iPhone 6S #chipgate – Samsung Processor is less efficient
Reports have come out that some versions of the iPhone 6s have up to 20 percent less battery life but is there actually any difference? Lets find out.
iPhone 6S Chipgate:
It all comes down to the chips inside. Unlike previous iPhones the 6s can have two different processors. Chipworks took a closer look and found something interesting: They’re physically different sizes.
If you opened up an iPhone 6s you would find one of two chips, one built by Samsung that measures in at 96 mm squared and another built by TSMC that comes in at 104.5 millimeters squared. The difference comes because they’re built on two different processes, the Samsung is 14 nm where the TSMC chip is 16 nm.
All of this nerd talk aside, what this means is that not all iPhone 6s’s are created equal. To find out which phone you have go to the App Store and download The Lirum Info app. It’s free and is usually used for monitoring but what we want to find out is the model number. The iPhone 6s with a Samsung A9 is N71AP where the TSMC version is N71MAP. The same holds true for the iPhone 6s Plus, the Samsung model number is N66AP and TSMC is N66MAP.
Supposedly the TSMC model is the better version but I wanted to put that to the test. To find out I took a pair of identical iPhone 6s’s, one with the Samsung processor and one with the TSMC chip. I calibrated both screens to 200 nits of brightness and ran the Geekbench 3 battery test until each phone hit 50 percent battery.
The results were really surprising, the TSMC phone lasted a full fifty minutes longer than the Samsung model resulting in a nearly 1.5 times difference in battery life. This was also noticeable in the temperatures of the phones, the TSMC iPhone runs significantly cooler than the Samsung phone under load. Since Geekbench is the absolute worst case of how battery holds up under intense load, next I ran a much lighter video test.
I loaded the same hour long YouTube video with both phones connected to the same Wi-Fi network and here there was a much smaller difference with the Samsung phone using 15 percent battery compared to 14 percent with the TSMC model. The end result is very interesting.
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For normal use there’s a fairly minor difference but the TSMC iPhone can give you significantly better battery life for heavy use. There’s really no way of telling which phone you’re going to get before buying, the Lirum app is great but it only tells you after you’ve bought the phone.
So what do you guys think about #Chipgate? A big deal or no problem at all? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post.