The chip was unveiled on March 18, 2020 with the announcement of the 4th generation iPad Pro, the first device to use it. Apple officials touted the chip as faster than most Windows laptops of the time. The chip has an 8-core GPU, one more core than its predecessor, the Apple A12X, which enables better and faster 4K video editing, rendering, and augmented reality. The chip also features tuned performance controllers and a better thermal architecture, which may allow for higher clock speeds. On the iPad Pro it is paired with 6 GB of LPDDR4X RAM. Both the A12Z and A12X are the same, with the A12Z having all 8 GPU cores enabled instead of just 7.
According to an analysis of the processor floorplan by technology patents firm TechInsights, the A12Z Bionic is the same as the A12X chip, but with an extra GPU core enabled. AnandTech theorized that the A12Z is a re-binned variant of the A12X, which is a common practice in semiconductor manufacturing, allowing finished units of the same design to be set to higher specifications as the quality and quantity of manufacturing yields improve over time.
At its 2020 Worldwide_Developers_Conference, Apple introduced a prototype ARM-based Mac based on the A12Z with 16 GB RAM in a Mac mini enclosure, the first Macintosh computer to use an Apple in-house processor, and the only one to use an A-series processor.
Products that include the Apple A12Z Bionic
- Apple unveils new iPad Pro with backlit Magic Keyboard case, available to order today (March 18, 2020). Retrieved on March 18, 2020.
- Shilov, Anton. Apple Unveils New iPad Pro: A12Z Bionic, Camera w/ Depth Sensor for AR, Keyboard w/ Trackpad.
- All 2020 iPad Pro models feature 6GB of RAM, same U1 chip as iPhone 11 (March 18, 2020). Retrieved on March 18, 2020.
- Looking at the Apple A12Z Bionic System on Chip | TechInsights.
- Miller, Chance (March 26, 2020). Report claims new iPad Pro's A12Z Bionic chip is just a 'renamed A12X with an enabled GPU core' (en-US).
- A12Z Chip in iPad Pro Confirmed to Be Same As A12X, But With Extra GPU Core Enabled (en) (April 13, 2020). Retrieved on April 14, 2020.
- Apple announces Mac transition to Apple silicon (en-US).