The next iPhone is going to pack in unprecedented compute power thanks to an Apple-designed A11 chip that has six independently addressable CPU cores that can all run at once, according to code strings in a leaked iOS 11 Gold Master build.

That’s according to developer Steven Troughton-Smith, following his deep dive into the secrets hidden in code strings of the iOS 11 GM code. First, on Saturday, he dug up the official name for the A11’s high-performance CPU cores—“Mistral.”

In a tweet the following day, he revealed that the A11 is actually a six-core chip comprised of the two aforementioned high-performance “Mistral” CPU cores and four low-power cores, called “Monsoon” (for context, Apple CPU code-names are based on wind types: A7—“Cyclone”; A8—“Typhoon”; A9—“Twister”; A10—“Hurricane” and “Zephyr”).

By comparison, the A10 Fusion processor found in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices has two low-performance cores and two-high performance cores. In other words, iPhone X will provide increased CPU performance by having more CPU cores that can all run at once, and that’s assuming clock frequency stays unchanged from the A10 Fusion.

If Apple also happens to boosts the CPU clock frequency, you’re immediately looking at a game-changing jump in compute power. Late Sunday evening, Steven tweeted that the two high-power “Monsoon” cores and the four low-power “Mistral” cores are actually all independently addressable.

Yes, no Fusion.

Let me explain.

The current A10 Fusion silicon inside your iPhone 7 can only have one core type active at a time. Either the two power-hungry high-performance cores are crunching numbers at any given time or a pair of relatively battery-saving low-power ones are active.

That’s why the A10 Fusion appears to software and benchmarks as a dual-core chip.

For those wondering, by the way, the A10X Fusion in the new iPad Pros uses three high-performance “Hurricane” cores and three high-efficiency “Zephyr” cores.

By contrast, all six cores in the iPhone X’s A11 chip will be visible to apps at any given time and independently addressable, a significant performance boost. This heterogeneous multi-processing is the most powerful use model of ARM’s so-called big.LITTLE architecture.

Since all physical cores are running at the same time and have access to the same memory regions, workloads can run in parallel. Threads with high priority or computational intensity, such as running games or powering new augmented reality and 3D scanning features of iPhone X, can be assigned to the A11’s two high-performance cores.

Threads with less priority or less computational intensity, such as checking email, playing music or running background activities, can be performed by one of the A11’s four low-power cores, as determined by Apple’s Grand Central Dispatch system, to preserve battery life.

I’m just guessing here, but Apple could even task two of the four low-power cores in iPhone X with handling always-on features such as Hey Siri and Face ID.

In a few hours, this will no longer be true.

Again, the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion uses the simplest big.LITTLE implementation where the CPU is arranged into identically-sized clusters of cores (two “Big” and two ”Little”) and the iOS task scheduler can only see and use one CPU cluster at any given time.

When CPU load changes between low and high, the hone simply transitions to the other CPU cluster.

It is now becoming clear that iPhone X will be the most powerful iOS device Apple’s ever made by wide margin. Competition is going to have a really hard time catching up. Granted, iPhone X is going to need all the oomph it can get for its computationally intensive features like depth-sensing augmented reality, 3D facial recognition, increased resolution and so forth.

Best of all, the new A11 chip is expected to be built not only into the flagship iPhone X model, but also in the “iterative” iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus devices.

Apple is truly going all out this year. Perhaps even more surprisingly, it appears that iPhone X won’t be the only forthcoming hardware upgrade sporting some beastly specs.

As we said, the next Apple TV uses a six-core A10X Fusion chip like the new iPad Pros (when was the last time Apple gave its set-top box a current chip?), with three high-performance cores accessible to apps and games and three low-power cores for background tasks.

Apple will reveal its cards tomorrow and we’ll be providing continual coverage throughout the day so stay tuned to iDownloadBlog and be sure you have the necessary software to watch the live-streamed keynote on your devices uninterrupted.

Any thoughts on the non-Fusion A11 chip?

Do leave your comments below.

  • The iPhone 7 already beats 99% of Android devices released in the past year and now the iPhone 8 will probably outclass all future devices for another year and a half?

    • askep3

      Probably, the iPhone 7 Plus is just in the last few months being beaten by the OnePlus phone (8gb ram) and maybe barely by the latest Samsung phones. The actual competitor to those phones are the next iPhones. This is going to be insane

      • credulousgeek

        Dude there are paper specs and real world specs iphone 7 plus smokes even the s8+ in real world the best thing about apple is that they always stay true to their promises in real world and yes beasts are on the way so imagine what the new beasts will do in real world its gonna be sick war!

      • askep3

        Great! I only knew about the OnePlus device, I haven’t looked up comparisons to the S8 or note 8 and was too lazy to do so when commenting. It’s funny and nice to hear that a year old iPhone beats today’s androids in benchmark and real world performance haha

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Imagine a quad core a10 cpu destroying Samsung’s Octa core exynos CPU. That just makes  untouchable. Let The iPhone X be announced. It’s going to stay on top for another good 1-1.5 years.

      • askep3

        When people are like “Apple is super overpriced and don’t have any cheap options” But the phone from two years ago is still supported and runs just as fast as the latest androids!

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Did you see what one plus with the 3T, no major update after Oreo. Man, iPhone 5s from 2013 is still getting 5s. Can’t ask for more. I’ve bought every iPhone. Yes they’re bit pricy but given how good the customer support is, and the value they carry, I can’t complain

      • Rowan09

        Exactly. I have a 2011 MacBook Pro and it’s still working fine and can get the latest OS. Just got a Windows computer built and bought 2 others for my church and they already have issues in less than a year. You get what you pay for with Apple for the most part.

      • credulousgeek

        Paper and Real world specs difference is clear.

      • credulousgeek

        Androids can be fast in performing passive tasks but iOS devices are beasts in performing daily life active tasks like productivity that is one reason I have always preferred Apple call me a sheep it wont bother me but facts are facts as per my observation we use phones mostly for making calls messages social media and productivity like i do we hardly utilize max power of any phone tho

      • credulousgeek

        Many people are not aware from engineering pov Apple employs the best in class architecture and design of their CPU and GPUs which smokes every other phone in real world because they are optimized for maximum performance tbh i even find 5C to be more fluid and responsive then the s6 edge plus having 3 GB of RAM and thats where Apple takes the lead.

      • :D

        I read that as breasts haha

      • credulousgeek

        Haha dirty mind we all got

    • Quick Site

      Oh shut up Natalie, you child.

    • Benedict
      • No, thats right ^^ I said 99% Not 100%

      • Benedict

        No. We consider flagship CPUs. Otherwise compare older phones like iphone 5 or 6.
        So from those it’s not 99% – it’s 10%

      • Then thats a pretty crap guide. Devices using the came CPU but one has a 4k screen and the other ha a 1080p screen will preform differently. 3 of those phones on that screenshot you sent are the same phone. same CPU or not, its the same phone, marketed to be the same.

      • 54LV4G3

        Oh cmon, Antutu benchmark means nothing in real life performance…

    • Anonymous

      wow… where do u get your stats from. such BS lol. There are many devices having android that surpass iPhone. Its just that apple is better at marketing. Apple is a brand for ppl who are not technically sound. They know their market and thats how they win.

      • Geekbench. CPU tests and whatnot. You can YouTube real world speed tests that pits other phones VS the iPhone. Its only been recently that phones have out preformed it. Mainly the 1+2, S8/S8+, LG G5 etc.

  • Darryl Barnes

    Sounds like a beast. I’ve heard it rivals some laptop CPUs. Can’t wait.

    • credulousgeek

      But i am skeptical if they does rival laptop cpus meaning they will require more power yes?

  • AlphaPoppy

    Phone looks beautiful no lie

  • AOGV

    Maaaaaaaaaan I’m not exaggerating when I say every other phone is dead on arrival!

  • El Tio Del Sopas

    you guys say RIP the industry, but i think the industry will be very much alive when the prices are revealed tomorrow

    • Fanboy 

      Wrong, surveys are showing many people are willing to pay the premium for it! RIP industry 🙂

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Given how man additions are being made to the iPhone X, 1000$ seems justifiable. Note 8 priced at around 930$ doesn’t have even half of the stuff that iPhone X will have. All these haters gonna say wait, android did it first. Yes, face recognition which can be hacked with a photo.

      • Rizaldy Chaniago

        yeah.. samsung need to charge high price for the latest Note 8, to compensate their loss with the “explosive” one.. 😀

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        They just launched it in India at approx 1062$.  – your turn to turn the tables 😉

    • Rick Simerka

      So dont buy one!

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        If he doesn’t buy , our chance of getting the iPhone X increase by another 0.009%

  • TheShade247

    Did anyone find out if it supports pro motion disply? if its there then i’m sold

    • Abhijeet Gupta

      So far, the answer is no. But all in all the iPhone X seems to be a pretty biggggg upgrade

    • Iskren Donev

      ProMotion will probably be a “no”, but at least we will get TrueTone (I’m sad about the ProMotion though)

  • Stephen Hedger

    It’s great it’s so powerful but what games and apps will really benefit?

    If we had gta4 NEEDING this power I could understand it but the i7 could handle everything thrown at it so won’t this new cpu just be overkill?

    I know the arkit and 3D face thing needs a powerful cpu but I’d rather see a generation jump in games.

    • Rizaldy Chaniago

      we’ll see how your opinion changes a lot after 2-3 months… 😛

    • Iskren Donev

      Don’t worry, as long as you release that awesome hardware developers will figure out how to utilize it soon enough

  • Rob

    You got Mistral and Monsoon the wrong way around, I’m guessing that was straight off what 9to5Mac wrote lol the tweet the report was about says the two high power cores are ‘Monsoon’

  • Boaz van Veen

    they are not going all-in. 3gigs of ram makes sure you need to upgrade in 2-3 years. i know ram is better handled in iOS but still there are too many apps that close if you run them side by side. They can also make iphones way more powerful but limit the maximum core speed to save battery. Still- that kind of power indeed beats the hell out of every android device over more then a year.

    • Sorkai

      Could be a coin flip with the ram thing honestly. From my experience with android my iphone 6 still outperforms many newer model android phones with double its ram.

  • Benedict

    Interesting to see that Apple follows the industry from dual-core to hexa-core. I remember alot of people claiming here that the iphone won’t need more cores – just android devices. Seems like the adapted new features of iOS require more cores because of a increased multitasking load.
    I wonder when they come up with octa-core CPUs, which are industry standard for quite a long time. My Moto G5 (180$) runs with 8 cores with 2 big.LITTLE clusters.

  • di

    Common guys, it’s just a phone. Hardly any one do anything productive on them. Give me a 6core 12threads mobile CPU for on Ultrabook and i will throw money at them.

    • Rizaldy Chaniago

      is there any phone like that now on the market?
      No..? so keep dreaming…

      • di

        Actually maybe by end of the year, u might see i7 coffee lake H mobile processor which is 6core 12T. So it’s not too much of an ask.

      • Rizaldy Chaniago

        Well this article talk about smartphone not ultrabook, right? So..?

      • Quick Site

        insecure crybaby Rizaldy. Ohhh— you’ve got the best of everything— anyone who doesn’t needs to see Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz. Apple used to be “Think Different”— but it just never lets up: iOS users always “Think Same”

      • Rizaldy Chaniago

        Bla..bla..blah. So much words for empty meaning…

    • iFlasher


  • jack payne

    The iPhone 7 already beats 99% of Android devices released in the past year and now the iPhone 8 will probably outclass all future devices for another year and a half?

    • Quick Site

      Blah blah blah and yellow people are better than brown people. Childish shit. When will this kind of immature behavior ever end? Just like Trump’s tweeting, it will never end.

  • Anonymous

    This much processing power is just an overkill. No apps or games that will use this much power. By the time an ecosystem will be developed, Apple will come up with iPhone 9… So there goes the $1000 in dump. But fan boys will not see reason and blindly buy it and boast its useless usefuls lol… Apple is not what it once was man. Thats clear.

    • Rizaldy Chaniago

      ok… we get, you cheap..

  • Daniel Moura

    Wallpaper link? Thanks 🙂

  • Quick Site

    What an ass blog entry. I’m cross platform for both computers and smartphones. Totally immature the way proponents of either phone OS have to constantly diss the other. You need to be told “I have the best phone” “I have the best computer” “I have the best operating system” “I have the best specs”— it’s so tiresome and truly something grade school kids get hung up on. What’s wrong with just letting people use what they like vs making everything some life and death competition. Grow up you asses.

  • Donovan Goodwin

    Paper means nothing. Real world means everything and although it may seem really smooth and nice it hasn’t changed much since the 6S. Same thing will probably be true with the Pixel 2, but the interesting thing is how smooth and performance the Pixel is compared to the iPhone 7. The Pixel 2 will be the same real world performance as the iPhone 8 if everything goes as projected. What’s cool in my opinion is just how frugal the Pixel phones are. Google phones in general are like this. Maybe thats why I like them so much personally.

    • Sorkai

      That is true, hopefully it isn’t tied behind verizon this time around. I hope we get a price point soon too (if we haven’t already)

  • Anonymous

    There are many devices having android that surpass iPhone. Its just that apple is better at marketing. Apple is a brand for ppl who are not technically sound. They know their market and thats how they win.