It has been newly revealed that the Apple A5 chip that appears in the newest version of the Apple TV set-top streaming box is actually based on a dual-core architecture. Not only that, it is also 41% smaller than the A5 chip found in other Apple devices. These are factors that would significantly lower Apple’s manufacturing cost, an important factor in the new Apple TV.
After all, the box only costs $99, so Apple is obviously pulling a lot of tricks to keep the cost to a minimum. It’s curious, because the Apple TV is not exactly a headlining device for the company. Set-top devices are becoming increasingly irrelevant as Internet connectivity and video streaming are becoming an integrated part of TVs and other things that people already plug into their TV anyway.
But with this first-of-its-kind chip for Apple in the Apple TV, perhaps the company was looking at it as a way to introduce a new technology, maybe run it through its paces to make sure it worked just right. It would be a smart move in a product that wouldn’t make a lot of waves if something went wrong. At least, not as many waves as if, say, the Apple-branded TV set due out later this year was the guinea pig. Then again, those discussions are best left to behind-closed-door meetings in Cupertino. It’s just an interesting factoid nevertheless.