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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  • tipoo - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Rogue was supposed to have much bigger performance gains than this though, plus I don't think it's finalized yet. Reply
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Are you declaring the A6 as Cortex A15 because you know? Because if it's just an assumption, you make it seem as if it's real... Not very professional.

    If this is a dual core 800MHz-1GHZ cortex-A15, then dual core Krait @ 1.5GHz should be faster. I'd say the dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro might be a better chip... We'll have to wait and see.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Even with only ~800MHz dual A9s the 4S was pretty competitive with much faster phones in benchmarks, only phones with huge advantages (Krait, Tegra 3 to an extent) pulled forward. If it's A15 with a similar clock rate, that's still good progress, and the clock rate saves battery life. Reply
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    For the graphics part, yes, for the rest? no.

    and no, sunspider isn't a measurement of the overall speed of the browser...
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Sunspoder doesn't have to be a measurement of the overall speed of the browser. All you have to do is swipe or double tap to zoom on most of them to see how choppy most of them perform compared to the iPhone. But that's more of a software than hardware comparison. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Sunspider, peacekeeper, browsermark, even IE9 test drive (well I guess that one is GPU), it always does better than you would expect from a dual 800MHz A9. Reply
  • zorxd - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    These are all browser benchmarks, not CPU benchmarks. In real CPU benchmarks, the Apple A5 perform exactly as it should, at 2/3 the speed of higher clocked Cortex A9. Reply
  • g1011999 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    XCode 4.5 will now default build binary with armv7/armv7s architecture which means they have a new cpu core other than Cortex A9.

    armv7 ==>Cortex A8, Cortex A9
    armv7f ==>Cortex A9MP
    armv7s ==> Cortex A15.
  • stfual - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    I think if it was quad core Apple would have said so. They only talk about tech specs when their numbers are bigger (like screen resolution). It clearly works - if you look in Google news today its surprising how many outlets have as their headline iPhone 5 - 2X performance with no technical specs to support it.. Apple is the best marketing company in the world. Reply
  • surgexx - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Sorry Anand, you're wrong.
    The "lightning" connector is USB 2.0 still (proof:

    "This USB 2.0 cable connects your iPhone or iPod with Lightning connector to your computer's USB port for syncing and charging or to the Apple USB Power Adapter for convenient charging from a wall outlet"

    A15 arch. is USB3 on the HOST side :)

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