|Mar 17, 2013, 02:57 AM||#1|
What the new A5 findings mean for the iPads?
With the recent findings by Macrumors, Chipworks and Anandtech, we can anticipate the found three major developments for future A-series chips
1) A much smaller size
2) A nearly 40% reduction in power consumption at heavy load
3) Cost savings ( for manufacturing)
With so much bicker going on about the following list, its really difficult to anticipate what the end result is going to be:
1) TSMC vs Samsung vs Combined
2) 28nm vs 32nm
3) A5X vs A6X for the retina iPad mini
4) A modified A6X becoming the new A7X
What we can understand from logic is:
1) & 2) Apple is going to switch over a 28nm process, but will utilize a combined supply chain of Samsung & TSMC, as both of them have a 28nm manufacturing process. 28nm is the half-node that Apple needs before the 20nm process comes into full production by July of 2014.
3) The ipad mini, similar to the ipod touch, will always be a generation behind compared to their respective big brother models, the iPad and the iPhone (respectively). With that in mind, the modified A6X will take over duty from the original A6X on the ipad 5. With a more powerful graphics processor & ram, along with increased performance from the A6X, the ipad will dominantly distance itself from the iPad 4 & the mini.
Now the question to ask is: will apple have an ipad retina mini with the same specifications as the ipad 4, run alongside an ipad 4, which will become the discounted model, when the 5 comes in. With only a screen size difference, the ipad 4's future could be quite shortlived, if both (mini& 4) have the same specs. (Bulk, battery, size, weight all pointing in favour of the retina mini then!). It is here that the modified A5X could come into play. Using similar manufacturing process, and techniques, Apple could easily milk the A5X, make it less power hungry, reduce the size and maintain a fair distance between the 4 models ( 2 minis and 2 full-size). But what will the call this chip? Calling it an A5X would remind people of a short lived processor series. Calling it A6X would be a mistake. So what's it going to be?
4) It's bound to happen because Apple wants to market the upcoming ipad 5 as ALL NEW. It will be difficult for them to justify a modified A6X vs A6X in the ipad 4 ( which is most likely to be the $399 model). Instead, they are likely to achieve a minimum of at least 15-20% performance improvement, a 30% reduction in processor power consumption, at least 25% reduction in die size, and call it A7X.
The way I see it, if they do achieve to get a health supply of IGZO panels, with the addition many of the internals becoming so much more battery efficient, its going to be that going to mean for us ( more concentrated towards the full size ipad:
1) we could see a reduction of battery consumption exceeding 60%,
2) a 33-50% reduction in the battery capacity ( so expect similar reductions in charging time). Expect a capacity of 28.05-21.25Whr
3) Nearly a 50% reduction in heat dissipation
4) An opportunity to increase the resolution of the full size ipad to reach 326ppi
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