In the design of its latest tablet iPad air 2, Apple focused its innovation more on the processor semiconductor chip, which it named as A8x. The new chip A8x has 3 billion transistors and is mostly expected to be made using 20 nm process from TSMC.
When the display and media content supported is of extremely high resolution, the amount of processing both for the data processing as well as graphic processing is significantly huge. For the user, the high performance can only be felt by not really feeling any of the delay while interacting with a complex touch such as finger print sensing, voice interface, opening a ultra high-definition media file, searching through a big datafile, Or any such computation intensive task.
There are lot of other innovations such as offering vision aid and analysis, error free speech/voice commands in multiple languages and multiple accents. Lot of new sensors can be added for health, and other industry specific applications. However all this needs powerful processor, which also should consume lesser power.
Apple looks to be focusing on making the processor really powerful enough to handle complex real-world signal processing just like Brian.
In whatever way we compare, the present processors can hardly match to the speeds of real-time data processing required for many human needs.
So if tomorrow, the 10nm or 7 nm chips can pack four times or eight times the processing capability of present processors, there are enough applications to utilise such availability. If the industry fails to economically pack much more computing power by minimising the transistor size, it have to go for 3-D stacking of processor chips to increase the processing power.
What is clear now is most of the product companies who are designing cutting-edge electronic dependent products started designing their own chips.
You can only go for cloud computing for higher computing resources if the device in the hand runs out of a enough semiconductor power. The idea is to pack maximum silicon on the client side but at affordable price , so that much of the computing can happen at client side.
Some of incremental improvements in iPad 2: Thickness of just 6.1 mm thin and weighing less than a pound, improved Retina display, Touch ID, Apple Pay support.