “The neural engine embed, it’s a bet we made three years ahead.”

“This is something we started 10 years ago, designing our own silicon, because that’s the best way to truly customize something that’s uniquely optimized for Apple hardware and software.”

The full interview is certainly worth checking out. Both Schiller and Srouji go into some interesting areas, including the fact that while all the Apple teams are still separated into their own areas of expertise and focus, when something needs to change, teams are able to adjust accordingly and make changes where necessary:

“The process is flexible to changes,” said Srouji, who’s been with Apple since the first iPhone. If a team comes in with a request that wasn’t part of the original plan, “We need to make that happen. We don’t say, ‘No, let me get back to my road map and, five years later, I’ll give you something.”

With Schiller adding:

“There have been some critical things in the past few years, where we’ve asked Johny’s team to do something on a different schedule, on a different plan than they had in place for years, and they moved heaven and earth and done it, and it’s remarkable to see.”

Go check out the full interview through the source link below for some light Friday reading, and learn at least part of the growing process that became the A11 Bionic processor.

[via Mashable]

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