Evidence of Quad-Core Chips Shows Up in iOS 5.1 Betas

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9to5Mac reports that evidence of support for quad-core processors has shown up in beta versions of iOS 5.1, lending support to claims that Apple's forthcoming A6 chips will see a doubling in the number of processing cores.
The references to quad-core iPhone and iPad chips come by way of a hidden panel that describes cores that are supported by iOS device hardware. The updated core management software includes an option of "/cores/core.3," and this represents a fourth available processing core...
The report notes that single-core processors such as the A4 found in the iPhone 4 and original iPad fall under a "cores/core.0" designation, while dual-core processors such as the A5 in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are covered by a "/cores/core.1" designation. The "/cores/core.3" reference thus suggests compatibility with a quad-core chip.




Apple's A6 system-on-a-chip has been rumored several times to carry a quad-core processor, and has been presumed to be set for inclusion in the company's next-generation iPad and iPhone models. There have, however, been some questions about whether the production timeline for the A6 would support its inclusion in the iPad 3, which is rumored for a release around March of this year.

Article Link: Evidence of Quad-Core Chips Shows Up in iOS 5.1 Betas
 

kalex

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2007
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Wait what? I thought apple didn't care about specs? Who needs quad core processors? Funny
 

ardy8888

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2011
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Wouldn't there also have to be a cores.2 reference?
cores.0 = single core
cores.1 = dual core
cores.3 = quad core

common sense would tell you cores.2 should be q tri core. as far as i know, there are no tri core processors out there.
 

I8P'CS

Suspended
Jul 29, 2010
355
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Nice, Glad i never got 4s, this will be sufficient for me for a long time if true (on an iPhone that is) Besides spec means nothing if the software is crap plus bloated some (Android,Blackberry), Apple is Good at software so will be a great device iPad & iPhone. Bring it on
 

mjschranz

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2010
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Now this is an interesting rumor. Would be awesome to see if in the iPad 3 as I plan on making that one my first.

Would have more cores than my macbook!
 

ECUpirate44

macrumors 603
Mar 22, 2010
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Honestly, it seems like more wasted heat and energy to me. What is the iPhone 4S limited to right now because of the dual core? If their going to put a quad core in it, there better be a killer feature that requires it.
 

Yvan256

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Jul 5, 2004
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The A4 and A5 processors have their GPU in the same die as the CPU.

An iPad with a retina displays means four times as much pixels to draw, meaning it requires a GPU upgrade, hence a CPU upgrade too, it would make no sense to only upgrade the GPU.

Based on that, I'd be very surprised to see an iPad 3 without a quad-core CPU.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
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Wouldn't there also have to be a cores.2 reference?
I could be wrong about this but I think CORES 0 and 1 represent dual core processor, CORES 0, 1, 2, 3 represent quad core processor. This is why cores.0 is a single-core, cores.1 is a dual-core and cores.3 is a quad-core processor. cores.2 would be a tri-core processor which does not exist.
 

GSPice

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2008
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Honestly, it seems like more wasted heat and energy to me. What is the iPhone 4S limited to right now because of the dual core? If their going to put a quad core in it, there better be a killer feature that requires it.
If engineers asked that throughout history.... :rolleyes:


anyway, a quad core could easily allow similar processing power at a lower clock speed. Which could easily be "cooler" core for core.
 

nunes013

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May 24, 2010
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makes sense. if the next iPad does have a high resolution display it will need a powerful GPU and also a powerful CPU to run some new applications that will be designed for it. Apple will probably under clock it a bit from the A5 though. maybe 800 MHz for the iPad and 600-700 MHz for the iPhone if they include it in the iPhone.
 

cvaldes

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Dec 14, 2006
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Wait what? I thought apple didn't care about specs? Who needs quad core processors? Funny
Sorry, but caring and publicizing are two different concepts.

Apple does not publicize many specs for its iOS devices. And they are right: Joe Consumer really doesn't care how MFLOPs the CPU can handle or how many polygons the graphics unit can paint in a second.

Remember that Apple is a software-driven company whose software and services run best on their proprietary, high-margin hardware.

The key with handheld devices is optimizing the software to run efficiently on the hardware. This is where Apple's tight control is advantageous. Android handset manufacturers do not have that control and often their devices which exceed Apple's on a spec sheet, don't perform as well in real world usage. In fact, they may need to beef up the hardware to get similar results.

The biggest concerns in throwing in more hardware performance is battery life and bulk. There are some very important design considerations that need to be made, particularly in the design of handheld devices.

Joe Consumer cares about how quickly the camera starts up and whether or not his favorite game stutters. Stuff like that. Joe Consumer does not care that smartphone X has a Tegra running at 1.2GHz whereas the iPhone 4S is probably underclocked to 800 or 900MHz.
 
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diamond.g

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Mar 20, 2007
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cores.0 = single core
cores.1 = dual core
cores.3 = quad core

common sense would tell you cores.2 should be q tri core. as far as i know, there are no tri core processors out there.
There are tri core x64 CPUs. Technically the 360 is a tri core CPU.