iPhone 5S “31% faster” A7 chip and motion-tracking rumored

Aug 26, 2013
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Apple's iPhone 5S will be "about 31-percent faster" than the iPhone 5 and include new motion-tracking technology, insiders claim, sparking speculation about the presumed Apple A7 processor expected to power the next-gen flagship phone. "Sources are telling me the new iPhone's A7 chip is running at about 31% faster than A6" Fox News's Clayton Morris took to Twitter to tease, saying that "I'm hearing it's very fast." However, the A7 SoC wasn't the only iPhone 5S chip Morris had news on.

"I've also heard there’s a separate chip devoted to motion tracking" he continued. "Should be an interesting camera upgrade."

Various rumors about motion-tracking have surfaced over the past months with regards the new iPhone, though Morris suggests here that it will tap into the smartphone's camera. One suggestion is that Apple will add a super-slow-motion mode, potentially capable of recording at 120fps, for more dramatic sports videos among other things.

Images of what are purportedly the new iPhone 5S camera module have also leaked, though it's unclear at this stage what megapixel resolution Apple is aiming for. The current iPhone 5 runs at 8-megapixels.

The chip chatter has been echoed by sources speaking to 9 to 5 Mac, claiming some of Apple's iPhone 5S prototypes currently in testing use 64-bit processor architecture. Although still a dual-core like the existing A6 chipset, according to the leaks, the A7 could make the switch from 32-bit to 64-bit, with with the promise of improvements in UI transition smoothness, animations, and other effects on the upcoming handset.

Exactly what that could mean in practice is something technologist Steve Cheney has been theorizing on, with suggestions that Apple will continue to buck the smartphone trend by avoiding adding cores. Doing so, Cheney argues, would only force app developers to rework their software for the new iPhone to actually take advantage of those cores, which might undermine some of iOS' reputation as relatively easy to develop for.

"Code certainly doesn’t just compile magically in all cases to take advantage of chip design on modular platforms like Android. The better that compilers and APIs are designed to fit the underlying OS and chip / driver stack, the easier it is for devs to extract highest performance per Watt. App developers like FB need to optimize the hell out of the code (they wrote a blog post on how they did for iOS). And they desperately want a platform that makes it easy to do so, like Apple’s" Steve Cheney

Photos purportedly showing an Apple A7 powered iPhone 5S prototype leaked back in June, but given Apple is already working on the version that comes after the incoming handset, it's possible that 64-bit might not make the cut for the iPhone 5S. We'll know more at the launch event, widely expected to take place on September 10.


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