This week, an in-depth inspection of Apple’s new A6 chip was done by Chipworks and iFixit, giving us the first inside tear-down look of the new processor. Many of us were waiting for a real inside look at the A6 to see how it can really boost the mobile gaming abilities of the new iPhone 5.
The two used an ion blaster to remove silicon layers and find out how Apple’s custom-made chip is really put together. In the first microscopic glance, they learned the device has a gigabyte of Elpida LP DDR2 SDRAM. This is the same RAM used in the recently released Motorola Droid Razr Maxx.
“The A6 chip itself was fabricated by Samsung via their 32-nanometer CMOS process. It measures 9.70 by 9.97 millimeters.”
Though the A6 was manufactured by Apple’s court room nemesis Samsung, it’s the first time Apple designed a chip from the ground up themselves, based on the ARMv7s instruction set. Apple’s first-ever complete control of the design gave them the freedom to design the performance levels of the processor as they saw fit.
Inside the A6, the most prominent features are the” dual ARM cores and the three PowerVR graphics chips. Chipworks found that the ARM processors are laid out manually, which can result in faster processing speeds but is also more expensive and time consuming to develop.” According to Chipworks.
“The manual layout of the ARM processor lends much credence to the rumor that Apple designed a custom processor of the same caliber as the all-new Cortex-A15, and it just might be the only manual layout in a chip to hit the market in several years,” iFixit said.
Now we have a better idea of what the processor can handle, boasting two CPU cores, three graphics processing units, and a full gigabyte of RAM. We can definitely expect some major leaps made with this generation iPhone in the gaming category. I am also very curious on how app developers will take advantage of the iPhone 5 and what new features we can expect in the future. Maybe we will see big jumps in the features our social media apps such as Facebook or the future Myspace do or will provide.
The two partners were also able to get the scoop on what companies manufactured the smartphone’s camera components. According to iFixit “The iPhone 5 is full of win for both Sony and Omnivision. Our buddies at Chipworks have found that the main 8 MP camera is manufactured by Sony, while the front-facing camera is an Omnivison OV2C3B unit.”
Photo Source: iFixit.com