Potential iPhone Gen 4 ARM Cortex A9 Multicore Processor Demo

iphone_3g_s_speed_force

ARM is showing off their new Cortex A9 multi-core mobile processor, which will scale over 2Ghz at less than 0.25W of power per proc -- and since Apple is rumored to be a massive ARM licensee and Apple staff were hinting that developers should prepare themselves for multi-core, rumors once again resurface that this smoking hot chip might become part of the 4th generation iPhone and iPod touch. (As part of PA Semi system-on-a-chip, 'natch).

The current iPhone 3GS and iPod touch G3, as well as a bunch of competing smartphones (and superphones, don't get us started!) use the ARM Cortex A8. MacRumors is guessing it might just make its way into the iTablet/iSlate as well.

CES is ramping up folks, and remember TiPb will be there, so we'll bring you back anything more we can find out.

Video highlights after the break...

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Potential iPhone Gen 4 ARM Cortex A9 Multicore Processor Demo

23 Comments

Multi Core.
Reach for your battery chargers!!
This will be the coolest addition to the iPhone if/when it arrives. There are SO MANY ways a multi-core improves performance and responsiveness in any kind of computer, but especially any 'nix-ish platform that it would almost be worth charging twice a day.
I refused to re-start my contract to get a 3GS, holding out for what ever is next. This has me very interested!

I'm on track to upgrading my iPhone 3G to the next iPhone that is coming out from Apple, so hearing that they could be giving it a huge processor upgrade sounds awesome. I'm a heavy user and charge my phone everyday, sometimes twice a day, already. If it means continuing so but getting extreme improvement in performance, I'm still for it.

Apple needs to do some wow'ing this time around, front facing camera, double the storage, better battery life and kick azz 4.0 software

Nexus one is looking real sweet now. Apple has to bring it this time around. If IRS just minimal upgrades then google phone here I come.

I was late to the iPhone craze and have the original as it was a hand me down about 6 months ago when my father in law got his 3GS. I am ready for an upgrade on my contract and was tempted to get a 3GS since the 32GB refurb was available for $149 recently as well as the 16GB at $49 but I figured I could hold out for the 4th gen so hopefully it will be a big deal.

just got rid of the iphone 3g for the bb bold 9700, way better phone and it multi tasks, iphone is too hyped up for what it is, just a phone, want a computer buy a laptop.

let me put this into perspective here. You are smoking crack if you think Apple is going to put this into the next iPhone.
Apple will most likely keep the same hardware for their next phone, if they do boost it the processor/video gpu then it would be most likely for a boost in resolution to keep the performance ATLEAST on par with the 3GS

Yup I did the same... Got the 3G and didn't want to start contract over and now my waiting shall pay off when the 4th gen iPhone is out.yay

Next gen iphone sounds fab. Just got myself a 3gs but you can bet the new baby will be in my hands before the end of the year! BB users move out, iphone just isn't in ur league!

Quad core 2ghz in a iPhone with a amoled hd screen 3.7 inches. 64gb better battery life and flash support! ...

@devildrifter
I have to agree. I seriously doubt the next Iphone will have THIS much power. Iphone has always made best with what little power it had compared to the competition. Adding this would seem seriously out of character. It'd be cool, nonetheless, but incredibly unlikely.

Reality check: Apple is still using core 2 duo processors in their desktops. Show me an i7 iMac and I will believe they really care about hardware performance.
Why would they? Upgrading the hardware when the market has determined the price only reduces profit.

Battery life cannot be extended much using current dimensions, they could only use this proc if it's power consumption is very scaleable.

Well then... Apple includes a multicore processor yet their os still does not support multitask... Maybe they should fix that first. And even in the iPhone 3G, the processor was fast enough to play 480p... that should be enough for a mobile device.
an then there is the power issue with a multicore processor... They say that they do not want to include multitasking because of power consumption. So I guess they will not even use a multicore processor. But hey I would hope they include both: multitasking and multicores. Then it will be officially a Tablet with phone capabilities
@Einstein ;) they use a core i5 in the iMacs at the moment... so no tripple channel memory feature... and less power consumption of course

When are these reviewers going to realize that Mhz/Ghz doesn't matter any more. The development of higher CISC processing in these chips shaves time off computations by simply raising the performance on a per-calculation basis, so increases in Mhz is not needed.