No A6 Chip for iPad Until June 2012 at the Earliest?

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A pair of reports from July and earlier this month had claimed that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun trial production of Apple's next-generation A6 system-on-chip, with the latter report claiming that the design would be "publicly unveiled" in the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest.

While Apple has only released two generations of the iPad so far, the company has initially appeared to be interested in a yearly update cycle for the device, but the claimed A6 timeline suggested that Apple might be hard-pressed to stick to a March-April release for the iPad 3 should it be based on the A6. But given that April is indeed the beginning of the second quarter, the company could sneak in with its next yearly iPad update if "publicly unveiled" were to refer to a launch inside the next iPad.

CNET now reports, however, that Linley Group analyst Kevin Krewell has issued a research note claiming that full production of the A6 won't begin before the second quarter of 2012, pushing the release of any A6-based hardware out to at least June.
"A final version of the chip will enter production in 2Q12 'at the earliest'... We believe this timing makes sense," Krewell said. "This pace would make the A6 one of the first 28 [nanometer] mobile processors (along with Qualcomm's MSM8960) to enter production. This schedule, however, breaks Apple's annual processor-upgrade cycle and will delay any products using the A6 until at least June 2012."
The report also notes that Apple's A6 chip is expected to sport a quad-core processor and will use "3D" transistor technology analogous to the Tri-Gate technology being used by Intel for its chips.
The rumored A6 is a major step-up in chip design. Not only does it contain four processor cores (the existing Apple A5 has two cores) but will use so-called 3D technology, Linley Group senior analyst Kevin Krewell said this week in a research note, citing a report in the Taiwan Economic News. The 3D tech is roughly analogous to Intel's 3D technology announced in May.
Apple had been rumored to be trying to release an upgraded iPad sometime before the end of 2011, reportedly with a "Retina" display sporting higher resolution than the current iPad. But last week, a report claimed that Apple had pushed back those plans due to difficulty with production on the displays. Days later, The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Apple was working on a new iPad for "early 2012".

Krewell suggests that Apple could release an A5-powered iPad 3 at that time, relying on the upgraded display to drive customer demand. An A6-powered iPad would then come later, although it seems unlikely that Apple would want to wait until 2013 to release an iPad based on the chip.

Article Link: No A6 Chip for iPad Until June 2012 at the Earliest?
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
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Probably with the iPad 3 which was intended for 2012 at the earliest anyway.

Don't get me wrong. I own an iPad 2 and I would have been delighted if Apple released an iPad 3 this year, but nothing about those rumors seemed realistic.
 

pmz

macrumors 68000
Nov 18, 2009
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I'll gladly wait for a Quad Core iPad w/ Retina Display in June 2012.

Yes please.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
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How does 2nd quarter mean June?

2nd quarter is April 1 - June 30.
The production of the chip is happening no later than Q2, meaning the products using it come June at the earliest. There's several months between production begin and shipping products.
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,465
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But who would want to upgrade to an Early 2012 iPad knowing a better model is just a few months away?

Perhaps would be better to do nothing till the A6 is out?
 

Gemütlichkeit

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2010
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I waited and waited for apple to release the sandy bridge chip in the Air. Simply put, we'll just have to wait for the technology we want haha.
 

accessoriesguy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2011
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This is good news, it would make sense for apple to release the next iPad slightly a year earlier then normal.

Apple has a great lead in the tablet market. if this A6 chip is 4 cores and has 3D transistor design. They can add retina display and give it the same battery life still. They will dominate another year, and push back all the other tablets again who may try to catch up on their second and third generations.
 

rovex

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2011
1,092
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Quad core will be a huge leap. Console like graphics in gaming would be possible and the inclusion of retina will only accentuate this significant advancement in technology.
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
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Most apps haven't even tapped the iPad 2's full potential yet, so I don't really see an annoying problem there. Other innovations surrounding the iPad could be at least as interesting in the meantime.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
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Quad core will be a huge leap. Console like graphics in gaming would be possible and the inclusion of retina will only accentuate this significant advancement in technology.
Apple would have to optimize iOS for a quad core architecture, even though most app developers won't. The CPU being quad core will have nothing to do with the graphics the A6 is capable of. Apple would have to upgrade that in the A6 as well. It's possible they could use ImgTec's next generation Rogue cores, but I'm expecting A6 to be a die shrink of A5 meaning modest performance gains.
 

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
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So that's why the intended to shift the iPad schedule to the fall. Release the Retina iPad this October and the next iPad can wait. Too bad the display producers didn't cut it.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,663
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Quad core will be a huge leap. Console like graphics in gaming would be possible and the inclusion of retina will only accentuate this significant advancement in technology.
now they just need to make console like games
 

RafaelT

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2010
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Lakeland, FL
I don't see how not having that chip ready means no iPad update early in the year. There is no reason that Apple can't upgrade a bunch of other parts and add new features. The chip that is currently being used is plenty fast for right now.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
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Apple would have to optimize iOS for a quad core architecture, even though most app developers won't. The CPU being quad core will have nothing to do with the graphics the A6 is capable of. Apple would have to upgrade that in the A6 as well. It's possible they could use ImgTec's next generation Rogue cores, but I'm expecting A6 to be a die shrink of A5 meaning modest performance gains.
Apple tends to reuse their architectures for 2 generations. The 1st and 2nd gen were ARM11 + PowerVR MBX Lite and the 3rd and 4th gen were ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX535. The current 5th gen is ARM Cortex A9 + PowerVR SGX543MP. If the pattern holds, the 6th gen Apple A6 will probably remain ARM Cortex A9 + PowerVR SGX543MP just doubled to quad core CPU and quad core GPU. Keeping the architecture stable for 2 years makes sense since it amortizes optimization and driver development costs. It's also safer to transition to a new process using a design that you are more familar with rather than doing a new process node and new architecture at the same time.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
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Apple tends to reuse their architectures for 2 generations. The 1st and 2nd gen were ARM11 + PowerVR MBX Lite and the 3rd and 4th gen were ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX535. The current 5th gen is ARM Cortex A9 + PowerVR SGX543MP. If the pattern holds, the 6th gen Apple A6 will probably remain ARM Cortex A9 + PowerVR SGX543MP just doubled to quad core CPU and quad core GPU. Keeping the architecture stable for 2 years makes sense since it amortizes optimization and driver development costs. It's also safer to transition to a new process using a design that you are more familar with rather than doing a new process node and new architecture at the same time.
That's precisely the reason I don't see the A6 being a vastly new architecture. If you look at the time they went through a die shrink, there wasn't a significant architecture change (3GS SoC to A4). It was just a higher clock plus some new custom peripheral circuitry. That's why I see the A6 just being a die shrunk A5 with higher clocks.
 

yeah

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2011
945
104
Anyone for a "Retina" Apple TV?
Quad-Core iPad 3 with 2 GB RAM?
iPhone 5 with A6 and 4 GB RAM?
Wow 2012 will be lots of fun :D
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Anyone for a "Retina" Apple TV?
Quad-Core iPad 3 with 2 GB RAM?
iPhone 5 with A6 and 4 GB RAM?
Wow 2012 will be lots of fun :D
Retina AppleTV? Or do you mean a Apple HD TV with AppleTV built in? Oh heck... it's confusing I know! LOL!

I really hope Apple does not put out a TV.... sigh... it will be to tempting to get one! :p
 
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