- Apr 24, 2019
You have my full 100% agreement on this.I agree that including/excluding caches can make measurements very fuzzy either way, but with all these comparisons there's still no evidence that the lower-clocked, wider Apple cores take more space than the higher-clocked, narrower Zen 2/3 cores on equivalent process, and ultimately, die space is what TSMC charges for, not transistor count.
While A13 core is smaller in area, it's more densely packed and by most estimates I've seen the core + L1$ has more transistors than Zen2 core.
This is largely possible because of the lower clock speeds on ARM. By making a wider, slower core they don't have many of the same technical issues with maximizing density, and they get energy efficiency to boot.
If you're paying for die space, there are a lot of economic advantages to a slower, wider core, and A13/A14 maximize that.