Apple Next-Gen iPad Set to Use New A5X Chip - Photo

Apple iPad 3 May Not Feature Quad-Core System-on-Chip

by Anton Shilov
02/21/2012 | 07:55 PM

According to images of an alleged next-generation Apple iPad media tablet, it will not run A6 system-on-chip with four general-purpose cores, but will rely on something called A5X, which may be an improved version of the chip that is used inside iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.


While for a long time it was widely believed that the Apple iPad 3 will be powered by a new A6 system-on-chip with four ARM Cortex-A9 cores as well as improved PowerVR graphics processor, memory controller and other improvements, based on an image of iPad 3's mainboard, the device will be based on Apple A5X SoC that is likely to be less impressive in terms of functionality and performance.

The image published by WeiPhone web-site allegedly depicts logic board of the next-generation iPad that is different from the current version of the tablet. The Apple A5X chip is marked as S5L8945X (the marking of A5 is S5L8940X and the A4 is marked as S5L8930X), which clearly indicates that the new SoC belongs to the same generation as A5, but has certain improvements.

While the exact advantages of Apple A5X over predecessor are unknown, it is logical to expect it be made using thinner process technology (28nm or 32nm) and have considerably improved PowerVR graphics sub-system to support 2048*1536 resolution with proper 3D graphics and high-definition video playback acceleration. Perhaps, Apple will also boost clock-speed to improve responsiveness of the device. It is also possible that the iPad 3 will be still powered by A6 system-on-chip and the image depicts mainboard of an inexpensive iPad with A5X SoC.

Apple never comments on future devices and keeps everything secret ahead of product launches. It is generally expected that Apple iPad 3 will have a 9.7" screen with 2048*1536 resolution, new system-on-chip with improved performance, optional 4G/LTE connectivity and other advantages over the current model. It is expected that the iPad 3 will be released in March, 2012.