iOS 12 Core ML Benchmarks

With the A11 Bionic’s Neural Engine in last year’s iPhone X, Apple introduced its first chip for hardware-accelerated AI. This year, Apple promised huge performance increases to Core ML in their iOS 12 update. They claim models run 9X faster and use 1/10th the energy on the new A12 Bionic processor. Early reports suggested that Apple has delivered, but I wanted to be sure.

iPhone X vs iPhone XS

At Fritz, we collect performance data every time a model is run on a user’s device to make sure that experiences are consistent. I went and looked at real world data from our open-source Fritz AI Studio app to see how each Apple device stacked up.

This Core ML model runs over 10X faster on the A12 processor in the iPhone XS Max compared with the iPhone X. The model above performs object detection, and results vary from model to model. The smallest speed-up I saw was around 5x.

The 6th Gen iPad appears faster than the iPhone X here. This model just squeaked through my threshold for having enough data to be included here, so it’s possible that this is just noise. I’ll revisit this in a future post.*

iOS 11 vs iOS 12

I also noticed that the transition from iOS 11 to iOS 12 improved performance of existing models on every device.

Core ML models run 38% faster on iOS 12 compared to iOS 11.

It’s not often that we see 1000% increases in performance of a technology year over year. We’re just at the beginning of an incredible wave of mobile experiences powered by on-device machine learning. Processors like the A12 are going to make it happen.

*The original version of the post suggested that the 2018 iPad had the A10X processor which was incorrect.

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