Monday, August 29, 2011

iPad Quad-Core Arrives in Late 2012

Evolution took us from single core to dual and quad core processors (and more), and it now is doing the same in the mobile arena. Apple has recently introduced their first mobile dual core chip - the A5 - in the iPad 2 (and soon, in the upcoming iPhone 5), but they're already working in the next generation A6 quad-core chip, based on the ARM Cortex A9 Quadcore.

This chip should allow Apple to battle Nvidia's upcoming Tegra 3 quad-core chips, and the new offering from other manufacturers - but unlike most of them, which will be done using a 40nm process, Apple's A6 will be built by TSMC in a much more efficient 28nm process. This will allow Apple's mobile CPU to be smaller, cheaper, more power efficient, and faster.

The "problem" is that these new chips should only be ready for mass production in the second half of 2012, forcing Apple to skip (or change) their usual yearly update cycle.
Considering this year's new iPhone presentation has already faced an unusual delay, maybe Apple will simply do the same with next year's iPad. That would also give them some extra time to solve their new iPad Retina Display production issues.

On the other hand, Amazon's low cost tablet is expected to arrive in the upcoming weeks, and it can certainly make a dent in the Tablet market - unless Apple is already planning a new low cost iPad (just like the rumors that talk about a new low cost iPhone model).

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