Apple could be working on two processors for iPad 3

iOS 5.1 beta code contains references to two processors.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple is working on an enhanced A5 processor and a completely new A6 processor for the upcoming iPad 3, according to information gleaned by 9to5Mac.

There's been a log of speculation in the media about whether Apple is revamping the A5 processor for the iPad 3 (rumor has it that it will be called the A5X) or working on a completely updated piece of silicon (rumored to be the called the A6). There's even been an alleged leaked photo of the A5X.


Image credit: WeiPhone.com

Well, buried in the iOS 5.1 beta code are references to two new processors, the S5L8945X and the S5L8950X. The original A4 chip in the iPad was called the S5L8930X, while the A5 chip in the iPad 2 was called S5L8940X. This would seem to suggest that the S5L8945X is an updated A5 processor and that the S5L8950X is the A6.

So why would Apple be working on two processors? Well, 9to5Mac have some ideas:

  • Apple developed both chips simultaneously to see which would better fit the new iPad.
  • The quad-core A6 is for the iPad 3. Meanwhile, the A5X is for rumored Apple TV update, the next-generation iPhone, or another iOS device
  • Apple will sell a cheaper iPad with the A5X chip, while the higher-end iPad 3 has the A6.
  • The rumored 8-inch iPad has the A5x processor

Personally, I don't believe that Apple is working on either a cheaper iPad 3 or an 8-inch version. I'm more inclined to believe that this is either legacy code from a development model or a processor for another device.


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