A17 Pro: what you need to know about Apple's new flagship chipset

an image of the A17 Pro chip
(Image credit: Apple)

The A17 Pro chip, is the new flagship slice of silicon for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max revealed at the Apple September event

The 3-nanometer chip boasts a faster 16-core Neural Engine that will provide machine learning on the device, without the need to connect to or save onto the cloud, keeping users' data safe and secure. This lends towards easing everyday tasks like more accurate auto-correct, creating a ‘personal voice’ for users at risk of voice loss, and lifting subjects from photos more accurately. 

However, the most exciting thing about the new A17 Pro chip is the new GPU. The GPU has a new 6-core design that will support sustained performance for games like Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, Death Stranding, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage (when they are ported over to iOS), as well as - drum roll please - ray tracing. 

You read that right, the A17 Pro is bringing ray tracing to the iPhone 15 Pro models as Apple continues its push to get more involved in mobile gaming. 

During the Apple Wonderlust event, the tech giant put up two screenshots that illustrate just how impressive the mobile ray tracing is on the iPhone 15 Pro, showcasing realistic in-game lighting and stunning color quality. 

Latest news

The Apple September event has bene and gone, and the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, have been revealed, both sporting the A17 Pro. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next chipset for iPhones (and potentially some iPads)
  • When is it out? Pre-orders of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max go live September 15 and ship on September 22
  • How much will it cost? The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 for 128GB storage and the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $1,199 with 256GB base storage

A17 Pro chip: release date

The A17 Pro chip was revealed on September 12, as part of the iPhone 15 launch. 

In terms of when you’ll actually be able to use a phone with the A17 Pro chip in it, that's set for September 22 when the new iPhones will ship. 

A17 Pro: specs

An image of the A17 Pro's specs

(Image credit: Apple)

Built on a 3-nanometer process node, the A17 Pro manages to squeeze in 19 billion transistors. That means an uptick of 10% in CPU performance over its predecessor, the A16 Bionic, and a 20% boost in GPU performance. As mentioned, the GPU can now support hardware-accelerated ray tracing; expect future iPhone games to look great. 

The Neural Engine, which governs a lot of the smart features on iPhone, has been given a 2x performance boost to deliver up to 35 trillion operations per second.

More iPhone 15 stories

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).

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