Tag Archives: CPU

Apple’s A5 will continue to power iDevices into 2012-2013, exist alongside A6

Apple’s next generation of mobile iDevices will be powered principally by A5-class System-on-a-Chip (SoC) hardware, according to Rumors’ sources. The A6 will indeed be introduced next year, as has been long rumored, but may be exclusive to the family of next-generation AppleTV devices at first.

According to sources, the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5 and iPad 3 will all be powered by a series of chips that, regardless of how they will be marketed by Apple, will be essentially unchanged from the A5 except for clock speed differences and a possible switch of suppliers (thusly, also possibly a switch in manufacturing processes but with little functional effect). Unless the iPad is split into two or more tiers as has been considered for the entire iOS device family more than once in the past and is expected to happen with the AppleTV’s next generation, the A6 is expected to be exclusive in its initial production run to the new AppleTV family. Read more

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Apple buys second ARM chip design firm, Intrinsity

Readers who have their ears to the grapevine will remember the excitement over Apple’s acquisition two years ago of PA Semi, which led directly to the production of its first in-house ARM CPU, the 1GHz A4 which is at the heart of every iPad.

Now, indications are that Apple has made a second acquisition to bolster its in-house ARM SoC development efforts: Intrinsity, formerly a close partner of major ARM manufacturer Samsung. What does this mean for the future of Apple’s iDevice hardware?

Among many other specialties in ARM SoC design, Intrinsity is well known for its engineering talents in the area of power efficiency optimization. Particularly for ultra-compact iDevices, power efficiency doesn’t just mean long battery life….it means that faster, more powerful ARM chips with higher clock speeds can be packed into the same package. Read more

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