Teardown of iPad Air Reveals A7 Chip, LG Display, Qualcomm LTE Modem

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Apr 12, 2001
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iFixit has performed another one of its traditional high-quality teardowns on the iPad Air. The new iPad is dramatically thinner and lighter compared to the previous models, and also sports a 64-bit A7 chip, an M7 motion compressor, and a Qualcomm MDM9615 LTE modem. Among the details revealed in the teardown:

- The display appears to be manufactured by LG. The Korean company along with Sharp and Samsung are expected to be the primary manufacturers of displays for the iPad Air. But while supplies of the iPad Air are plentiful, LG and Sharp are said to be struggling with low yields of displays for the Retina iPad mini also due for launch this month, with Apple turning to Samsung for help.

- The A7 chip found in the device has a part number of APL5698, which differs than the APL0698 chip found in the iPhone 5s. The processor in the iPad Air is likely the 1.4GHz variant which was discovered in benchmark results earlier this week, and is 100MHz faster when compared to the 1.3GHz variant found in the iPhone 5s. The Apple M7 "motion coprocessor" also makes an appearance in the logic board, with a part number of NXP LPC18A1.


- 1GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM is found within the device but is now housed on one chip, compared to the two Elpida chips that housed the RAM on the fourth-generation iPad.

- The iPad Air now sports a 32.9 Whr two-cell battery, which is smaller than the 43Whr three-cell battery found in the fourth-generation iPad. However, it appears that the same ten-hour battery life from the last generation has been preserved on the new device.



- As expected, the device contains essentially the same rear 5-megapixel iSight camera found in the previous generation, although with a shorter focal length. The front FaceTime HD camera remains at 1.2 megapixels for 720p quality, but with an improved sensor.


- Dual microphones are now found on the top edge of the device for noise cancelling capabilities, and are joined by other minor changes including separated volume buttons on the side and stereo speakers on the bottom of the device like that of the original iPad mini.

- Two antennae sporting multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology are now included in the iPad Air, with Wi-Fi performance reportedly twice as fast when compared to previous iPads.


- The device now contains a modular nano-SIM tray for cellular connectivity, changed from the micro-SIM tray found in the previous generation.

- Two Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G Touch Screen Controllers are now included in the iPad Air, which is similar to the BCM5976A0KUB2G trackpad controller found in current and previous MacBooks.

As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the iPad Air based on the accessibility of the various components. The firm rates the iPad Air's repairability at just 2 out of 10, with positive points for easy LCD accessibility and a non-soldered battery, but the sheer amount of glue and other adhesives used to hold the device together makes repair extremely difficult.

Article Link: Teardown of iPad Air Reveals A7 Chip, LG Display, Qualcomm LTE Modem
 

Amer.Dababneh

macrumors newbie
May 24, 2013
10
0
"Teardown of iPad Air Reveals A7 Chip"

wow... you guys have discovered a huge secret! Now that's a scope.
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
Gahhh, going to the mall soon to check this bad boy out :)

EDIT: Everything seems pretty perfect about this device. I just feel, personally, that with such big screen real estate, the UI could be tweaked to take more advantage of that. I'm not too sure how, as I'm not a UI designer, and I'm not necessarily suggesting widgets or live tiles, but ya' know, just something to differentiate it from the iPhone.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,123
4,146
Any photographers here: Is "shorter focal length" on the camera a good thing or a bad thing?
 

iapplelove

Suspended
Nov 22, 2011
4,932
6,833
East Coast USA
it's been two hours with my air and i'm loving it so far! battery seems great and the screen looks just as sharp as the previous gens. However even with a clean install my photo app has crashed a few times after syncing 24,000 photos.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,848
11,235
Vilano Beach, FL
it's been two hours with my air and i'm loving it so far! battery seems great and the screen looks just as sharp as the previous gens. However even with a clean install my photo app has crashed a few times after syncing 24,000 photos.
Do you have a 3rd or 4th Gen still? Just wondering how the screen temps compare (if you’re able to compare them side-by-side).
 

o0smoothies0o

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2013
193
0
it's been two hours with my air and i'm loving it so far! battery seems great and the screen looks just as sharp as the previous gens. However even with a clean install my photo app has crashed a few times after syncing 24,000 photos.
It's trying to tell you, you'll never look at 24,000 photos. ;)
 

Munnichs

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2011
48
0
But why couldn't they just put 2GB RAM inside...

edit: doesn't matter, bought one anyway :)
 

photoj2754

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
358
59
Akron
Any photographers here: Is "shorter focal length" on the camera a good thing or a bad thing?
Usually a shorter focal length means the capability of greater depth of field which means more of your subject in focus, though it does depend on the F stop that the camera is set at which isn't mentioned. The bigger the F stop number is better (5.6 is better than 2.8 etc.).
 

MattJessop

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
215
42
Manchester, UK
Any photographers here: Is "shorter focal length" on the camera a good thing or a bad thing?
Mostly good. The detail will be the same, but it will now take more of the actual scene, whereas a longer focal length would have been a bit more zoomed in. Advantage is you can now fit more (and I mean every so slightly more), but the disadvantage is if you try and zoom in the photo after you have taken it you cannot enlarge it as much.

Short focal length = more of scene is captured
Long focal length = closer to subject

But again with the sensor sizes and focal lengths we're talking about I don't think most people will notice.
 

iapplelove

Suspended
Nov 22, 2011
4,932
6,833
East Coast USA
Do you have a 3rd or 4th Gen still? Just wondering how the screen temps compare (if you’re able to compare them side-by-side).
my 3rd gen iPad was on the warm side and this air is definitely cooler, leaning more towards blue colors than yellow. Text looks better,some photos look a little better on the 3rd gen but i like a warmer temp.
 

RobertMartens

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2002
1,171
291
Tokyo, Japan
Two antennae sporting multiple-input and multiple-output...
You didn't really try to show off your latin language abilities did you? If you are so clever you would know that antennae is a word reserved for bugs. Electronic devices simply have antennas.

Are you the same journalist that served up 'virii'?

My favourite quote, "The impetus of this discussion was the potential irony that the use of virii could be construed as a claim of superior knowledge of language when in fact more detailed research finds the naive viruses is actually more appropriate."
 

Spitfire411

macrumors member
Mar 28, 2011
52
0
Looks like Apple went all out for light weight as a "feature" here- probably why we didn't see an A7X- it would've had to go in a case with a battery as heavy as the 4th gen iPad.
I thought the "X" chips were just the regular chip (A5, A6) with an added graphics processor to push the extra pixels of the larger screen. I think the A7 has gotten to the point where it can handle the extra pixels on its own and no longer requiring an extra graphics processor. I don't think we'll ever see another "X" chip unless some change occurs where the stock chip can no longer handle the requirements of the display. I just think the technology is now there where it is no longer required.
 
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