Glimpse of iPhone 5
A6 chip: It’s faster! (duh). Here’s a summary of what Apple says. “Up to twice as fast compared with the [iPhone 4S' A5 chip]…The A6 chip also offers graphics performance that’s up to twice as fast as the A5.”
Problem is, Apple doesn’t say much beyond that. So, I asked Anand Shimpi at chip review site Anandtech. While some of it’s guesswork until reviewers decap the phone’s chip, Anand is usually on the money.
Based on the performance gains, he believes the A6 is based on an ARM Cortex-A15 design. That’s the latest and greatest from ARM, the chip architecture that powers virtually all of world’s major-brand smartphones.
This is pretty big because, if true, it means Apple’s chip is truly cutting edge. “It looks like Apple has integrated two ARM Cortex A15 cores on Samsung’s [32 nanometer manufacturing] process. This is a huge deal because it means Apple beat both [Texas Instruments] and Samsung on bringing A15s to market,” he wrote in a blog post today.
The graphics processing unit is less clear but Anand believes it could be using four Imagination PowerVR SGX543 cores, doubling the GPU core count in the iPhone 4S.
Another analyst believes Apple is able to balance increased performance with decent battery life because of tweaks done independent of the main centrai processing unit, or CPU.
“In order to get double the performance but still have good battery life, more than likely it’s because they have beefed up peripheral cores,” said Francis Sideco, an analyst at IHS iSuppli. “Those are GPUs, accelerators that are peripheral to the main core,” he said.
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