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Peek inside the third-gen iPad

Posted: 29 Mar 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:media tablet  A5X  application processor  DDR interfaces 

The third generation of Apple Inc.'s wildly successful iPad features A5X, the modified version of the A5 processor. It has a larger floorplan to include quad-core graphics, according to a teardown analysis performed by UBM TechInsights.

According to UBM TechInsights, the A5X measures roughly 163 square millimeters, compared to about 120 square millimeters for the standard A5. Both chips use identical ARM processor cores, but the A5X adds four PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics cores, which are paired in groups of two and then symmetrically opposed to each other on the floorplan.

The A5X, like the standard A5, features two application processor cores and operates at 1GHz., UBM TechInsights said. But the A5X includes more DDR interfaces and more architecture added for the handling of quad-core GPU, according to the firm's analysis.

Here's a diffusion image that shows the floorplan of the new Apple A5X processor.

Here's a diffusion image that shows the floorplan of the new Apple A5 processor.

The PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU is the same graphics processor core found in the Sony Inc.'s Playstation Vita, according to UBM TechInsights.

UBM TechInsights' teardown analysis of the new iPad, like a separate analysis conducted by iFixit Inc., revealed multiple design wins for long-time Apple partner Broadcom Corp., as well as key wins for Qualcomm Inc., Cirrus Logic Inc., Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Triquint Semiconductor Inc.

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