Looking at the Apple A12Z Bionic System on Chip

Is the Apple A12Z bionic SoC just the A12X renamed, with an enabled GPU core?

A12

A12

 

Apple iPad Pro 2020 A2068 Board

When we first got the Apple iPad Pro 2020 A2068 in our labs, this was the first thing we wanted to know. What is the A12Z?

When we saw the A12Z, there was visually no difference between it and the A12X, so we dug further to determine whether the A12X had the same 8 cores as the A12Z, but just with one of the cores disabled.

Apple A2068 A12Z Package Photographs

A12Z Top

Top

A12Z Bottom

Bottom

The first big clue we saw was that the part number APL1083 seen on the A12Z in the Apple A2068 matches the parts number we saw previously on the A12X.

Die Markings Comparison

Die marking taken from A12X

Die marking taken from A12X

Die marking taken from A12Z

Die marking taken from A12Z

Next, we looked at die markings. Again, the die mark of TMJQ51 seen on the A12X matches the die marking seen on the A12Z.

Annotated Die Photo

Just in case there was any room left for doubt, we examined the floorplan of both chips.

Die Photo taken from A12X

A12X

Die Photo taken from A12Z

A12Z

Our findings:

  • A12X and A12Z have the same die size: 10.1mm x 12.6mm (die seal)
  • A12X and A12Z have an identical floorplan by optical confirmation. In detail, same-sized 8 GPU cores in A12X and A12Z.

Summary of Findings

  • A12X and A12Z have the same die size: 10.1mm x 12.6mm (die seal)
  • A12X and A12Z have identical floorplans by optical confirmation
    • Same sized 8 GPU cores
  • A12X and A12Z have the same part numbers and die markings
    • Part number: APL1083
    • Die marking: TMJQ51

Our Conclusion

The A12X and A12Z are the same die, with 8 GPU cores.

The A12X has 7 functional GPU cores, with 1 disabled GPU core.

The A12Z has all 8 GPU cores enabled.

With these findings, we do not have further analysis planned on the A12Z as we have already analyzed the A12X. We do have additional analysis in progress on other components found in the iPad Pro, such as the LiDAR Scanner. See the table below for analysis related to the iPad Pro.

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