Probably the most significant new feature of the iPad 2 (except, I guess, for those planning on carrying it around like a very big camera
) is the new A5 processor. Apple's claiming twice the performance and up to nine times the graphics power. As usual, though, they were mum on the details of what's inside the chip. A (so far unsubstantiated) report out today, though, says that not only has Apple included the same 512 MB of memory
in the iPad 2 as the iPhone 4, but also that it's faster LPDDR2 RAM.
During the iPad 2 announcement, Apple gave only the vaguest idea of what's under the hood. They did refer to a dual-core 1GHz ARM processor and a faster graphics chip. Apple habitually refrains from publishing specs on iPad and iPhone internals, preferring to focus on performance claims (10 hours of battery life, twice as fast, etc). They've never said how much RAM is in any of their devices: we only find out after a chip has been torn down. In the rumor stream leading up to Wednesday's announcement, it was reported that the iPad 2 would get 512 MB of RAM
, like the iPhone 4, and that the memory bus speed would be boosted to 1066 MHz instead of the 800 MHz of the A4.
This report is apparently being bolstered by a tweet from Korean analyst Kakeun Lee
in response to reports that the new tablet has the same amount of RAM as the first-generation iPad. Contradicting an Apple employee at a press demo in London who claimed the iPad 2 has only 256 MB of memory
, Lee stated that the A5 has 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM. Low power double data rate synchronous DRAM
was used in the A4 to lower overall power consumption to deliver more power without sacrificing battery life. The second generation, LPDDR2, runs the memory core and I/O at 1.2 V, a significant savings over the 1.8 V required by the A4's LPDDR1 SDRAM. It also runs at 1066 MHz (properly, 1066 million transfers per second) as opposed the the 800 Mtransfers/sec on the A4, again in line with earlier reports.
We won't know for sure, of course, until the guys at iFixit get their mitts on an iPad 2 in a week's time. However, it'd be very surprising if Apple didn't stay ahead of the curve here. With many smartphones and tablets getting Qualcomm's second-generation Snapdragon SoC with LPDDR2 RAM this year, Apple wouldn't be able to hide behind unpublished specs for long.