Apple A5X A6 Chip

Recent reports have revealed that Apple may be equipping the Apple iPad 3 with A5X chip instead of the A6 as many have predicted in the weeks prior. While there seems to be a common consensus among the industry watchers that the iPad 3 will have a similar design to the iPad 2 and the Retina display, there are still quite a bit of disagreement whether the next generation iPad will come with a quad-core A6 chip or a dual-core improved A5 chip.

Well it may be that both groups are correct with regards to the chips – Apple looks to have been developing both chips at the same time.

So far, reputable publications such as iMore and Bloomberg have both reported that the iPad 3 will come with a quad-core chip whereas The Verge reported that it will be coming with a dual-core chip with improved graphics engine. 9to5 Mac published a report recently analyzing the naming trends of the Apple chips to justify the naming of the A5X chip:

The original iPad’s A4 chip was called S5L8930X, the iPad 2′s A5 chip was called the S5L8940X, and now this A5X chip is labeled as S5L8945X. Notice the jump of 10 in the labeling on the A4 to A5, and notice the jump of only 5 on the A5 to “A5X.” The 5 would note a half-way upgrade, something that an A5X chip with improved graphics, but still dual-core processing, would be likely referred to as.

Logically speaking, if the naming scheme holds true to 9to5 Mac‘s analysis, the A6 chip would be S5L8950X. Deep in the codes embedded in the iOS 5.1 betas, 9to5 Mac reports that there are references to both S5L8945X and S5L8950X. The recent evident points quite clearly that Apple have been developing both chips to be used with the iOS 5.

Apple A5X and A6 Chips Development

Now that we know(?) the Apple has been developing two chips, A5X and A6, any number of speculation could be in place of why Apple decided to develop two chips, simultaneously.

9to5 Mac‘s Mark Gurman suggest a number of speculations:

  • Apple simply developed both chips simultaneously to see which would better fit the new iPad.
  • The quad-core A6 is for the iPad 3, while the A5X is for rumored Apple TV update, the next-generation iPhone, or another iOS device
  • Apple will sell a cheaper iPad with the A5X chip and the higher-end iPad 3 has the A6.
  • The rumored 8 inch iPad has the A5x processor
Have any other speculations as to why Apple would have developed two chips? Please let us know in comments.



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