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Apple seen working on both A5X and A6 chips

updated 05:25 pm EST, Sun February 26, 2012

Apple may have two iOS processors in development

Apple's A5X chip might still be joined by a full-fledged A6, based on an investigation of code. A deep dig by 9to5 into the iOS 5.1 beta code has shown both a more modest upgrade, the S5L8945X (possibly A5X), as well as a previously undiscovered S5L8950X. With the existing A5 known as the S5L8940X, it hints that Apple has been working on two chips at once for the first time.

Exactly why Apple would want two parts isn't clear, although it may be dictated by energy. The A6, whether a quad-core part or just a faster dual-core, may use more energy or otherwise be too demanding on something as small as an iPhone where an A5X would work. Alternately, rumors of a smaller iPad, or just a less expensive and slightly modified iPad 2, might see Apple stratify the line with incentives to go to the bigger-screened tablet for the A6.

If an accurate representation of Apple's lineup, the finding doesn't guarantee that both chips will be ready for the suspected March 7 iPad event and could see the A5X or A6 bumped to later in the year. Apple usually includes deeper hardware references when it's getting closer to a launch, however.

Any use of more than two new processors in one line would be a change in philosophy for Apple. Many of its competitors will use a new generation of processors with each annual refresh, simply using lower-spec editions. Apple has so far only ever kept older devices intact and thus their exact processor choices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I keep laughing every time I read about something that's covered by Apple's NDA. iOS 5.1 beta software has not been released to the public so why do you feel you have the right to talk about it?

  1. rumplestiltskin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    A5X maybe for the "cheaper" iPad2 for education use? I love surprises. :D

  1. Salsa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: NDA

    Apple requires some of their partners to sign an NDA, but MacNN presumably hasn't signed one, so they haven't waived their right to free speech. MacNN is free to discuss things that other parties might not be.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    nothing to do with free speech

    Everyone who signs up for an ADC account is required to abide by the NDA. This isn't giving up your freedom of speech, it's abiding by the rules as set forth by the company allowing you early access to their software. Freedom of speech has to do with our right to say things about ourselves and how we feel about other things, it isn't about talking about someone else's patented software without permission from Apple. If MacNN received proprietary information from someone else, then presents it on an open website, they are violating the law because they knowingly received that proprietary information. If Apple doesn't care about MacNN talking about proprietary information like this, then they should just get rid of their NDA requirement. Until they do, I will not break my NDA agreement.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Both wrong

    Our freedom of speech, as set forth by the First Amendment, only provides protection from a single thing: a law being passed that abridges our right to think certain things and express those things in a limited fashion.

    Here's a good litmus test for determining whether your free speech rights are being infringed upon: is one of the parties involved a branch of the government? If not, then "free speech" has no play in the situation. Unless a law is being passed that prevents you from expressing something, free speech has no protection for you.

    The First Amendment is short and succinct. Go flippin' read it before you go throwing around "freedom of speech" next time.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    On freedom of speech:


    There, censor this comment as an iTyrant knows best!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Both wrong

    And, technically, it only protects your rights of speech against the government. You don't have free speech rights against any private entity (be it person or company).

    This is why people can make up wild-assed stories about our gov't's plans to sell ourselves off to the chinese muslim community, and not have to worry about being sued. But you can't go calling Apple Inc an anti-semite organization that holds virgin sacrifices during their board meetings. They can sue you for slander (or libel, depends if you write it or say it, you just better have some proof - now me, I've got some pictures....)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: NDA?

    And I love how there's never one comment or criticism about anyone breaking an NDA unless it involves Apple computer.

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