Smartphone processors get faster every year, and the new iPhone certainly isn't bucking that trend. The iPhone 5S will come with the Apple A7, a new 64-bit system-on-chip Phil Schiller described as "a leap forward." Schiller said the A7 is "up to twice as fast" as its predecessor, introducing speed gains in both performance and graphics. Apple's iOS operating system has been completely rebuilt to take full advantage of the chip's 64-bit architecture, Schiller said. The company brought Epic Games on stage to showcase the increased horsepower provided by the A7 with its latest title, Infinity Blade III. Schiller said that in certain instances, the A7 offers CPU boosts 42 times faster than the original iPhone, with graphics up to 56 times faster.
Working alongside the A7 is a new M7 chip, which Apple describes as a "motion coprocessor." Its sole purpose is to continually track motion data, and Apple says the M7 will enable developers to create "a new generation" of fitness applications for iOS.
Last year, Apple announced that both the Apple A6 and Apple A6X processors doubled the CPU and GPU performance of their predecessors in the phone and tablet realms. That was a pretty incredible leap for silicon year over year, and yet many were expecting Apple to do the same today, in order to catch up to or potentially even leapfrog the latest chips from Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Samsung. It sounds like that might have come to pass. Rumors also flew that Apple might finally make the move to quad-core, as the A6 and A6X each have only two CPU cores, which doesn't seem to be the case. Rumors did, however, correctly predict the move to 64-bit.