There’s something in the iPad Air for enterprise IT


As anticipated, Apple on Tuesday announced new watches, iPads and services; you can read all about these products here. But two announcements stand out as particularly interesting for enterprise users: 

The iPad Air 4 and the A14 Bionic processor it contains.

A breath of iPad Air

Apple’s fourth-gen iPad Air was the star of the virtual show, primarily because the tablet now contains Apple’s most powerful A14 processor. Isn’t yet available in any other product including the iPad Pro or iPhone, but it will be.

Available from October from $599 or $729 (cellular), here’s the spec sheet for the new tablet:

  • 10.9-in. Liquid Retina display with 3.8 million pixels, P3 wide color support and TrueTone.
  • 12MP rear camera (like the iPad Pro) and 7MP FaceTime camera.
  • A Touch ID system that hides the sensor inside the top button, enabling the larger display.
  • Available in silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
  • USB-C, Wi-Fi 6, Stereo speakers, LTE.
  • Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio supported.
  • Apple’s latest A14 Bionic processor (more below).
  • A free year of Apple TV with an iPad Air purchase.

With its larger screen, better camera and iOS 14, iPad Air seems set to deliver the kind of performance needed to get even more complex tasks done. This should make it an excellent second or third device for knowledge workers – and a welcome addition to the arsenal of anyone working from home.

From an enterprise perspective, these iPads seem to promise more of what you need when it comes to replacing legacy systems with mobile devices. However, what’s really important to the enterprise story is the processor inside.

The Schrodinger genie

Armed with an ARM reference design, Apple’s chip development teams have worked with fabricator TSMC to create a world first 5-nanometer chip inside a mass market device. The A14 Bionic represents a triumph of ingenuity that hasn’t yet been matched at scale by anyone else.

For reference, Apple’s first self-developed A4 chip was built on a 45nm process, while the A13 processor used inside iPhone 11 is a 7nm design. We know that TSMC is moving into position to produce 3nm chips by around 2022-2024.

Jolly good, but so what?

The “so what” is that these chips promise new realms of performance, much lower power requirements and – while making their debut in the iPad Air – will very likely also be inside the iPhone 12 and future Apple Silicon Macs.

That means that what these processors can do is important not just for the iPad Air, but across all Apple’s platforms. As enterprises migrate to Apple devices, it matters.

First, I’ve extracted all the technical specifications I can find from Apple’s detailed hardware info:

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



Spread the love
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!