This one caught us off guard, but Apple just announced the A6 SoC powering the new iPhone 5 features 2x faster CPU and GPU performance compared to the iPhone 4S. Apple reserves major Ax SoC number iterations for architecture changes, combine that with the performance claims as well as some other stuff we've heard offline and there's one conclusion: the iPhone 5 uses ARM Cortex A15 cores inside. Update: It uses a custom Apple core!

Our guess is two cores. No word on the GPU yet.

The A6 is 22% smaller than the A5, although it's not clear if that's a package or die size claim yet. There's a good chance this is built on Samsung's 32nm LP HK+MG process.

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  • gunblade - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Close in CPU performance but suffer in power consumption.
    Far off in the GPU performance, SGX544 MP2 has about similar per clock performance compared to SGX543MP2.
    OMAP 4470 runs the GPU core at 300Mhz while A5 runs at 250Mhz, so OMAP 4470 is about 30% faster compared to A5 in iPhone 4s configuration and would not come close to 200% faster in A6.
    Reply
  • Aenean144 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Anandtech has already reviewed an OMAP 4470 power device, the Archos 101 XS. It has a single SGX544 core.

    The SGX544 and SGX543 are basically the same computationally per Hz except for the 544 has DX9 extensions.

    Since the Apple A5 has 2 SGX543 cores, that makes the old A5 SoC 2x as powerful as the GPU in the OMAP 4470. Since TI clocks the SGX544MP1 higher than Apple clockes the A5 SGX543MP2, probably on the order of 50% to 70%, they can make up the difference.

    With Apple claiming a 2x increase in GPU over the A5 SoC, that pretty much definitively says Apple is not using an OMAP 4470 as that would have to clock the SGX544MP1 to 700-800 MHz to achieve that goal. Highly unlikely.
    Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    OMAP 4470 runs its GPU at 387 Mhz. Reply
  • TheJian - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Yet games still look better on Tegra across the board. I'm more than happy to take performance upgrades but not if I don't see much for it. I'd rather see software that is optimized to take advantage of those technologies. Apple spends nothing on devs. Tegrazone exists to help devs and highlight the money they spend on devs to get better graphics on the Tegra phones. You can have a great chip with tons of performance, but if nobody uses it to enhance my experience what is the point?

    If apple isn't handing out money and Android is activating 4-1 vs apple, it's hard to argue that a dev would spend more money on apple's shrinking % of the market share rather than an exploding android market. If I get no help, I go where the biggest pie is. If apple doesn't stop this soon, android will have a ton more devices in the market and devs will always be developing for Apple 2nd (much like they do in games now, apple is always 2nd and the conversion/port, not the platform games are designed for).

    Apple is making tons of money. No argument there. But devs have to worry about % of users that can buy their app/game. They don't really care about apple's bottom line, they care about their own.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57510994-94/googl...
    The sheer number of potential customers is staggering and continues to grow on android. If apple doesn't start writing checks to devs soon, they will be in a world of dev hurt, as they head to where the masses are sitting (and Nvidia is tossing money at them exacerbating the issue). IF I was writing a game, and Nvidia offered a check and support team help to make their product shine, I'd take the check. It's money you get no matter if you project sells or not to users. It's free dev money. It's the same thing with Nvidia taking money from Nexus 7/surface etc. They don't care if google or microsoft ever make a dime on them. They've already inked their deal and sold the chips. IF they sit on the shelf NV still got the sale already and profits go up for their stock/bottom line. The same is true with devs who get checks to write better code for NV based apps/games easily downloaded via tegrazone. Hurry up google, get me a 10in tablet based on Wayne :)

    If I was apple I'd spend $1 billion on say 100x10 million games for devs. It would ensure some top quality games for the next 2 years and create a market that currently doesn't really exist on their platform. I'm talking games like Baldur's Gate enhanced quality (possibly Wild Blood, unreal engine types), $10-20 not .99 cents. It may even help take over consoles for them. Heck just port/update all the great x86 games! Most kids have no idea what planescape torment, wizardy, ultima, baldur's gate, etc even are. The games would be ready by the next rev of phones/tablets most likely and hack off a lot of console sales next year as the new expensive hardware debuts.

    The power of cell phones at 1080P is becoming a reality. What do you need a console for if you can get the same performance on a phone via hdmi out to your tv? If I'm tossing up devices at xmas next year, phone vs. new console is a tough argument for parents on a budget. One device to rule them all so to speak. I can reach my kid on the phone/tablet, they can browse the web, play games, use old xbox/ps2/ps3 controllers, do some effective homework etc. A 10in tablet could be output to a larger monitor/keyboard/mouse combo to double as a cheap laptop for the kids (phone can do this too). Develop a website showing parents (via vids?) exactly how to connect it all and viola. Console dead, your phone sells, devs make money on partially already paid for games (nixing NV's advantage currently in dev love affair from years of PC money & continuing with phones/tablets), etc. All good for apple (or whomever does this and fosters it's good health).

    Why didn't ouya etc go with apple based products? No money/help from the company. Apple could have paid to keep ouya alive long enough for them to be viable. Apple could fund this game infusion for a Billion a year for the next 5 years and laugh as they kill consoles. They seem to refuse. With 110 Billion in the bank they should spend on long term future projects. We can ditch their expensive phones/tablets easily today (witness Kindfire sales stealing 17% of tablets). Everyone has the same thing today. The second a good 10in competitor comes out, I won't even be able to remember Ipad's name (surface x86? - all my old pc games instantly run on it). I have no reason to be loyal (or even become loyal as I don't own either an android or ios base device) that I can't see will win in the fun dept. I'll head to the where I think the most/best looking fun will be as every device can wait on me in word/email etc. I never plan to dev on a phone or tablet so games will draw me in. I'm not sure I'll ever want to run REAL apps (photoshop, dreamweaver etc etc) on a puny screen. But I'll want to HDMI out to my big screen tv for some quick fun on the road or in the home on the couch :)

    LOL@ this:
    "It's a good time to be an Apple user. As an Android user myself, I only have A9's (or krait) as an option"

    So the NV/TI chips suck but you bought one based on some android related chip. I call BS. Is this another logon for you Tony Swash? ;) Itanium is a great tech, but no dev cares. The software & experience we get from the device is the important thing to end users. The chip inside? Only us nerds know ;)
    Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    This is so much uninformed opinion in this comment that I have to ask if you've ever read Anandtech before? Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    "But devs have to worry about % of users that can buy their app/game. They don't really care about apple's bottom line, they care about their own.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57510994-94/googl...
    The sheer number of potential customers is staggering and continues to grow on android. If apple doesn't start writing checks to devs soon, they will be in a world of dev hurt, as they head to where the masses are sitting (and Nvidia is tossing money at them exacerbating the issue)."

    So your solution to the (minuscule) developer problem of iOS fragmentation is to switch to the (massive) problem of Android fragmentation?
    Your solution to developers (supposedly) not making money on iOS is to switch to the Android marketplace where piracy is far more common and customers are willing to spend far less?

    Good luck with this economic plan.
    Reply
  • Dazex - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    A bit long of a comment. I think your intention is good and you got some good points. But sometimes it got convoluted with incorrect facts and personal opinion. I am sure you meant well thought.

    For instance...
    Google shared that in June 2012, they got 400 million Android devices.

    Apple shared that they closed out last qtr, ending June 2012 with 400 million iOS devices.

    We know Android is growing fast. But looking at those two numbers, it isn't as "staggering" as you thought. One thing I do know...there is much wider difference between the lowest Android devices and the most premium than the same difference on the iOS side. And that does count more substantially when deciding which platform to develop for than the sheer numbers a lone.
    Reply
  • mrtanner70 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    its a bit more complicated than that and Samsung clearly said Exynos would be the first A15 SOC on the market. It's not in the note 2, so....... Reply
  • gunblade - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    TI was also widely said to have the earliest Cortex A15 silicon out. However, the earliest mass produced and shipped standard licensed Cortex A15 based design is the Apple A6. It is clocked at 1.5Ghz and using Rogue graphic core. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    " However, the earliest mass produced and shipped standard licensed Cortex A15 based design is the Apple A6. It is clocked at 1.5Ghz and using Rogue graphic core."

    Citation needed. Rogue was supposed to be 10-20x faster, they could do much simpler things to get to 2x, it could just be the MP4 shrunk down.
    Reply

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