Latest in 32 nanometer

Image credit:

Apple A6 investigation shows highly customized dual-core, triple-GPU layout

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 25, 2012
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

There's been a significant mystery lingering around the A6 processor found in the iPhone 5, even as it became clearer that Apple was veering further than usual from the basic ARM formula. A microscope-level inspection by Chipworks and iFixit is at last identifying the key elements of the 32nm, Samsung-assembled chip and revealing just how far it strays from the beaten path. The examination confirms earlier suspicions of a dual-core design with triple-core graphics -- it's how that design is shaped that makes the difference. Apple chose to lay out the two processor cores by hand rather than let a computer do the work, as most ARM partners do. The procedure is expensive and slow, but also gives the A6 a better-optimized design; it explains why the chip is noticeably faster than much of its competition without needing the brute force approaches of higher clock speeds or extra cores. Some mysteries remain, such as the exact PowerVR graphics that are at work, but it's evident Apple now has the design talent and resources to speed up mobile devices on its own terms rather than wait for off-the-shelf layouts like the Cortex-A15.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Razer Tomahawk modular gaming PC is now available for $2,400

Razer Tomahawk modular gaming PC is now available for $2,400

View
The Morning After: Razer's $2,400 modular desktop PC is here

The Morning After: Razer's $2,400 modular desktop PC is here

View
Google rolls out 2Gbps fiber service in Huntsville and Nashville

Google rolls out 2Gbps fiber service in Huntsville and Nashville

View
Nanox shows off its Star Trek-inspired 'biobed' to the world

Nanox shows off its Star Trek-inspired 'biobed' to the world

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr