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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Teardown of Fourth-Generation iPad Reveals LG Display, A6X Chip, Lightning Connector




Close on the heels of its iPad mini teardown, iFixit has performed a similar procedure on the fourth-generation iPad. The new iPad is extremely similar to the previous model, with the main exceptions being the move to a more powerful A6X chip and a change to Apple's new Lightning connector.

Of most significant interest is of course the A6X chip, which would be an enhanced version of the A6 chip that debuted in the iPhone 5, with improved graphics to help drive the iPad's large Retina display. A date code on the A6X reveals that it was manufactured in the 37th week of 2012, which corresponds to mid-September, but a more detailed analysis of the A6X will need to wait for chip teardown experts such as those at Chipworks to get their hands on the part.

Other interesting discoveries include:

- The display is manufactured by LG, as opposed to the Samsung display found in the third-generation iPad torn down by iFixit. Apple does, however, source many of its components from multiple vendors, so it is unclear whether Apple has excluded Samsung from display production on the fourth-generation iPad.

- The logic board remains the same size as in the previous model, but Apple has tweaked the layout of some of the chips.

- The new Lightning port is housed in a frame that is equal in size to that of the 30-pin dock connector in the previous generation, meaning that Apple has not saved any interior space with the move to the Lightning connector. Apple will, however, almost certainly take advantage of the reduction in space needed for the Lightning connector in a more significant redesign for a future generation.

30-pin dock connector from third-generation iPad (top) and Lightning connector from fourth-generation iPad (bottom)
- The improved front-facing camera is slightly thicker than in the previous model, but fits into the same space within the device's body.

- The battery carries the same A1389 part number as in the third-generation iPad.

- Just like in the third-generation iPad, the fourth-generation model contains 1 GB of RAM housed in two Elpida chips separate from the A6X package.

Update: Chipworks has examined the A6X, finding that it is indeed a significant reworking of the A6 found in the iPhone 5, unsurprisingly focused on graphics capabilities.
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This is not just an A6 with a couple minor tweaks. The A6 is 94mm2 while the A6X is 123mm2 - a full 30% larger.So where did that extra area go? Well, firstly, it did not go to the CPU core. The A6X uses the identical CPU to the A6. Same size, same layout. This is not surprising given that the prior CPU used custom layout techniques, and therefore it would be a huge amount of work to redesign so soon. Much of the extra area has gone to the GPU cores which are up from 3 to 4. More notable is that each of these GPU cores is much larger.On the A6X each GPU core is 8.7mm2 while the A6 GPU cores are only 5.4mm2. The overall area occupied by the A6X GPU cores is more than double that of the A6!

Article Link: Teardown of Fourth-Generation iPad Reveals LG Display, A6X Chip, Lightning Connector
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:26 PM   #2
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It's all a out that CPU and GPU speeds! Pumped to see games running on this thing!
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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It reveals the lightning connector?! Never would have guessed!
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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So Apple relies only on it's main competitor for it's top quality retina display, yet decides to have a less competitive, not threatening company produce it's lesser displays? Where's the logic in that?
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dweezle3 View Post
So Apple relies only on it's main competitor for it's top quality retina display, yet decides to have a less competitive, not threatening company produce it's lesser displays? Where's the logic in that?
Maybe the logic is that by buying from LG, Apple is able to acquire similar (or even slightly better, IMHO) quality displays from a "non-threatening" company at lower costs while at the same time reduce business dealings with its perceived No. 1 enemy (Samsung)?
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dweezle3 View Post
So Apple relies only on it's main competitor for it's top quality retina display, yet decides to have a less competitive, not threatening company produce it's lesser displays? Where's the logic in that?
Actually no. LG is the company from which Apple is now getting their top quality retina display, whereas Samsung, from whom the display does not come, is their top competitor. The logic is right there!
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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LG Display is the world #1 company of LCD. (Market share & technology).

Edit: Market share of large-size(9"~) LCD panel is LG 29%, Samsung 18.9%, CMI 17.6%, AUO 16.7%.

Last edited by realeric; Nov 2, 2012 at 12:10 AM.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dweezle3 View Post
So Apple relies only on it's main competitor for it's top quality retina display, yet decides to have a less competitive, not threatening company produce it's lesser displays? Where's the logic in that?
Samsung's iPad 3 screens were terrible.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:45 AM   #9
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I realize that this is probably a non-issue, but as inexpensive as RAM is these days, why only 1GB of RAM? I remember when they finally went from 512MB to 1GB in the iPhone, RAM is ridiculously cheap these days and Apple certainly charges enough for their products it seems as though 1GB is not enough.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WestonHarvey1 View Post
Samsung's iPad 3 screens were terrible.
How so? You must not own an iPad 3
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 02:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestonHarvey1 View Post
Samsung's iPad 3 screens were terrible.
LG's retina displays for the macbookpros are terrible, they have IR (image retention, like screen burn in)

https://discussions.apple.com/thread...t=255&tstart=0
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 07:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dweezle3 View Post
So Apple relies only on it's main competitor for it's top quality retina display, yet decides to have a less competitive, not threatening company produce it's lesser displays? Where's the logic in that?
I hope that decisions Apple makes relies on more than how much of a competitor the supplier might be. I'd be more concerned about quality, delivery, and price than what or how many other products or components the supplier is making.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:37 AM   #13
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I am curious to find out if the iPad 4 runs any cooler than the iPad 3. My 3 gets really hot sometimes. I have to stop what I am doing and let it cool down sometimes because I'm afraid it's going to blow up!
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 03:27 AM   #14
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could nt you ged a bigga picture

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Yea hu needs to car about spellig and grtamma anyaways - my massage is allways cleer
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 05:41 AM   #15
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Heil!
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:17 AM   #16
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It is a bit odd that they put 'stereo speakers' on the iPad Mini but not on the 4. I was so looking forward to that expansive soundstage.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 09:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHankwitz View Post
What heat issue? Show me any elictrical device that doesn't heat up when used. Basic laws of physics mandates heat generation whenever there's electron flow.

The only "heat issue" I'm aware of is when I place my Dell laptop on my dining room table to use, and it leaves a burn mark on the varnish after a half-hour. I use my iPad for hours on my lap and can barely feel it getting warm over time. iPads dont have a "heat issue". They get warm like every electrical device, but it's certainly not an "issue".
Electron flow through a resistance actually...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
It's incredible. So you are moaning because Apple improves a product? Tim Cook is greedy because Apple releases an improved product, at the same price as the previous one? I really would like to know what is going on in some people's mind. Strike that, I wouldn't, it would just be too scary.
Because many suspect that the Ipad 3 from March should have had an A6X as well...If it could have, and Apple didnt put it in because they wanted to make the Ipad 4 instead, then yes they are buttheads.

Last edited by Doctor Q; Nov 2, 2012 at 12:00 PM. Reason: off-topic
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 11:54 AM   #18
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Whats the GPU? I learned nothing new except that it's bigger than the ones in the A5X. So its a completely different GPU, and thats how its able to get twice the graphics performance? What GPU is it then? Would really like to know.
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:31 PM   #19
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Doesn't look like they used the extra space in this revision.

This reveals that the iPad 4 was only released to bring the Lightning connector to the entire iOS lineup and they might as well have added a faster chip.

I'll wait for the iPad 5 or the iPad mini 2 with retina display.
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:38 PM   #20
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichrisg30 View Post
Apple: LG, your phones and tablets look a lot like ours!
LG: No they're not, your phones and tablets look like ours
(Both go to court and sue each other. Apple stops having LG make displays for them)

Sigh
sigh, where is Apple supposed to get displays then?

they'll go to sharp
and then you'll say the same thing.

wtf man?
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 03:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichrisg30 View Post
Apple: LG, your phones and tablets look a lot like ours!
LG: No they're not, your phones and tablets look like ours
(Both go to court and sue each other. Apple stops having LG make displays for them)
One problem with this. Which LG phone, in your opinion, does look like some iPhone? Or which LG tablet, in your opinion, does look like the iPad?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 08:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichrisg30 View Post
Apple: LG, your phones and tablets look a lot like ours!
LG: No they're not, your phones and tablets look like ours
(Both go to court and sue each other. Apple stops having LG make displays for them)

Sigh
At this rate, Apple is going to run out of suppliers they can sue and stop ordering from!
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 11:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipedro View Post
Doesn't look like they used the extra space in this revision.

This reveals that the iPad 4 was only released to bring the Lightning connector to the entire iOS lineup and they might as well have added a faster chip.
Wow, that's some specious logic there!
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 12:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipedro View Post
This reveals that the iPad 4 was only released to bring the Lightning connector to the entire iOS lineup and they might as well have added a faster chip.
Not necessarily... That may have been part of the reason, but I also do think that they wanted to switch to a fall release schedule, and they wanted an iPad that was as fast or faster than the latest iPhone out by Christmas.
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