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Apple's A6 Chip Confirmed to Carry Triple-Core Graphics

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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As part of its report on Apple's custom ARM chip design for the A6 found in the iPhone 5, AnandTech speculated that the improved graphics performance in the iPhone 5 was achieved through the use of a triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3 graphics processing unit (GPU) rather than doubling the clock speed of the dual-core SGX 543MP2 found in the A5 or using the quad-core SGX 543MP4 found in the A5X for the third-generation iPad.
The [SGX 543MP3] is sort of the best of both worlds. You don't take a huge die area penalty and at the same time don't run at a significantly higher frequency, and you can get to that same 2x value.

The [SGX 543MP3] option is the most elegant and likely what Apple chose here.
AnandTech has now followed up with a new report based on fresh images from UBM TechInsights showing the layout of the A6 with three graphics cores as had been predicted.



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 95.04mm2 and the manufacturer as Samsung.
More information and analysis on the A6 will undoubtedly be forthcoming as UBM TechInsights continues its work, but the first glimpse inside Apple's custom chip design for the iPhone 5 demonstrates how the company has been able to balance processing power needs with die size constraints to achieve significant performance gains for the iPhone 5 compared to its predecessors.

Article Link: Apple's A6 Chip Confirmed to Carry Triple-Core Graphics
 

khovland92

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2012
50
0
Connecticut
Are there any Mac rumors at 'MacRumors'?
Maybe it's time for a name change.

I appreciate MacRumors reporting on stuff like this. They do focus mostly on rumors but this kind of stuff is interesting. I mean if you like rumors, you will like reading this stuff.


Samsung has Quad core #justsayin

iPhone 5 performs MUCH better in some benchmarks #justsayin
 
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geeksweep

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2012
15
4
OpenGL

since we are talking about multiple GPU cores how about a test that is GPU intensive. benchmarks for things like browsers are nice and all but how about something that's a little more aggressive like OpenGL ES.
 
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FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,121
32
California
Wait, let me take a closer look at that before I decide how badass it is...
 

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pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,082
Montreal, Canada
GLBenchmark results show it is around 2.4x as fast as the A5's GPU.




Here are some other GLBenchmark scores for reference, higher is better.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt HD offscreen 1080p (C24Z16):

iPhone 5: 3003
iPad 3: 2820
Galaxy S III: 1708
iPad 2: 1545
Nexus 7: 1331
iPhone 4S: 1252
One X: 1197
Galaxy Nexus: 603

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt classic offscreen 1080p (C16Z16):

iPhone 5: 10349
iPad 3: 9877
Galaxy S III: 6662
iPad 2: 5489
iPhone 4S: 4535
Nexus 7: 4301
One X: 4041
Galaxy Nexus: 1632

This thing is a beast. :eek:
 
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jrswizzle

macrumors 603
Aug 23, 2012
6,107
128
McKinney, TX
GLBenchmark results show it is around 2.4x as fast as the A5's GPU.




Here are some other GLBenchmark scores for reference, higher is better.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt HD offscreen 1080p (C24Z16):

iPhone 5: 3003
iPad 3: 2820
Galaxy S III: 1708
iPad 2: 1545
Nexus 7: 1331
iPhone 4S: 1252
One X: 1197
Galaxy Nexus: 603

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt classic offscreen 1080p (C16Z16):

iPhone 5: 10349
iPad 3: 9877
Galaxy S III: 6662
iPad 2: 5489
iPhone 4S: 4535
Nexus 7: 4301
One X: 4041
Galaxy Nexus: 1632

This thing is a beast. :eek:

This is awesome. I'm super pumped to see what else Apple has in store for us as far as custom chips in upcoming devices.
 
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iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Impressive. Most impressive.

This goes to show you the benefits of designing your own chips and optimize your own software for it far outweigh simply slapping a bunch of off-the-shelf hardware together and calling it a legitimate iPhone competitor.
 
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Dangerous Theory

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2011
1,983
28
UK
Why does it seem like every post about the iPhone 5 has a retaliation about how the Galaxy S3 is superior, and every post about the S3 has people spouting about the iFive? When I saw a poll some time ago on the MacRumours demographic, it seemed like the majority of us were aged 20-40. Why, then, are we acting like the kids that used to - and unbelievably still do - make "Xbox/PS3 IS BETTER" comments? Pick the piece of technology that works in your favour, and go your separate ways people.
 
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Virtualball

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2006
399
8
Samsung has Quad core #justsayin

Sigh, I hate when people go off of numbers alone without any inkling of what they're saying. If number of cores really meant anything, then the Atrix 4G would be just as fast as the 4S. It's about drivers to support the cores, their clock speeds, and the speed of the bus. Performance is based on multiple factors and number of cores is only one of them. #justsayin
 
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mr.steevo

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2004
1,370
852
Are there any Mac rumors at 'MacRumors'?
Maybe it's time for a name change.

When Steve Jobs announced Apple moving to Intel processors he said something to the extent that the operating system (OS X) is what makes a Mac a Mac.

The iPhone runs OS X so I suppose one could argue we are still discussing Mac.

:)
 
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Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,330
585
St. Louis
Samsung has Quad core #justsayin

Uh, yeah. Four slower cores.

Would you rather have a computer with 32 cores (all 486 CPUs), or a computer with "just" 2 cores (new Core i7 CPU)?

whaaaaaaaattt doesn't the A5X have a quad core?

Keep in mind the resolutions here. It's mostly the same GPU chip/architecture, but the iPad requires a lot more horse-power. The iPhone doesn't need that. Less cores = less power draw.

Just wait for the A6X in the new, newer new iPad.
 
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holmesf

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2001
527
24
Samsung has Quad core #justsayin

Yes, but considering the Samsung Galaxy S3 uses an ARM Mali based GPU and the iPhone 5 uses a PowerVR SGX 543 based GPU the number of cores cannot be directly compared -- they are different architectures.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 (with its 4 core GPU) barely beat the iPhone 4S (with its dual core GPU) in OpenGL ES performance: it will lose to the iPhone 5.
 
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