Report: A6 chip is Apple-designed with fast new memory | iLounge News


Report: A6 chip is Apple-designed with fast new memory

A technical report from Anandtech suggests that Apple’s A6 chip is a custom ARMv7 processor of the company’s own design—quite possibly the product of earlier Apple acquisitions of semiconductor developers. Citing inside sources, Anandtech suggests that Apple did not move to a Cortex-A15 chip as was originally believed, and instead is continuing to run an iPhone 4S-like dual-core CPU with a dual-core graphics processor, albeit at a higher clock speed of 1.0Ghz, plus 1GB of RAM.

While Apple’s on-stage discussion promised “2x” CPU and graphics performance, suggesting speed gains in the 1.7x to 2.1x range, leaked early benchmarks appear to show considerably greater improvements of up to 3.68x under some tests. The results suggest that the iPhone 5 will be on par with, if not superior to, rival smartphones with less power-efficient processors. While the benchmarks are not guaranteed to be accurate, they are very plausible, and are believed to result in part from memory improvements.

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It shows how Chinese whispers can really mess things up. And unfortunately your article is incorrect.

Anandtech DID NOT say that Apple had stuck with an Arm Cortex A9 design. In fact they said it couldn’t be an A9 because it uses features only available in the new Arm reference designs (A7, A15, etc), such as VFPv4 FPU. Indeed as the A15 was originally envisaged as a server cpu mobile use will only use dusl core versions initially. As I understand it Arm envisage a big.little configuration for low power use with a mixture of A15 cores for when performance is required and A7 cores when low power low processing overhead is required.

However, what Apple HAVE done is use their Arm microarchitecture license to create a completely new CPU that is neiter an A9 or A15 reference design. It is an Apple design which is obviously going to be optimised to run IOS efficiently and is also designed to consume as llittle energy as possible. It uses an extended instruction set (arm-v7s according to xcode).

One interesting thing not really noted is that as the A6 benchmarks so fast and is dual core it should mean that most apps, which are single threaded, may run considerably faster than any equivaent on other multicore platforms.

So a couple more years and we should have the same processing power as early Mac Pros.

For anyone who is wondering, I’m not buying an iphone 5, but it is interesting to see where Apple is going with this and the next ipad will be vey interesting from a pocessing power point of view.

Posted by Jas on September 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM (CDT)


I don’t think you read the summary correctly. Our article didn’t say anything about A9. Sorry!

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on September 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM (CDT)

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