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iPad mini found using 32nm Samsung processor

updated 04:50 pm EDT, Thu November 1, 2012

Borrows tech from revised iPad 2

A Chipworks teardown of the iPad mini has confirmed that the A5 processor in the tablet is a 32nm design manufactured by Samsung. The A5 premiered in the iPad 2, but was originally produced using a 45nm manufacturing process. The switch to 32nm happened around the same time the third-generation iPad was introduced, retrofitting the iPad 2 with improved power efficiency and battery life.

The third-gen iPad uses a 45nm A5X chip, but the A6 in the iPhone 5 is another 32nm design. It's uncertain if the A6X in the fourth-gen iPad has reverted back to 45nm, since no teardown of the tablet has been done yet.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    The 32nm process affords a great reduction in both space and power consumption, which allows the higher speeds seen on the new generation of chips. ARM representatives suggest that 20nm fabrications will be available in 2013. If this is true, next fall's iPad could be based on a customized Cortex A50 core with more than four times the processing speed of the A6X.

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    What, Apple still needs Samsung to design the processor, the heart of the device?

    Hahaha give me a break. Apple go make your own CPU without Samsung's help and then you can ditch them.

  1. nanoco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-01-12

    Hah ha? It is so funny when people can not read, or have no idea what they are talking about. Samsung just manufactures Apple's processor designed by Apple's engineers. Samsung can't use these chips themselves or sell them to another party.

  1. Foxypaco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-26-10

    Originally Posted by AndrejView Post

    What, Apple still needs Samsung to design the processor, the heart of the device?
    Hahaha give me a break. Apple go make your own CPU without Samsung's help and then you can ditch them.



    Really? See above post by nanoco. andrej = moded

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Originally Posted by FoxypacoView Post

    [QUOTE=Andrej;4199605]What, Apple still needs Samsung to design the processor, the heart of the device?
    Hahaha give me a break. Apple go make your own CPU without Samsung's help and then you can ditch them.



    Really? See above post by nanoco. andrej = moded[/quote]


    What's a "moded"?

    I already saw the above post, otherwise I wouldn't have posted.

    Read my post again.

    Originally Posted by nanocoView Post

    Hah ha? It is so funny when people can not read, or have no idea what they are talking about.



    That's the post you wanted me to see?

    I can read (again), and I do have a clear idea of what I am talking about. It's made by Samsung... no different than how Apple's Macbooks are assembled in China.

    Why can't Apple do all this themselves... especially since Samsun just decided to jack the price up 20% for no other reason than out of spite for the UK court's decision to have Apple pay all of the legal fees? (HOT OFF THE PRESS)

    DITCH SAMSUNG! They're crooks!

  1. P

    Moderator

    Joined: 04-07-00

    Note that this is not a new chip, it's the one that has been in the iPad 2/Apple TV for a half a year by now. Supposedly Apple has been working with TSMC to produce new chips there, but TSMC has had problems with yields at their current 28nm process, and with both AMD and nVidia doing their graphics there, TSMC may simply be full. There aren't a whole lot of other places to go. Intel generally doesn't fab ARM chips. Same with IBM - they like to have at least a PPC core in there somewhere. GF (formerly AMD) also has yield problems but is a possibility. The Samsung struggle is a real problem for Apple - Samsung is their most important supplier, and Apple needs so many chips that they can't just up and leave.

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