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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  • Lucian Armasu - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Am I?

    Let's use these examples:

    A6 is 50% faster than A5 - 1.5x faster
    A6 is 80% faster than A5 - 1.8x faster
    A6 is 90% faster than A5 - 1.9x faster

    A6 is 100% faster than A5 - 2x faster

    Now tell me how I'm wrong. I think you must be confusing the expression "80% AS fast" with "80% FASTER". They mean completely different things.

    A6 being 80% as fast as A5 = 0.8x faster (or 20% slower)

    A6 being 80% faster than A5 = 1.8x faster

    Expressions like "100% AS fast or 1x faster" are never used in real life, only in very few math problems, and they both mean "equally as fast". But "100% FASTER" means twice as fast.
  • mavere - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    You're twisting a common English phrasing.

    I realize that English may not be everyone's first language, but I'm not sure how to respond, as the premise of our argument is absurd.
  • mavere - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    your* Reply
  • lukarak - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Is it now? Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Definitely correct the first time. Reply
  • MykeM - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I believe he's correcting the typo on "our argument is absurd" which instead should've read "your argument is absurd". It's not a correction for "You're twisting...". Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, September 17, 2012 - link

    Good catch. Reply
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    50% "faster" = 1.5x "as fast" (one and a half times as fast)
    100% "faster" = 2x "as fast" (two times as fast)

    You're right in your assumption. It's a common mistake.
  • iwod - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Ok, so is it a common mistake? Or is the English Phase actually mean that way? Or has the common mistake become so common we just put that mistake into actual correct meaning?

    I once though that as well. 100% faster means 1 ( its original speed ) + 1 ( 100% or its original speed ) which is twice as fast. or 2x the Speed of our Previous SoC or Double the Performance.
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Iphone 4S drove its 2 X A9 core at 800mhz AFAIK, and it won't be too hard to drive TWO A9 CORES at 1.5Ghz (so 2x performance gain) without spending too much power. GS3 and GN2 already uses FOUR a9 cores at 1.4~1.6Ghz with decent battery life, so I think this is better conjecture than world-first A15 cores.

    And if so, the naming is more likely due to the integrated LTE radio, not a15 cores.

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