New Apple TV Has A5X Chip and Single WLAN + Bluetooth Antenna

AnandTech has found that new Apple TV will use the same WLAN+Bluetooth antenna/chip combo that the iPhone 5 uses as well as an A5X processor rather than the A5.

The unreleased Apple TV revision was first suggested by an iOS 6.1 firmware release for a previously unseen AppleTV3,2 model. Then, a new FCC application revealed that the new Apple TV would have slightly smaller dimensions than the currently shipping model.

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AnandTech writes:

Instead of the A5R2 SoC (S5L8942) inside the Apple TV 3,1, this new device contains an A5X SoC (S5L8947) as shown in the screenshots I've taken of the Restore.plist file, though there are numerous others. It's entirely possible that Apple is again using different bins of the A5X, it's not possible to tell whether CPU or GPU cores are fused off at this point from my digging through the IPSW.

The A5X chip (with Quad-Core graphics) was originally introduced to power the new Retina Display screen of the iPad 3.

It was in the current Apple TV that Apple first used the 32-nm (die shrunk) A5 chip. It was believed at the time that Apple had used the Apple TV has a test platform to start ramping up that new 32-nm A5 processor before they started using it more broadly to power the still-for-sale iPad 2.

It seems likely that Apple will follow the same pattern with this new A5X -- first ramp up production in the Apple TV, and later extend its use to the new iPad mini. The next iPad mini is believed to include a Retina display. Apple will need to upgrade the iPad mini's CPU/GPU in order to be able to accommodate the extra pixels of such a display.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

ghost187 Avatar
148 months ago
I don't see the iPad Mini going from A5 to A5X. I think it was stupid that they put the A5 instead of the A6 to begin with. It will be upgraded to A6 at the very least especially with the retina display, maybe even A7. While the Big iPad will remain superior with an A7X chip.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeekLawyer Avatar
148 months ago
I vaguely remember someone hacking the apple TV to run osx natively.. It ran terribly.. but it ran. I wonder..... LOL

Anyway, I do like the sounds of this new aTV,
That was the original AppleTV, with an Intel processor. These A4/A5/A5X models can't hack OSX (forgive the pun).
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chiefsilverback Avatar
148 months ago
I think I am finally sold on the Apple TV. No more cable! Now, if only Netflix would start adding more choice.
Macworld had a piece today about trying to 'cut the cable' and when all was said and done they got a better deal on a bundle with TV than trying to go it alone with internet only from their provider.

I'm in the same boat with Verizon, I'd spend more subscribing to Hulu Plus and Netflix and buying content from iTunes than I would save by dropping the TV from TV/Internet FiOS bundle!

Until Apple can come up with a viable alternative for data delivery than the incumbent cable companies 'cutting the cable' is something of a pipe dream!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chundles Avatar
148 months ago
A5X?

Hopefully it's a die-shrink, cooler version otherwise that thing is going to melt through some TV cabinets.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bommai Avatar
148 months ago
Will the A5X chip keep my AppleTV from losing its network connection every 10-60 minutes, like it does now? No, I doubt it.
I would say it is your poor wireless connection. I have a wired ethernet and it never loses connectivity. I have an AppleTV 2.

----------

Macworld had a piece today about trying to 'cut the cable' and when all was said and done they got a better deal on a bundle with TV than trying to go it alone with internet only from their provider.

I'm in the same boat with Verizon, I'd spend more subscribing to Hulu Plus and Netflix and buying content from iTunes than I would save by dropping the TV from TV/Internet FiOS bundle!

Until Apple can come up with a viable alternative for data delivery than the incumbent cable companies 'cutting the cable' is something of a pipe dream!
I use antenna for over the air HDTV. I use AppleTV for YouTube, Netflix, and other free stuff. My internet bill is $25-30/month. I don't have any other expenses. I don't think anyone can get this with a TV cable subscription. I use Ooma for VOIP phone and it is about $3.47/month.

I use Brighthouse Cable and AT&T alternating between the two whenever one of them hikes the rates. I have been doing this for about 3 years. I have room for a cable modem and a DSL modem in my structured wiring panel. All I have to do is move my ethernet cable from one device to another when I switch providers. Pretty seemless.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
148 months ago
Hopefully it's a die-shrink, cooler version otherwise that thing is going to melt through some TV cabinets.

Some of us have oft-posted for the resurrection of some features & benefits from the 1st gen :apple:TV. The ability to fry an egg, space heat an apartment and/or jiffy pop without a stove was not one I've seen. But maybe Apple wanted it anyway? ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)