Rumored prototype iPad 3 logic board shows Apple A5X chip

Rumor: Leaked photo shows Apple

Adding to the ever-growing iPad 3 rumor mill, a new photo has surfaced on the WeiPhone forums showing a system-on-a-chip nestled onto a prototype logic board, carrying a previously unheard of "A5X". The A5X chip also includes a date code of "1146", which would peg production at or around November 14th-20th of 2011.

This could mean a) the iPad 3 will have an updated variant of the Apple A5 chipset rather than an Apple A6 chipset as previously speculated; or b) this specific prototype was being tested on a variant of the A5 while work was still in progress on the Apple A6.

The A5X chip is model #S5L8945X, which matches an iBoot log reported by BGR a couple weeks ago, and would indicate a less dramatic update than than the previous 30X to 4X jump between the original iPad and iPad 2. If the A5X ships with the iPad 3, it could mean Apple is sticking with the original dual-core architecture of the A5-powered iPad 2 rather than going to a quad-core architecture, as previously rumored. This wouldn't overly affect speed and power, as an A5X would likely be faster and incorporate a newer graphics chip as well, but it could reduce flexibility and the number of complex tasks the iPad 3 could do at once.

We won't know the broad strokes for certain until Apple makes an official announcement, likely on March 7th. We also won't know the details until after Apple delivers the iPad 3 to customers, the date of which is still up in the air. Then the teardown companies will get at it and give us a more detailed look.

In addition to a new chipset, the iPad 3 is expected to include a high-resolution 2048×1536 Retina display, possible 4G LTE network support, and a higher quality 8 megapixel camera and slightly adjusted tapered casing.

Source: WeiPhone via MacRumors

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Rumored prototype iPad 3 logic board shows Apple A5X chip

19 Comments

I don't think it'll be quad core with the retina display, that would be two major battery hits. Maybe quad core next year, 1.2 ghz a5 this year. I hope this guess is wrong.

We have talked about this before, but looking at how quick the iPad 2 was available(9 days from announcement) I would think the iPad 3 will be about the same time frame. As far as the chip, I think it was a variant of the A5. There are pc's out there with quad core, and why would Apple be behind the times on their A6 quad core? If they wait until the next device, quad core will have been replaced with something new. I guess we will see soon enough what they have developed.

It's an Apple thing, they like to wait on some features, giving Fandroids something to play with. :P

Apple hasn't been one to throw to many major updates all at once. Instead they like to slowly release their updates in 2 models. I think it's more likely that we get a retina display on a dual core chip then retina display on a quad core chip. This will allow them to release and iPad 3S/4 next year with the faster quad core chip.

I wish bigger storage was on the horizon. I guess it's to much to ask for them to double the storage but keep the prices the same like they did with the last round of iphones. I'm guessing storage will become much more of an issue this time around with the retina display.

Uhh. They added 64 gigs and jacked up the price 100$. Dont know where ur getting ur info from. Even the iphone 4 came in the same exact capacities as the 3gs.

With the iPhone 4s, they doubled the lowest option to 16 gigs and kept the price the same as the 8 gig phone 4. I'd like to see the lowest available iPad be 32 gigs for $500 and then go up from there. Like I said, it's probably wishful thinking, but retina display apps will be bigger and require much space.

Even an upgraded A5 will probably not drive all the extra pixels of a Retina display on an iPad as well as Apple would like/require, unless the graphics part of the chip really knocks performance out of the park -- and I'm not seeing that in this setup.
Frankly, I can't see the iPad coming out with a dual-core in the face of all the quad-core machines coming to market with both Android and Win8 this year. I know Apple likes to incrementally move the bar with each release, but gimping the iPad3 like that would open the door to the other competitors in the tablet market. This is their chance to close the door ... and a dual-core just doesn't cut it.

I agree with you that the current Apple A5 (even if faster clocked)most likely won't be enough to drive the Retina display in the iPad 3. Assuming Apple goes with the A5X moniker, this tells me it's a tweaked version of the A5 - a better A5. I predict two possibilities;

  1. The A5X still retains the dual-core Cortex A9 architecture for the CPU but the GPU (still dual-core) would be based on the PowerVR Rogue GPU, which could easily drive the retina display.

or

  1. The A5X goes to a quad-core CPU / GPU, still based on the Cortex A9 CPU & the SGX 543MP4 GPU. This would still justify the A5X moniker as this would be a tweaked version of the current Apple A5, and not based on an entirely new architecture.

I just got back from the future. I have the new iPad invisible. It's implanted into my brain. I can see it through my eyes only. It has a googleplex core chip, remote controls the flush on my toilet and comes with a free Big Mac. The only downside is I can no longer ride a bike.

hi if apple is not delivering all what, then us the public should not purchase the ipad 3 becouse all this billions they made it should invest it to upgrade to the top quality on ipads and iphones ect.and be not so mean to us invest invest and invest yours milan mr

Say what buddy? My universal translator is offline but I think what you are trying to say is that you think we should get higher spec tech from Apple because they have the R&D cash to develop it? Apple has never had the highest spec tablet, yet they have no problem selling them.

There's another possibility. Apple could still be going to Quad core on the 9.7" iPad 3. Perhaps the A5X is for an 7" or 8" iPad "nano", which will have the same rez as the current iPad 2 but a faster chip? Who knows for certain. We'll see on March 7th.

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