iFixit and Chipworks Provide Inside Look at iPad's A4 Processor

141532 a4 xray 500
X-ray image of iPad's Apple A4 chip

The teardown experts at iFixit have been busy with the iPad over the past few days, beginning with an analysis of internal photos of the device posted to the FCC's website last Friday and continuing with a teardown of the actual device on Saturday.

Late yesterday, iFixit announced that it had partnered with chip reverse engineering firm Chipworks to open up the iPad's A4 chip, the custom Apple solution that serves as the brains of the device. The project, which is documented in a full iFixit-style teardown, involved both x-ray imaging of the iPad's components and physical cross-sectioning of the A4 chip.

According to the report, the analysis confirms that the chip utilizes a single-core processor, likely the Cortex A8, in a "package-on-package" design that offers Apple the flexibility of separate layers for the microprocessor and the integrated RAM.

There's nothing revolutionary here. In fact, the A4 is quite similar to the Samsung processor Apple uses in the iPhone. The primary focus of this design was minimizing power consumption and cost.

The full Chipworks teardown offers a number of interesting photos of the process used to crack open and examine tiny components like the A4 and confirms much of what has already been determined from iFixit's larger-scale teardown and software methods.

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro Lineup Feature

iPhone 15 Models Feature New Setting to Strictly Prevent Charging Beyond 80%

Tuesday September 19, 2023 2:04 pm PDT by
All of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models feature a new battery health setting that prevents the devices from charging beyond 80% at all times when enabled, as confirmed by The Verge's Allison Johnson during a Q&A session today. The new setting is separate from the pre-existing Optimized Battery Charging feature on iPhones, which intelligently delays charging past 80% until a more...
iOS 17 and iPhones Feature

iOS 17: 10 New Features That Just Launched

Sunday September 17, 2023 12:35 pm PDT by
In June, Apple announced iOS 17 with a wide range of new features and changes for the iPhone. Following over three months of beta testing, the free software update will be released this Monday, September 18 for the iPhone XS and newer. Below, we have recapped 10 key features coming to the iPhone with iOS 17, with additional features coming later this year. The update should be released to...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.0.1 and iPadOS 17.0.1 With Bug Fixes, Plus iOS 17.0.2 for iPhone 15 Models

Thursday September 21, 2023 10:28 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.0.1 and iPadOS 17.0.1 updates for the iPhone and the iPad, adding bug fixes to the new software. The iOS 17.0.1 and iPadOS 17.0.1 updates come just a few days after Apple launched iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. The software, which is build 21A340, can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. There is a...
emojipedia 15 1 emoji

Emoji Coming to Future iOS 17 Update Include Shaking Head, Brown Mushroom, Lime, Phoenix and More

Tuesday September 19, 2023 12:43 pm PDT by
As Apple was announcing new iPhone models last week, the Unicode Consortium was officially approving new emoji characters that are set to be added to smartphones starting in 2024. Mockup of new emoji from Emojipedia Approved Unicode 15.1 emoji include phoenix, lime, an edible mushroom, shaking head vertically (as in a "yes" nod), shaking head horizontally (a "no" head shake), and broken...