The back-and-forth nature of rumors addressing Apple’s processor choice for the iPad 3 has been keeping us guessing. Will it be dual-core? Quad-core? One of the only bits of evidence we have to go on is a debug screenshot identifying the processor model as a S5L8945X. With the 30X and 40X known as the A4 and A5, we’ve been wondering if that means the 45X would be the rumored A6. A newly-leaked screenshot, supposedly of the iPad 3’s logic board, not suggests that the processor will take a different name, showing off a chip labeled as the A5X.
If Apple truly intends to release the iPad 3 with an A5X chip within, and that designation isn’t just for prototyping purposes, it certainly suggests less than a full generational step forward, so we’d probably still be in dual-core territory. That doesn’t mean that Apple hasn’t packed-in all sort of performance-enhancing updates, like a new GPU, but that we might have to wait for the iPad 4 before Apple takes the tablet quad-core.
The date code on the pictured A5X chip reveals it was manufactured in November of last year. As a result, there’s the possibility we’re looking at an older hardware revision here, and that Apple could have made changes in the weeks since. That doesn’t give us any more certainty about the silicon’s capabilities, but even if this imagery is genuine, we still might see a different chip in the final retail iPad 3.