Apple today announced the next generation of Apple Watch, the Series 9, featuring a powerful new S9 chip. This chip brings remarkable enhancements in performance, spatial awareness, and machine learning capabilities compared to its predecessor, the S8.
The new S9 chip packs a whopping 5.6 billion transistors—60% more than the four-year-old S8. Built on the same architecture as Apple's A15 Bionic chip that debuted in the iPhone 13, the S9 offers 30% faster GPU performance. The chip promises up to 18 hours of battery life, making it a robust companion for all-day wear.
The S9 features a four-core neural engine that ostensibly performs machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the S8. This results in more prompt and efficient Siri responses. For example, wearers can ask Siri about their sleep metrics or blood-oxygen levels directly, and receive instantaneous replies.
Apple claims that a "transformer model" running on the S9’s neural engine improves dictation accuracy by up to 20%. This allows for more reliable voice-to-text functions, which could be a game-changer for quick replies and note-taking on the go.
The Series 9 also introduces a new version of Apple's ultra-wideband wireless chip, which grants the device “spatial awareness.” This allows the Apple Watch to precisely locate other Apple devices nearby equipped with the same technology. It powers the "Precision Finding" feature for the iPhone 15 family, providing multi-sensory guidance to a misplaced iPhone, even if it’s in a different room.
With the S9 chip, Apple Watch Series 9 sets a new benchmark for smartwatches, not just in terms of raw performance but also in enhanced user experiences and functionalities. From on-device Siri processing to Precision Finding, the Series 9 looks poised to redefine what consumers expect from wearable technology.