Thursday, April 12, 2012

Latest iPad 2 uses smaller, more advanced chip

Think the new US$399 iPad 2 is just a cheaper knockoff of the original? Think again. There's some premium silicon inside.

The US$399 Wi-Fi iPad 2--the only new iPad 2 that Apple now sells--uses a more advanced version of the dual-core Apple A5 series chip, according to chip review site AnandTech.

That more advanced A5 chip is built on a cutting-edge Samsung manufacturing process, AnandTech says. Hardly a trivial difference.

As a chip's geometries shrink--going from 45- to 32-nanometer, for example--a lot of things can happen. All of them good. The die (the actual chip minus the packaging) can become smaller and the chip can get more power efficient and/or faster.

In this case, the US$399 iPad 2 uses an A5 chip made on Samsung's advanced 32-nanomter manufacturing process as opposed to the previous A5 and current A5X, which are both made on an older 45-nanometer process.

"The interesting other question is whether iPad2,4 (the US$399 iPad 2) owners have improved battery life compared to those with iPad2,1 (previous Wi-Fi model)," wrote AnandTech's Brian Klug.

And Apple's use of the more advanced chip doesn't stop there. The chip is also used in the Apple TV, though it's a single-core version, meaning one of the processor cores is likely disabled, according to Chipworks.

And this is probably just the beginning. It wouldn't be outrageous to expect that the iPhone 5 would use either the same chip as the new US$399 iPad or a close cousin.

View the original article here

Source From CNET

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