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Report: Apple Working on A6 Chip Along with the A5X

By - Source: 9to5Mac | B 19 comments

So which one will power the iPad 3?

Last week, photos got out that purported to show an Apple iPad 3 logic board with a SoC labeled 'A5X.' Up until this point, many had assumed the iPad 3 would pack an all-new A6 system on chip. This assumption was based on the fact that the original iPad was based on the A4, while the iPad 2 was based on the A5. However, last week's photos seemed to suggest that the newest iPad would feature a beefed up version of the A5 as opposed to an all new chip.

Though this may well be the case, the latest rumors say Apple is also working on the A6. 9to5Mac says it has found reference to both an A5X and what is presumably the A6 buried deep in iOS 5.1. Apple's A4 and A5 are referred to as S5L8930X and S5L8940X, respectively. Previous rumors have pointed to Apple code that refers to a chip called the S5L8945X. Based on this, it's assumed that the A6 will be the S5l8950X -- a full jump of 10 from the A5. The screenshot below shows reference to both a S5L8945X and a S5L8950X:

So, what does it mean? Well, as with most things Apple, we have no idea and probably won't until Cupertino holds an official launch. It's likely that Apple is developing the A6 for use in future products, however, it is also possible that the company plans to use it at the same time as the A5X. 9to5Mac suggests the dual-core A5X could be used in the as-yet-unconfirmed Apple-branded TV while the quad-core A6 could appear in the iPad 3. This seems more likely than, say, the A5X being used in a cheaper iPad while the A6 takes up residence in a full-price or luxury model.

Apple is rumored to be launching the iPad 3 next month. So far, the most prevalent launch date rumor seems to be March 7, which is Wednesday of next week. Stay tuned.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , February 28, 2012 10:49 AM
    Apple this.. Apple that ...yawn
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    edlivian , February 28, 2012 10:37 AM
    who cares, the following year will be a7
  • 7 Hide
    vaughn2k , February 28, 2012 10:44 AM
    Whatever...
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , February 28, 2012 10:49 AM
    Apple this.. Apple that ...yawn
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , February 28, 2012 11:01 AM
    Apple Working on A6 Chip Along with the A5X.
    Apple working on iphone 1 along with iphone 2, working on ihpone 2 alone with 3. 4 alone with 4s.
    shitt....... no wonder every new release or big upgrade from apple is no more than just the differences in the price. louder thunder but small rain, they develop the same tech in the same time but a bit different and release it next year claim it as new generation.
  • 8 Hide
    fixxxer113 , February 28, 2012 11:06 AM
    First time I agree with every comment...
  • 6 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , February 28, 2012 11:43 AM
    imturegeekno wonder every new release or big upgrade from apple is no more than just the differences in the price. louder thunder but small rain, they develop the same tech in the same time but a bit different and release it next year claim it as new generation.

    Yeah but every tech company does (or tries to do) the same thing. Only difference is Apple gets press about it, so their thunder comes free of charge.
    fixxxer113First time I agree with every comment...

    Me too, and this is coming from someone who uses Apple products daily (mostly at work). Don't mind as much when there is hard-facts but this speculation stuff is bleh.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 28, 2012 11:44 AM
    Fair play to Apple, now that Jobs is in the ground there may be an actual change, sure the A6 is one thing that may alter and graphical power may increase, but let's use that as an opportunity to all ask Apple to please, please, please

    GIVE WIDESCREEN ON THE IPAD AS THE 4:3 ASPECT RATIO IS SO LAST CENTURY IT'S NOT FUNNY
  • 2 Hide
    scannall , February 28, 2012 11:48 AM
    I like Apples products. Currently though I only own an Apple TV 2 and an older Core2 Duo iMac.

    That being said, enough of the speculation game. I know it's risen to be an almost eSport to guess at what is coming out, but please. Stop the madness. Everyone will know in a few days what's next. Then people can sing praises or throw bombs, according to their own inclinations.
  • -2 Hide
    freggo , February 28, 2012 12:20 PM
    Apple is so great at suing everyone over even the smallest 'infractions'.

    OK, how about we tell Audi that it's A6 name is being used by Apple ?
    After all, Audi is using the "A" for their car designation like Apple is using the 'i'.
  • 0 Hide
    DonnieK , February 28, 2012 2:10 PM
    Folks, we're on a site called Tom's Hardware. I'm happy to see a post about hardware. The fact that Tom's readers only care about hardware that runs lolWindows software is always funny to me. There are many reasons to dislike various companies.

    Personally, I'm just happy to see continued development of faster chips, higher resolution displays, more accurate sensing, and smarter software running on the hardware. Who cares which company is making it all? The competition is good for R&D budgets around the entire industry.
  • 1 Hide
    halcyon , February 28, 2012 2:13 PM
    I know there are some folks that really care whether or not Apple is working on a new wonder CPU. ...I just don't think any of them will see this comment. I love Apple products. I don't want to...but I've used so much different tech...their stuff has been high quality, easy to use, and consistently works as designed...for me anyways.

    That said, who really cares if Apple is working on a new chip? I'd rather hear that there's an ICS phone with a 4"+ IPS LCD 1280x720+ screen (retina display quality...just bigger :0), über fast performance (I don't care about core count), and Razr Maxx build quality (or Apple), Razr Maxx thinness, and Razr Maxx battery life that is competitively priced. ...but it seems I ask for too much.

    Yeah, that's the kind of news I really want to read though.
  • 5 Hide
    halcyon , February 28, 2012 2:15 PM
    DonnieKFolks, we're on a site called Tom's Hardware. I'm happy to see a post about hardware. The fact that Tom's readers only care about hardware that runs lolWindows software is always funny to me. There are many reasons to dislike various companies. Personally, I'm just happy to see continued development of faster chips, higher resolution displays, more accurate sensing, and smarter software running on the hardware. Who cares which company is making it all? The competition is good for R&D budgets around the entire industry.


    Yeah, you're right but in the small invisible print it also reads "Tom's Hardware for non-Apple fans".
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 28, 2012 6:17 PM
    freggoApple is so great at suing everyone over even the smallest 'infractions'.OK, how about we tell Audi that it's A6 name is being used by Apple ?After all, Audi is using the "A" for their car designation like Apple is using the 'i'.

    Problem is if they change the chip name to i6, they will have to suceed it with i7, and they are less afraid of Audi than they are of Intel.
  • 0 Hide
    sundragon , February 29, 2012 1:40 AM
    Cry Babies! Sour grapes!!

    The A5x and A6 are hardware and if you scroll up to the top of this page you'll see "HARDWARE".

    You don't like, don't read! Just remember to change your diapers first ;) 

    Bring on the Thumbs Down!! W00T!

    *trolling mission for the day acomplished*
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , February 29, 2012 12:47 PM
    If I can make big bucks spinning the rumor mill on captain obvious, then I'd be a trillionaire now.
  • 0 Hide
    ezzep123 , March 1, 2012 12:29 AM
    I'm with the meh guys on this one. Who cares about the next chip? Does it really do anything new? Can it handle Flash, which is what most of us still use? Oh wait, this is a phone, not a laptop.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 3, 2012 4:43 AM
    No new chip, no retina display. The A5 can't handle retina on the iPad without a performance sacrifice and Apple is highly unlikely to take a performance step backwards at this point.

    As for this: "Does it really do anything new?"

    You, sir, clearly do not game on an iOS device. The difference between the experience of the A4 and the A5 is significant. Many of the graphics-intensive gaming apps will, in fact, only run on the iPad 2 because of this. So while a new A6 chip may not do anything "new", it certainly will enable new things. But if you're still hooked on Flash, perhaps that's not your bag? Have fun in 2006.

  • 0 Hide
    ezzep123 , March 3, 2012 3:45 PM
    Yeah, like I'm going to spend over $500 on a device where you're limited to using the device, and nothing more. You can't upgrade anything on it. In fact, the way to upgrade is to buy a new one. Stupid. At least on my wife's netbook I can upgrade the hard drive and ram. And no flash? Stupid.
    2006? Youtube still uses flash. HTML5? I heard about it way before you did apple boy. Besides I just built my 2nd pc last night, spending as much as I want to on what I want to. Can you do that with your little iPad? No, you're stuck with what you got. And the battery replacement?? Don't make me laugh.
    Retina display? Really? What do we need next? I mean really?
  • 0 Hide
    damianrobertjones , March 8, 2012 12:17 PM
    Is 'apple' working on the cpu or is another company working on the CPU 'for' Apple. Kind of like someone stating Acer is working on a Core i8 cpu while it's actually Intel.