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.