Apple might still consider its Apple TV a hobby, but the device is very popular in the set top box market. Fans of the Apple TV get excited when new part numbers surface at the thought of getting an upgraded Apple TV box with more features or faster hardware. MacRumors reports that a third generation Apple TV with part number A1469 is now making its way into Apple retail stores.
If you're one of the people wondering if the new Apple TV has tasty new hardware on the inside, one has been cracked open to reveal the juicy insides. If you're hoping for a Apple TV box using the A5X processor, the teardown may be disappointing. The A1469 Apple TV set-top box reportedly has an A5 processor just like its predecessors.
However, one important update to the A5 used inside new Apple TV model is that it has been die-shrunk and is considerably smaller than the A5 used in previous versions. A smaller processor should mean less power consumption and less heat output, which might be a big deal to some users. MacRumors reports that the original A5 chip introduced in 2011 used the 45 nm process and measured 10.09 mm x 12.15 mm.
The second generation of that A5 processor that turned up last year measured 8.19 mm x 8.68 mm. The new shrunk version in the current Apple TV is only 6 mm x 6 mm. It's unclear, but the small stature of the new A5 could be a result of Apple using a 28-nanometer process from TSMC. TSMC has been rumored to become an Apple partner for the production of A6X processors for the iPad and future products. Apple has offered no official comment on these rumors.