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Apple A6 teardown shows custom, likely expensive CPU layout

updated 02:43 pm EDT, Tue September 25, 2012

Chip engineered for maximum efficiency

A teardown of the A6 processor inside the iPhone 5 suggests that Apple went to extraordinary efforts for processing speed, notes iFixit. The repair outfit has confirmed some basic details, such as the presence of 1GB of RAM, and a dual-core CPU matched by a triple-core GPU. Unusual, though, is that the ARM-based CPU cores appear to have been manually arranged, instead of located based on chip design software.

That difference should help make the A6 faster than competing processors based on the same general architecture. iFixit comments that the manual layout process is "much more expensive and time consuming," and that Apple may be the first to put out a such a chip in several years.

iFixit also remarks that the A6 is being manufactured with Samsung's 32nm HKMG process. That technology was first tried out with the A5 processors in the third-generation Apple TV and the tweaked, more efficient version of the iPad 2.

by MacNN Staff




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