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Report: Apple Working on A6 Chip Along with the A5X

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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  • edlivian
    who cares, the following year will be a7
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    Whatever...
    Reply
  • Apple this.. Apple that ...yawn
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • fixxxer113
    First time I agree with every comment...
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    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.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    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
    Reply
  • scannall
    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.
    Reply
  • freggo
    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'.
    Reply
  • DonnieK
    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.
    Reply