Going in to yesterday’s Apple Mac and iPad event, the expectation was that we would get new iPads. The good money was also that these new iPads would get new processors. The previous two generations of iPads had followed the introduction of new iPhones and had incorporated an upgraded version of that processor. But the new iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini? They both sport the A7 processor as the month-old iPhone 5s.
The A7 is a 64-bit 1.3GHz dual-core CPU coupled with what’s believed to be a PowerVR G6430 GPU. The A7 has an advanced image signal processor, a “secure enclave” for storing and processing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor data, and offloads accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass motion-tracking to a dedicated low-power M7 coprocessor. The A7 is a powerful beast, but is it enough to handle an iPad?