Apple's A6 Chip Confirmed to Carry Triple-Core Graphics

As part of its report on Apple's custom ARM chip design for the A6 found in the iPhone 5, AnandTech speculated that the improved graphics performance in the iPhone 5 was achieved through the use of a triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3 graphics processing unit (GPU) rather than doubling the clock speed of the dual-core SGX 543MP2 found in the A5 or using the quad-core SGX 543MP4 found in the A5X for the third-generation iPad.

The [SGX 543MP3] is sort of the best of both worlds. You don't take a huge die area penalty and at the same time don't run at a significantly higher frequency, and you can get to that same 2x value.

The [SGX 543MP3] option is the most elegant and likely what Apple chose here.

AnandTech has now followed up with a new report based on fresh images from UBM TechInsights showing the layout of the A6 with three graphics cores as had been predicted.

a6 chip layout

The image above shows two 32-bit LPDDR2 memory channels and three GPU cores. We're likely looking at a PowerVR SGX 543MP3 running at 266MHz.

UBM estimates the die size at 95.04mm2 and the manufacturer as Samsung.

More information and analysis on the A6 will undoubtedly be forthcoming as UBM TechInsights continues its work, but the first glimpse inside Apple's custom chip design for the iPhone 5 demonstrates how the company has been able to balance processing power needs with die size constraints to achieve significant performance gains for the iPhone 5 compared to its predecessors.

Top Rated Comments

MonstaMash Avatar
116 months ago
Samsung has Quad core #justsayin

And yet somehow has worse performance.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MDomino Avatar
116 months ago
Looks like a Maps screenshot to me.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dangerous Theory Avatar
116 months ago
Why does it seem like every post about the iPhone 5 has a retaliation about how the Galaxy S3 is superior, and every post about the S3 has people spouting about the iFive? When I saw a poll some time ago on the MacRumours demographic, it seemed like the majority of us were aged 20-40. Why, then, are we acting like the kids that used to - and unbelievably still do - make "Xbox/PS3 IS BETTER" comments? Pick the piece of technology that works in your favour, and go your separate ways people.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
116 months ago
Are there any Mac rumors at 'MacRumors'?
Maybe it's time for a name change.

Yeah, I forgot how Apple had iPhones and iPads back in the PowerPC days, when this site was created. Thanks for your input. :rolleyes:
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FuNGi Avatar
116 months ago
Wait, let me take a closer look at that before I decide how badass it is...
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
116 months ago
GLBenchmark results show it is around 2.4x as fast as the A5's GPU.




Here are some other GLBenchmark scores for reference, higher is better.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt HD offscreen 1080p (C24Z16):

iPhone 5: 3003
iPad 3: 2820
Galaxy S III: 1708
iPad 2: 1545
Nexus 7: 1331
iPhone 4S: 1252
One X: 1197
Galaxy Nexus: 603

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt classic offscreen 1080p (C16Z16):

iPhone 5: 10349
iPad 3: 9877
Galaxy S III: 6662
iPad 2: 5489
iPhone 4S: 4535
Nexus 7: 4301
One X: 4041
Galaxy Nexus: 1632

This thing is a beast. :eek:
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
COVID19 Digital Wallet Apple Wallet

Australian Government Now Offering COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificates for Apple Wallet

Monday August 2, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
The Australian government has introduced support for adding COVID-19 vaccination digital certificates to Apple Wallet via the Express Plus Medicare app on iOS. Image credit: Tap Down Under As spotted by Tap Down Under, users who have received two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine now have access to the digital certificate through their Medicare online account or via the Medica...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...