Our good friends at UBM TechInsights sent over the first diffusion images of Apple's new A6 SoC. It's still too early to tell a lot but we have confirmation of a lot of things. The image above shows two 32-bit LPDDR2 memory channels and three GPU cores. We're likely looking at a PowerVR SGX 543MP3 running at 266MHz.

UBM estimates the die size at 95.04mmand the manufacturer as Samsung.

We'll have more details about the A6 and its performance shortly.

Source: UBM TechInsights

POST A COMMENT

60 Comments

View All Comments

  • stingerman - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Considering maximum yields and power usage, I wouldn't be surprised if the iPhone 5 A6 only used two of the GPU cores. I can imagine that the next version of the iPad, will use a higher clocked A6 with all three cores turned on. A processor with a defective core would still work with the iPhone 5. I wonder if Apple will release a newer Apple TV with a single core A6 that would take up A5's with a defective CPU core... Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    That seems rather doubtful, simply because it would be very hard for them to achieve double the performance with just two cores (they would have to clock them very high). If the next generation of GPUs were ready, they'd have likely gone with one or two of those, but by all accounts, we should have seen an even larger performance jump if we went to Rogue. Reply
  • winterspan - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    very unlikely...

    1) Both iPhone 4s (MP2) and iPad 3 (MP4) used all the gpu cores.
    2) The performance being 2x the iPhone 4s is consistent with moving from 2 to 3 (higher-clocked) cores... To reach that with only two cores would require moving to the SGX 554 and/or a lot higher clocks
    Reply
  • Constructor - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Nope. The iPhone 5 already needs all three at increased clock in order to boost the effective performance to the inficated level. All three would need to be live. They've also never used this approach in any of their flagship products (but the single-core A5 in the Apple TV may actually be production leftovers with one non-working core).

    For the iPad 3 it would still be a step down: It already has four of these same GPU cores (assuming the type is the same here) combined with a double-wide memory interface (4*32) to keep them busy and it definitely needs every bit of that infrastructure.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I have no doubt all three are being used in the iPhone, the iPhone and iPad have always gotten the fully functional chips, then marginal products like the Apple TV get the chips that didn't make that cut with some parts disabled. Like the new ATV is an A5 with only one core working. Reply
  • neo57 - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Just got my new Iphone 5. First thing I did was download GLBench 2.5.

    Here are the results......

    C24Z16 4361 -39FPS
    C24Z16 offscreen 3009-27FPS
    C24Z24S4 4274 -38FPS
    C24Z24S4 offscreen FAILED
    C24Z16 fixtime 32857-34 FPS
    C24Z16 fixtime off screen 52352 22 FPS
    C16Z16 6739-60 FPS
    C16Z16 10330-91 FPS
    C24Z16 Fill test 1797670784 tex/sec
    C24Z16 Fill test offscreen 1791804544 tex/sec
    C24z16 tri TexTest 115217352 tri/sec
    C24z16 tri TexTest offscreen 96770984 tri/sec
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    For comparison

    http://www.glbenchmark.com/phonedetails.jsp?benchm...

    Not sure which tests match with which from your post but the ones I can tell do look significantly faster.
    Reply
  • 1008anan - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Keep it coming Anand Shimpi. Looking forward to new specs soon.

    Some in the comment section said that Apple will use defective chips with one or more GPU shader cores or CPU cores disabled in other products. I don't agree because:
    --Apple hasn't traditionally done this
    --My understanding is that physical cost of manufacturing a 100 square millimeter die is very small. Most of the cost is in IP licensing. Apple doesn't have to pay licensing for defective die. Apple would rather save on the licensing fees and accept lower yields.

    What would the actual manufacturing cost of 100 square meters of die be? It probably costs Intel less than $1 in cost of goods sold. How much does Apple have to pay Samsung for the raw manufacturing cost per 100 square meter chip? Would anyone like to speculate?
    Reply
  • name99 - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Apple is EXTREMELY disciplined about how they reuse their IP across products, which translates into being able to reuse dies across products. We have seen this in the way the same building blocks have been reused across iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. Very little modification just to be different of the kind you see in other CE companies where even the different phones are in different groups and using different parts, let alone items as different as Apple TV and iPhone.

    We ALSO know that Apple has been happy to swap out some of the guts of a device if they can replace them with something equal or better (replacing the old A5 in the iPad 2 with the die-shrunk version).

    Since we don't know the yields, we have no idea whether the fraction of chips with only two working GPU units is high or low. But I expect Apple have plans either way; and if there is a large fraction of chips with broken GPUs, those chips are being stored for a future project for which they will make sense. Maybe the next iPod Touch? Maybe the next Apple TV? There's no real cost or difficulty to warehousing chips for a year or even more.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I have no doubt all three are being used in the iPhone, the iPhone and iPad have always gotten the fully functional chips, then marginal products like the Apple TV get the chips that didn't make that cut with some parts disabled. Like the new ATV is an A5 with only one core working. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now