Apple A6 Processor is a Custom Apple Design, Prioritizing Performance and Power Efficiency
As part of their iPhone 5 announcement, Apple revealed that the new iPhone is powered by a new "A6" processor from Apple. The A6 is said to have twice the CPU power and twice the GPU power of the previous generation Apple A5 processor. Beyond that, however, Apple offered few other details about the nature of the processor. For example, it's not clear how many cores the processor has or what the clock speed is.
Early speculation had led some to conclude that that the A6 was based on the yet-to-be-seen Cortex A15 ARM processor design. The Cortex A15 is licensable processor design from ARM that promises significantly faster performance than the existing Cortex A9 design which is what Apple uses in their A5 processor (iPhone 4S).
Anandtech now reveals, however, that the A6 is a custom Apple design:
The A6 is the first Apple SoC to use its own ARMv7 based processor design. The CPU core(s) aren't based on a vanilla A9 or A15 design from ARM IP, but instead are something of Apple's own creation.
Anandtech explains that Apple is one of a few ARM architecture licensees, which allows them to create their own custom ARM processor designs.
While Anadtech goes into the finer details, the ultimate benefit for Apple is the ability to tune their chips towards their own specific goals. In particular, Apple's design goals prioritize both power and performance while the generally licensable Cortex A15 design was reportedly targeted at server configurations.
Rumor has it that the original design goal for ARM's Cortex A15 was servers, and it's only through big.LITTLE (or other clever techniques) that the A15 would be suitable for smartphones. Given Apple's intense focus on power consumption, skipping the A15 would make sense but performance still had to improve.
Apple seems to finally be benefiting from some previous company acquisitions including P.A. Semi and Intrinsity, both chip design companies. The ability to tune their CPU designs specifically for their products could serve as a competitive advantage over other companies that are reliant on the licensable designs provided by ARM. Apple's previous processor designs have been based on these more traditional designs, so this represents Apple's first departure into a more custom design approach.
Image from Engadget
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color.
iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future.
The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, and the feature is now available in beta.
iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones.
For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Only Silver and Gold are...
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing.
At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly.
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline.
The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production.