A teardown of Apple‘s A6 mobile processor powering the new iPhone 5 has revealed some details this afternoon. Like many of their previous processors there’s been a lot of mystery around just what exactly is powering the new device, but thanks to iFixit we now have an in depth teardown of the A6 processor itself.
The teardown reveals that the chip has been highly customized, as it sways away from the standard ARM-based design and layout for Apple’s own needs. This is completely custom and and ARM-based CPU cores seem to all be arranged manually for optimal performance. The microscopic inspection by iFixit shows just how advanced this SoC really is.
While we already knew the A6 was a dual-core processor, this reveals things such as 1GB of RAM, dual CPU cores and a triple-core GPU for graphics and rendering. Those three GPU cores will help with all those smooth UI transitions, as well as the stunning gameplay and graphics performance Apple touted during their announcement of the iPhone 5.
When we said manually arranged above, we mean that each core was placed manually, rather than automated like most processors these days. iFixit states this is “much more expensive and time consuming” but obviously the performance benefits outweigh the costs. This allows the chip to be extremely powerful, efficient, and perform great without the need to boost CPU speeds like the competition. The teardown also confirms the Apple A6 processor powering the iPhone 5 is indeed a Samsung 32nm chip. This makes us excited to see how Apple can maximize performance with other ARM-based layouts moving forward.