Apple unveils the A17 Pro, a 3nm chip powering the iPhone 15 Pro

It sports 19 billion transistors and hardware accelerated ray tracing.


We figured the iPhone 15 Pro would feature some sort a new A17 chip, but Apple surprised us by debuting its first "Pro" chip at its annual fall event today. The A17 Pro is Apple's most powerful mobile silicon yet. The 3 nanometer chip features 17 billion transistors and a six-core CPU. Apple claims its two performance cores are 10 percent faster than the A16, while its four efficiency cores offer far better performance per watt. The 6-core GPU is also 20 percent faster than before, and it features advanced graphics features like hardware accelerated ray tracing.

The A17 Pro seems particularly useful for game developers. Apple announced that Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Village are coming to the iPhone, while The Division Resurgence will also launch next year.

The real question, though, is why Apple is calling this the A17 Pro. Does that mean we'll see a stripped-down version of this chip in next year's iPhone 16? It certainly gives Apple more leeway in the future — instead of trying to justify why the A17 Pro may lose features when it heads to cheaper hardware, the company can trot out a slightly slower chip that's still an upgrade from the A16.

We'll be testing the A17 Pro's performance soon enough in a review of the iPhone 15 Pro, but in the meantime, we have some first impressions from Engadget's Deputy Reviews Editor, Cherlynn Low, who was on the ground in Cupertino covering the event.

Follow all of the news live from Apple's 'Wonderlust' event right here.