Due to what Apple officials describe as an “unprecedented engineering snafu,” the company has also been forced to scrap plans for an upgraded A16 Bionic Chip for the iPhone 14 Pro that promised to bring such advanced graphics as ray tracing to the mobile platform.
The report comes from The Information online, stating that Apple Engineers were confident in adding more advanced features during software testing. All that changed when actual hardware tests revealed something different.
Apple engineers had designed a new graphics processor food the iPhone 14 pro which could add Ray Tracing, a technique invented by Nvidia for making video games and computer graphics appear more realistic and lifelike.
During the initial software testing, Apple was confident that the new feature could be inserted into the iPhone 14 Pro as an advanced feature.
But during hardware testing, unacceptable levels of battery drain and the potential for overheating of the mobile handset were revealed, causing Apple to scrap the design entirely and revert to the previous GPU design found on the iPhone 13 Pro.
This explains why, during the announcement of the next generation iPhone 14, the company barely mentioned GPU performance as only providing up to 50 percent more “memory bandwidth” and nothing else.
The news is somewhat of a black eye on Apple’s dominant stature within the mobile industry, where the company is known for taking innovative concepts introduced by other competitors and taking them to the next level of innovation.
Even attempting to add ray tracing in a mobile handset shows just how powerful mobile phones have become, especially in graphics processing.
However, it doesn’t come without its challenges, and in this case setbacks. The report attributes the problems Apple ran into with the hardware design to a so-called “brain drain” of losing top talent to competing companies like Nuvia, Google, and Microsoft.
Apple’s design team has been faced with a rebuilding period, causing much of the development for the iPhone 14 Pro to be a struggle for those still with the company.
As such, and due to the nature of the engineering group’s snafu, which The Information Report calls a serious “screwup unprecedented in the group’s history,” Apple executives have had to reassign several Apple Silicon engineers to other projects.
The company has tried to also stem the hemorrhaging of talent through a negative PR campaign of leaving the company for the riskiness of working for chip startups, that most often ends in failure.
The Information report certainly explains the lackluster reaction to the iPhone 14 Pro announcement and reviews, where many tech analysts have advised skipping this generation in favor of waiting for the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra, which could not only iron out much of the engineering problems with just a little more development time but also features a 5-6x Optical Periscope zoom.
And perhaps by then, Cupertino can do a little poaching of their own and get the kind of talent that can take the iPhone 15 Pro to the level it was hoping for before it all went wrong.
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