The collaboration between iFixit and Chipworks led the two to conduct a teardown of the A6 chip. An ion blaster was used to remove layers of silicon to find out exactly what’s inside Apple’s custom-made chip. Under a microscope, they found that the device has a gigabyte of Elpida LP DDR2 SDRAM, the same RAM also used in the recently released Motorola Droid Razr Maxx.

The A6 chip itself was fabricated by Samsung via their 32-nanometer CMOS process and it measures 9.70 by 9.97 millimeters. Although it was manufactured by Samsung, it is the first chip custom designed by Apple, based on the ARMv7s instruction set. This is Apple’s first-ever complete control of the design which allowed the company to customize the performance as they chose.

The more prominent features inside the A7 include the dual ARM cores and the three PowerVR graphics chips. Chipworks found that the ARM processors are laid out manually, which results in faster processing speeds but is also more expensive and time consuming to develop. According to iFixit:

The manual layout of the ARM processor lends much credence to the rumor that Apple designed a custom processor of the same caliber as the all-new Cortex-A15, and it just might be the only manual layout in a chip to hit the market in several years.
The two companies also took a look at who manufactures the cameras featured on the iPhone 5 and found that the rear 8-megapixel camera is manufactured by Sony while the forward-facing FaceTime camera is built by Omnivision.

Source: iFixit