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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  • thakathinka - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Agree. This is highly misleading. Anand's comment is being taken verbatim to other sites. There's no data suggesting this is an A15 at all.

    I'd consider this to be at 28nm for a 25% shrink in die (roughly). Making it a quad A9 and other improvements make this a 22% die shrink.

    Check out:
  • AngelOfTheAbyss - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    If Apple still uses Samsung as a foundry, the process is most likely 32nm HKMG (down from 45nm in 4S). The A5X (new iPad) with two A9's and an SGX534MP4 on 45nm was a staggering 165mm2 but on 32nm it would be roughly half that. Replacing the A9 cores with A15 cores would increase the die size to something like 100mm2, which fits the bill since the A5 comes in at 122.2mm2. The comparisons in the presentation are between the A5 (4S) and A6 (5), not between A5X (new iPad) and A6. Should the process be 28nm it would imply they have gone to TSMC (or less likely GloFo). (Putting on my tin foil hat now.) All of a sudden we have an explanation why it's so hard to come by an NVIDIA card... (hat off) Then again, does it really matter what secret sauce they have added as long as they meet their claim of 'twice the speed'? Reply
  • sunnyfpy - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    IP5 launch is non event.Outdated design,no removable battery,no microsd slot,no radio,small screen.
  • Commodus - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    How's it an outdated design? Changing cosmetics for the sake of saying it looks different is vain. I thought the stereotype was that Apple fans were too superficial. Guess it applies to Android fans, too.

    Not having a removable battery or microSD slot has served Apple just dandily for five years, and normal buyers don't balk at those as limitations. FM radio? Really? What era do we live in again?

    And some of us enjoy using our smartphones with one hand (this is coming from someone who has a Galaxy Nexus, even).
  • blakespot - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    Come on... It's a significant step down the road of evolution. You want a screen as large as that cumbersome Galaxy Note?? And ... radio??

    Here's a nice little post for you...
  • aegisofrime - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    Was looking at, here's their listing for the A6:

    2x ARM Cortex-A15 Harvard Superscalar processor core, 64/32-bit Multi-layer AHB/AXI bus, ARM TrustZone, ARM NEON SIMD engine, LPDDR2 SDRAM interface, NAND flash, moviNAND, SATA, eMMC interface, embedded GPS module, HDMI, triple display controller, 1080p video encode, 1080p video decode, audio subsystem, dual-core PowerVR SGX6200MP2 GPU

    It seems almost too good to be true. Cortex A-15 and SGX6200? (AKA Rogue?) It will be a real beast if it turns out to be true.
  • note235 - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    if that is true im going to...still get one haha Reply
  • jconan - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    Even before the court hearings, Apple and TSMC announced that they were working on the A6. I suspect the A6 could be from the fruits of Apple and TSMC. Reply

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