Apple today announced the next generation of Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 9, which features a new processor — the S9 — that substantially boosts the performance of the Apple Watch compared to the previous several generations.
The S9 packs a CPU that has 5.6 billion transistors — 60% more than the S8, the S9’s four-year-old predecessor — and a GPU that’s 30% faster. The chip’s reportedly built on the same tech as Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, which debuted in the iPhone 13, and delivers up to 18 hours of battery life.
A four-core neural engine in the S9 handles machine learning tasks ostensibly up to twice as fast as the S8, including processing Siri requests on-device for prompter responses. Wearers can ask Siri, for example, how much sleep they got last night or what their blood-oxygen level is. A “transformer model” running on the neural engine, meanwhile, makes dictation on the Apple Watch up to 20% more accurate, Apple claims — attributable presumably to the S9’s beefier silicon.
The S9 also brings with it a new version of Apple’s ultra-wideband wireless chip. Similar to the company’s U1, the new chip provides what Apple calls “spatial awareness,” allowing Apple Watch Series 9 watches to precisely detect the location of other Apple devices nearby equipped with the same tech.