Latest Apple TV reveals smaller A5 chip, adds to rumors of split with Samsung

Latest Apple TV reveals much smaller A5 processor, adds to rumors of split with Samsung

Quiet, mid-cycle component upgrades are a thing with Apple, and they're sometimes worth watching out for. The iPad 2 got a chip update last year, for example, which significantly extended its battery life by using a 32nm A5 SoC instead of a 45nm one. Well, much as expected, a very similar processor update has just come to the Apple TV. MacRumors popped open the latest version, known as "AppleTV3,2", and found good evidence of a further die shrink: the central block of silicon is just 6 mm x 6 mm, which is even smaller than the 8 mm x 8 mm chip in the newest iPad 2. This inevitably leads to speculation that Apple has shifted to a 28nm fabrication process, possibly snubbing Samsung's 32nm foundries, but we'd need a proper silicon-level analysis to be certain. In the meantime, though, we'd guess that this update may not be worth hunting down to the degree that the new iPad 2 was -- the level of shrinkage here doesn't seem enough to have a huge impact on power draw, and in any case that's less of an issue for a device that's fed from the wall.

[Image credit: MacRumors]