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Definition: Apple A series


An ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) family from Apple that was introduced in 2007. The Apple A series provided the processing in iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch until 2021, when Apple began using its M chips in the iPad (see Apple M series). The iPad touch is discontinued, and the iPhone will continue to use the A series chips.

Using the RISC-based ARM CPU architecture, the Apple A series chips provide the equivalent processing power of desktop computers launched only a year or so earlier than the mobile product. Following are all the A series SoCs Apple has used, including models prior to A. The "X" suffix denotes a higher-performance version of the chip. See Bionic chip, process technology, SoC and ARM.

Other Apple Chips: S, W and T
The S chips are dual-core processors in Apple Watch. The W series refers to wireless chips in AirPods and the Apple Watch. The T series deals with Touch ID and security in Macs (see Apple T series).

 Apple A Series
                   Process
  Year         Max  Tech       ARM
 (20xx) Model Clock  nm  bits  CPU   Cores

 23  A17     2.4 GHz   3  64  Bionic    6
 22  A16     2.4 GHz   4  64  Bionic    6
 21  A15     2.4 GHz   5  64  Bionic    6
 20  A14     2.4 GHz   5  64  Bionic    6
 19  A13     2.4 GHz   7  64  Bionic    6
 18  A12     2.4 GHz   7  64  Bionic    6
 17  A11     2.4 GHz  10  64  Bionic    6
 16  A10     2.4 GHz  10  64  Fusion    4
 15  A9      1.8 GHz  14  64  Twister   2
 15  A9X     2.3 GHz  16  64  Twister   2
 14  A8      1.5 GHz  20  64  Typhoon   2
 14  A8X     1.5 GHz  20  64  Typhoon   3
 13  A7      1.3 GHz  28  64  Cyclone   2
 12  A6      1.3 GHz  32  32  Swift     2
 12  A6X     1.4 GHz  32  32  Swift     2
 11  A5      1.0 GHz  32  32  CortexA9  2
 12  A5X     1.0 GHz  45  32  CortexA9  2
 10  A4      1.0 GHz  45  32  CortexA8  1

 09 APL0298  600 MHz  65  32  CortexA8  1
 09 APL2298  800 MHz  45  32  CortexA8  1
 08 APL0278  533 MHz  36  32  ARM11     1
 07 APL0098  412 MHz  90  16  ARM11     1

 See process technology.