Apple A6 and A6X - Featured Articles

Apple A6 processor tear down

Apple A6 processor tear down

Since the iPhone body has already been torn down, what's left to do but tear down it's brain -- the all new, all custom Apple A6 system-on-a-chip (SoC). And that's just exactly what iFixt and Chipworks have just done. During the iPhone 5 teardown, we referenced the B8164B3PM label we found on...
Apple A6 reportedly a custom ARM CPU, PowerVR SGX 543MP3, 1GB of RAM

Apple A6 reportedly a custom ARM CPU, PowerVR SGX 543MP3, 1GB of RAM

At the iPhone 5 event on September 12, Apple not only announced a new iPhone, but also a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) sequentially named the Apple A6, While we'd heard about this new chipset prior to the event, we hadn't heard anything specific. Rumors ranged from an updated, higher clocked version...
Apple A6

Apple introduces the smaller, faster A6 chipset for the iPhone 5

With the iPhone 5 now going through the full unveiling process, Phil Schiller took the stage to confirm that Apple is indeed making use of the Apple A6 chipset in the new device. There was plenty of rumors surrounding the next-generation hardware and whether or not the A6 would be a part of it but...

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Apple supposedly contracting TSMC to produce A6X processor

It's a rumor that's been making the rounds for quite some time, going back as far as March of 2011: Apple moving production of their custom ARM-based processors from Samsung to TSMC. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has increasingly been named as a principle benefactor of Apple's unhappy relationship with rival and former frenemy (now verging on full-time enemy) Samsung. Now, According to the AFP, the Taiwanese Commercial Times is reporting that TSMC has been contracted by Apple to produce the company's A6X chip.

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Samsung hikes processor fabrication prices on Apple by 20%

Samsung has reportedly raised the prices they charge for manufacturing chipsets like the iPhone 5's Apple A6 by a whopping 20%. While no reason for the increase was given, Apple’s increased demand for processors, as many as 200 million chips this year, up from 130 million last year, could be a factor. Whatever the case may be, Apple seems to have little choice but to agree to the price hike, having no viable alternative suppliers at this point.

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iPad 4 and iPad mini performance tests

The iPad 4 has an Apple A6X system-on-a-chip (SoC) is marketed as twice as fast, both in central and graphics processing, as the iPad 3 released only 7 short months ago. Apple's custom, manually-set ARM v7s processor -- called Swift -- remains the 32nm CMOS dual-core beast found in the iPhone 5, but it's been cranked up to 1.4 GHz. The X in the iPad 4's A6X once again represents a quad-core graphics processor, this time the PowerVR SGX554MP4. On spec, that's some serious fire-power.

The iPad mini, by contrast, has the same die-shrunk Apple A5 SoC found in the iPad 2. That's a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 and PowerVR dual-core SGX543MP2. But the iPad mini also has the same 1024x768 display as the iPad 2. It's smaller but denser, going from 9.7-inches to 7.9 inches, and 132 ppi to 163 ppi, but it's the raw pixel count here that makes the difference.

Retina comes at a price, and that price is performance for the first generation devices that have to support it. The iPad 3, iPhone 4, the iPod touch 4, even the Retina MacBook Pros were and are maxed out trying to push all those pixels. Once that's done, though, once the price has been paid, however, performance improvements go back to where they belong -- making things feel faster.

So, even with the older, less powerful Apple A5, the iPad mini should fly. But will the new A6X help the iPad 4 do likewise?

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Regarding the iPad 3 mark II

Back in August iMore reported that Apple was planning to update all current iOS devices to the new Lightning connector. That included the new iPad (iPad 3) that went on sale last March. Today MacRumors reported a developer had started seeing iPad 3,6 show in his or her app analytics, and what's more, it appeared to be running an iPhone 5-class, ARM v7s-based, Apple A6 custom system-on-a-chip.

We talked about the "iPad 3 mark II" (or rev A, for lack of a better term) on last week's iMore show Sunday edition, but here's the gist --

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Apple A6 processor tear down

Since the iPhone body has already been torn down, what's left to do but tear down it's brain -- the all new, all custom Apple A6 system-on-a-chip (SoC).

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Apple A6 reportedly a custom ARM CPU, PowerVR SGX 543MP3, 1GB of RAM

At the iPhone 5 event on September 12, Apple not only announced a new iPhone, but also a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) sequentially named the Apple A6. While we'd heard about this new chipset prior to the event, we hadn't heard anything specific. Rumors ranged from an updated, higher clocked version of last year's dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based Apple A5 with a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, to a bleeding edge ARM A15 and PowerVR 6 "Rogue". Turns out the Apple A6 is nothing as conservative or futuristic as either of those things -- it's something even more exciting. It's Apple's first custom-designed ARM chipset.

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Apple introduces the smaller, faster A6 chipset for the iPhone 5

With the iPhone 5 now going through the full unveiling process, Phil Schiller took the stage to confirm that Apple is indeed making use of the Apple A6 chipset in the new device. There was plenty of rumors surrounding the next-generation hardware and whether or not the A6 would be a part of it but now, it's for certain.

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iPhone 5 preview: Processor, graphics, RAM, and storage

Apple is expected to announce their next generation iPhone on September 12, 2012, and while there have been a lot of leaks about what it may look like, there have only been a few about what will power it. That's not surprising. Apple seldom gives specifics about the processors inside the iPhone, or any of their iOS devices. They'll typically announce the name of the processor, maybe the number of cores, but they'll mostly just tell us how many times faster it is than the last generation, both in terms of computing and graphical power. And the amount of RAM is has? Forget about it. We'll likely not know the full details about the iPhone 5 processor until after it's launched and after it's been thoroughly torn down by third parties. That's the Apple way. In the meantime, all we can do is speculate based on past behavior and present technology.

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Purported iPhone 5 part leaks show off Apple A6 chipset

The most recent in a slew of part leaks in regards to the iPhone 5 shows two views of logic board including one with the shields removed. The most interesting feature is that you can make out what appears to be an A6 designation.

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iPad 3 event preview

Complete rumor rundown of Apple's upcoming iPad 3 event, from release date to hardware hopes and software speculation

Apple's next generation iPad 3 will almost certainly be announced on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, California. Everything else about it, however, is still up in the air. That's nothing new. The road to every Apple product release is paved and pot-holed with rumors true and fake, and this one is no different.

Still, while Apple is secretive they do tend towards patterns. What they've done in the past can indicate what they may do in the future. That's what we're going to look at here -- sift through all the recent rumors and try to figure out what makes sense.

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Apple rumored to be working on both A5X and A6 chipsets for next generation devices

iMore heard Apple was going quad-core with a full on, next generation A6-powered iPad 3, so did Bloomberg, but The Verge heard dual core and strings have been found identifying a less ambitious A5X chipset instead. Which one is it? Both? Neither? Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac thinks it's almost certainly both.

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Supposed photos of iPad 3 compared with iPad 2 confirm thicker design, more tapered edges

The iPad 3 rumor mill is chugging a long a full speed, this time showing us what's supposedly Apple's next generation tablet side-by-side with an iPad 2.

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Best Buy employee auction site loaded up with discounted iPad 2's ahead of iPad 3 launch

It looks like Best Buy is trying to offload some iPad 2 inventory on their internal employee auction website ahead of the iPad 3 launch, which is expected to be announced on March 7th with a high-resolution Retina display, quad-core processor and possible 4G LTE support.

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iPad 3 announcement March 7, quad-core, possible 4G LTE

4G LTE networking has been another mystery surrounding the iPad 3, with a compatible Qualcomm chipset becoming available, but international availability still slim. It sounds like Apple has 4G LTE lined up for iPhone 5 this October, but we're still not certain if the iPad 3 will get it earlier. Apple could potentially release a 4G LTE variant model, targeted at Verizon, AT&T, Rogers, Bell, and other carriers that have rolled out enough support to see demand, or they could wait and debut it in the next iPhone instead.

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Supposed debug leak shows iPad 3 with quad-core A6 chip and LTE

BGR was given screenshots from sources who claim to have access to the iPad 3, indicating it will come packed with a quad-core A6 chip and support LTE speeds.

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iPad 3 on schedule for March release, might include quad-core chipset, LTE

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has begun production of the iPad 3 for an expected March 2012 release.

[iPad 3] will sport a high-definition screen, run a faster processor and work with next-generation wireless networks, according to three people familiar with the product. [..] The tablet will use a quad-core chip, an enhancement that lets users jump more quickly between applications, two of the people said.

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Apple to move chipset production from Samsung to TSMC with Apple A6 SoC in 2012?

Given the increasing legal contention between Apple and Samsung, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Apple is considering moving production of their next generation Apple A6 system-on-a-chip (SoC) to from the Korean conglomerate to Taiwan's TSMC.

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Imagination announces next generation POWERVR GPU, possibly bound for 2012 iPad, iPhone?

Imagination Technologies, makers of the POWERVR GPUs that power iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, has announced that 6 new partners, including 3 unnamed -- and presumably including Apple -- have licensed their upcoming next generation POWERVR Series 6.

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