Apple A6 SoC Analysis Shows Dual ARM Cores, Three GPU Cores
When some of us get our hands on a new iPhone 5 the first thing most of us would want to do is check out its performance, try the new iOS 6 features, and see how our favorite apps handle the new, wider screen. If you’re one of the crew over at TechInsights, though, your first instinct might have been a little more destructive; thanks to them, at least, we can keep our iPhone 5s intact and rely on their sacrificial model to give us our first close-up look at Apple’s new A6 chip.
So, what are we looking at here? Those ARM cores are the Cortex-A15-class designs with a tweaked instruction set; it may not be a strict A15 implementation, but it does appear to feature some of the enhancements from that architecture.
The presence of three GPU cores is what’s responsible for the iPhone 5’s impressive graphics performance, especially with demanding 3D games. It’s hugely difficult to compare different GPUs by counting cores or pipelines, so take that info for what it is, and don’t get too concerned with how it looks against other SoCs on paper. These are presumably PowerVR SGX 543MP3 dies, running at 266MHz each.
Expect further details on the iPhone 5’s hardware to come to light over the next week or so, as subsequent analysis reveals more about what Apple’s been working on.