Apple “almost” implemented ray tracing technology on the GPU of the A16 Bionic chip, used in the iPhone 14 Pro line. However, the development of hardware with this feature did not go as expected, causing performance problems in their “premium” smartphones.
The case was revealed by the website The Information, who had contact with “sources who have immediate access to the matter” — likely one or more Apple employees who participated in the project. According to these sources, GPU with support for ray tracing caused heating issues and increased battery drain🇧🇷
Apple dropped support for Ray Tracing — and it was the right thing to do
Seeing that the use of ray tracing on the GPU would bring down the performance of the A16 Bionic, Apple made the decision to drop the feature. The attitude was the right one to take — and follows an Apple tradition.
The ray tracing problem on the A16 Bionic chip was detected in the final part of development, without giving time to correct overheating and high battery consumption. And it’s not smart to release a new feature just to say you have it. In order not to leave with a burned reputation, Apple ended the idea of including support for ray tracing.
Despite being the right decision not to generate a sales fiasco, ray tracing is “missing” on the iPhone 14 Pro. With we talked about in the model reviewit is an improved iPhone 13 Pro, with no innovations that do not cause a “WOW moment” when seeing the product — Dynamic Island is great, but not enough to suggest that a user should choose the iPhone 14 Pro over any other model.
Even so, Apple has a tradition of withholding some innovations so as not to launch a product with some half-assed feature (hello brands that launch cell phones with 2 MP or 5 MP macro cameras). See Apple’s delay in changing the notch: she got it right on Dynamic Island and still fixed his size problem🇧🇷
Another example of this tradition: Apple is rumored to be testing foldable smartphone technologies while also analyzing market reaction to the form factor.
Returning to ray tracing, with more time to fix the flaws, it’s a matter of time before the leakers disclose whether or not Apple will launch an A17 Bionic with support for the technology.
The website The Information also reports that Apple is losing its top engineers to the competition. A source on the site explains that the senior vice president of the hardware division, Johny Srouji, is a good leader, but suffers from the “movement of the market” in Silicon Valley.
Apple has lost some of its most talented engineers to Nuvia, the chip maker founded by Gerard Williams III, a former apple company engineer who served in a leadership role. Nuvia was bought by Qualcomm in 2021🇧🇷 Ironies of life: Williams’ replacement, Mike Filippo, ended up being hired by Microsoft – the vacancy remains open.