Apple reportedly canceled a “next-generation” GPU on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max due to a rare engineering error.
According to a report from The Information, Apple was working on a next-generation GPU for the iPhone 14 Pro. The new GPU that the engineering team was set to support advanced features such as hardware-accelerated ray tracing and more.
But an engineering design mistake was discovered late in development, leading to the scrapping of the plans. Engineers were reportedly “too ambitious with adding new features,” and the prototypes had a much higher power draw than expected, leading to negative impacts on battery life and thermal issues. As a result, the GPU could not be used for the new-gen iPhones and had to be canceled last minute.
The shipping iPhone 14 Pro GPU cores have a similar architecture to the cores found in the A15 chip from the iPhone 13 Pro — even though Apple claims that the GPU of the iPhone 14 Pro has 50% higher memory bandwidth compared to its predecessor.
The GPU mistake has been described as “unprecedented in the group’s history.” It has caused Apple to restructure its graphics processor team and move some managers away from the project, including the departure of key figures who were reportedly instrumental in Apple’s rise as a chip design leader.
According to the report, Apple’s silicon group is also facing retention issues, with employees citing extremely long hours and stressful workloads. The report also highlights the ongoing litigation between Apple and startups Nuvia and Rivos, who have poached numerous engineers from Apple and are accused by the tech giant of stealing proprietary information about its chip designs.
Source: The Information