A5X Chip Floorplan Reveals Significant Space Required for Quad-Core Graphics
Earlier today, we pointed to some teardown tidbits from Chipworks regarding the new iPad, including the observation that the A5X system-on-a-chip is being manufactured by Samsung and is using the same 45-nm process used for the A5 package in earlier devices. Also noted was a significant increase of about 36% in the area of the A5X compared to the A5.
UBM TechInsights has now started stripping down the A5X, revealing the floorplan for the package. Among the notable observations is the amount of area taken up by the quad-core graphics found in the A5X, a significant boost from the dual-core graphics found in the A5.
What should be noted is that the processor cores from ARM are identical in look but the extra real estate on the processors (the A5 measures at approx. 120 mm^2 vs. the A5X which measures at 163 mm^2) is accounted for by the the PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU cores, of which they are paired in groups of two and then symmetrically opposed to each other.
By our calculations, the graphics cores take up roughly 25% of the A5X's surface area alone, compared to just 10% for the ARM cores that make up the application processor. The floorplan also reveals a number of other enhancements for the A5X, including additional DDR interfaces and architecture to support the boost in graphics horsepower.