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Thread: The iPhone's A6 SoC is a Custom Apple Core

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default The iPhone's A6 SoC is a Custom Apple Core


    Despite what previously published reports had said, the iPhone’s A6 chip isn’t the first ARM Cortex A15 processor in public usage. According to AnandTech, the CPU is entirely different and perhaps even more significant is the fact that it is a CPU core of Apple’s own 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.

    Just to make it clear, the A6 is still based off of ARM’s designs but it isn’t an ARM specific CPU design like a Cortex A8, A9, or a new A15. What this means is that Apple can customize the chip’s performance to its needs rather than pushing it or pulling it into ARM’s designs. Qualcomm previously did the same thing with its Snapdragon processors and many others are doing the same.

    This marks the first time Apple has gone away from a standard CPU processor design though. Anandtech also suggests that Apple used a slightly upclocked PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU on the SoC to achieve the “2x Graphics” stat that the company has been boasting. Typically the Cupertino California company underclocks higher end processors depending on usage profile but this time, they supposedly went with the opposite. The company seems to have found a sweet spot for balancing the battery life and performance though, at least from what we know based on the announcement at the September 12th event. We’ll find out for sure when the device is released to the public and breakdowns start surfacing.

    Source: Anandtech

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    iPhone? More like MyPhone Striknine's Avatar
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    Can't wait to get my phone so I can take the A6 chip apart. You just need an expensive microscope and a small pair of tweezers. I'll figure out what's in there...

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me bmwraw8482's Avatar
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    Does this mean a more difficult jailbreak for the iphone5?

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me n0m0n's Avatar
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    Will this effect a jailbreak solution?

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Watch your back now ARM! Apple will patent some vague, grey Core architecture based on the foundation you provided and then bludgeon you in court with it! BUY or BITE, then BLUDGEON! Sayin...
    Last edited by Lohand; 09-16-2012 at 08:39 AM.

  6. #6
    Livin the iPhone Life
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    The design of the processor has nothing to do with the jailbreak solution. The only devs say they can't jailbreak "a5's" etc. isn't because of the hardware itself it's not like they literally look for flaws in the physical product it's all software based.its because the new software has different securities etc. that utilize the better performance speeds of the idevice. This will not affect the jailbreak but the new processor software specs will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lohand View Post
    Watch your back now ARM! Apple will patent some vague, grey SoC architecture based on the foundation you provided and bludgeon you in court with it! BUY or BITE, then BLUDGEON! Sayin...
    I hate how people argue that apple patented samsungs designs or something because they manufacture some of apples products.

    First off this argument is invalid because of so many reasons

    1. The patents dont even have to do with what Samsung manufactured for apple! They don't have to do with the type of glass they use or type of ram used. It's mostly design based and software based!
    2. If apple was patenting technology they bought from Samsung isn't it samsungs fault for not patenting their own technology?
    3. Apple suing Samsung has nothing to do with the parts Samsung makes for apple.
    4. People like you PLEASE read about the actual lawsuit before commenting with an invalid argument.
    Last edited by Mrteacup; 09-16-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  7. #7
    What's Jailbreak?
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    Months of waiting starts the day we get our new toy. We leave it in the hands of the devs and their hard work and wait patiently for them to work their magic!

  8. #8
    My iPhone is a Part of Me fanboyfanboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
    The design of the processor has nothing to do with the jailbreak solution. The only devs say they can't jailbreak "a5's" etc. isn't because of the hardware itself it's not like they literally look for flaws in the physical product it's all software based.its because the new software has different securities etc. that utilize the better performance speeds of the idevice. This will not affect the jailbreak but the new processor software specs will.

    I hate how people argue that apple patented samsungs designs or something because they manufacture some of apples products.

    First off this argument is invalid because of so many reasons

    1. The patents dont even have to do with what Samsung manufactured for apple! They don't have to do with the type of glass they use or type of ram used. It's mostly design based and software based!
    2. If apple was patenting technology they bought from Samsung isn't it samsungs fault for not patenting their own technology?
    3. Apple suing Samsung has nothing to do with the parts Samsung makes for apple.
    4. People like you PLEASE read about the actual lawsuit before commenting with an invalid argument.
    Thank you so much, finally someone that is level-headed and makes sense around here. I hate people that say apple sues everyone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lohand View Post
    Watch your back now ARM! Apple will patent some vague, grey Core architecture based on the foundation you provided and then bludgeon you in court with it! BUY or BITE, then BLUDGEON! Sayin...
    I am SOOO sick of going into a forum to garner useful information and to have it littered with this ****!

    EVERY SINGLE article I have gone in to read lately has been laced with completely useless anti-apple rhetoric. It really is getting old and I wish mods would start doing something about the people who start these incredibly childish apple-vs-android,google,htc,samsung, etc etc etc. Its getting really hard to find a useful forum that is not battered with this ****, and its getting really old.

    And yes, this included Apple fanboys!

  10. #10
    Green Apple
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    woohoo!
    i dont get it.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone MaStA819's Avatar
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    So funny how people have to worry about getting a jailbreak because Apple doesn't want you to have control over your own device...you know the thing you paid for...pitiful.

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    iPhoneaholic
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    "Anandtech also suggests that Apple used a slightly upclocked PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU on the SoC to achieve the “2x Graphics” stat that the company has been boasting."

    Sounds to me like Apple is having a hard time keeping their software optimized and needs that extra boose of hardware power to keep it going. Every company underclocks the chips and gets boosts in performance from software and hardware. If Apple needs to overclock it a bit, imagine the battery life when you play a game or the heat produced. Apple is having a hard time keeping up.

  13. #13
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    am i the only one who thinks that apple making "apple cores" is really funny?

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    Livin the iPhone Life Silverado1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaterofpies View Post
    am i the only one who thinks that apple making "apple cores" is really funny?
    I didn't even notice till you said it lmao

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaStA819 View Post
    So funny how people have to worry about getting a jailbreak because Apple doesn't want you to have control over your own device...you know the thing you paid for...pitiful.
    I don't worry about it. iOS usability is fantastic right out of the box. The added features you get through jailbreaking are great, and I'll jailbreak when I can, but I'm not going to lose sleep over using stock iOS. There's a reason iPhone has the highest customer satisfaction of any smart phone - it's the OS. I understand Apple wanting a predictable specific experience for users of its products, it makes sense. Average users that get an Android phone loaded with bloatware from their mobile provider = dissatisfied customers.

  16. #16
    My iPhone is a Part of Me Chula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssjbrolly View Post
    Months of waiting starts the day we get our new toy. We leave it in the hands of the devs and their hard work and wait patiently for them to work their magic!
    I Agree Can't Wait
    Last edited by Chula; 09-16-2012 at 02:32 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gideon1 View Post
    I am SOOO sick of going into a forum to garner useful information and to have it littered with this ****!

    EVERY SINGLE article I have gone in to read lately has been laced with completely useless anti-apple rhetoric. It really is getting old and I wish mods would start doing something about the people who start these incredibly childish apple-vs-android,google,htc,samsung, etc etc etc. Its getting really hard to find a useful forum that is not battered with this ****, and its getting really old.

    And yes, this included Apple fanboys!
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
    "Anandtech also suggests that Apple used a slightly upclocked PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU on the SoC to achieve the “2x Graphics” stat that the company has been boasting."

    Sounds to me like Apple is having a hard time keeping their software optimized and needs that extra boose of hardware power to keep it going. Every company underclocks the chips and gets boosts in performance from software and hardware. If Apple needs to overclock it a bit, imagine the battery life when you play a game or the heat produced. Apple is having a hard time keeping up.
    I doubt it, Apple is fanatical about their batery life. Apple software runs fine on all previous iPhones, so your point is moot. Obviously the A6 SoC is optimized for decent battery life. Almost no other manufacturers underclock their processors. Hell most need all the power they can get just to run Android.
    Last edited by shark101au; 09-16-2012 at 03:07 PM.

  18. #18
    iPhone? More like MyPhone kyphur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by organik View Post
    Average users that get [snipped as irrelevant] phone loaded with bloatware from their mobile provider = dissatisfied customers.
    Therein lies the core problem with other smartphones, there are too many cooks in the kitchen: OS OEM, Device OEM and (often times the worst) Carrier.

    The best thing Apple did was lock the carrier out of installing their stupid bloatware. Half of the reason I used to cook Roms for WinMobile was to remove everything and get to a clean & lean OS.

    The worst thing Apple did was decide they have the right to control what I can install on my own device. This is the reason I jailbreak all of my iDevices.

    Give me an OS that is lean & stabile but will allow me to install what I want. If Google told OEMs & Carriers they can't mess with the stock OS but can give users access to installation packages for things like TouchWiz & at&t Navigator then I think Android would be more competitive.

    Now there are some apps in iOS that I don't use and wish Apple would move them to the AppStore such as: Stocks, Weather, NewsStand, Reminders & Maps.

    Finally I wish they'd move some things to the AppStore so at&t can't hold those features hostage such as: FaceTime & Cellular Data Hotspot (tethering).

    It just bothers me that some guy who will never know me thinks he knows what's best for me. It would be nice to have flash support on my iPad.

  19. #19
    Green Apple
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    Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
    "Anandtech also suggests that Apple used a slightly upclocked PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU on the SoC to achieve the “2x Graphics” stat that the company has been boasting."

    Sounds to me like Apple is having a hard time keeping their software optimized and needs that extra boose of hardware power to keep it going. Every company underclocks the chips and gets boosts in performance from software and hardware. If Apple needs to overclock it a bit, imagine the battery life when you play a game or the heat produced. Apple is having a hard time keeping up.
    Wow people are so ignorant. Please have a better understanding before you post cr@p like this.

  20. #20
    ----NewD 2.0---- NewdestinyX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyphur View Post
    It just bothers me that some guy who will never know me thinks he knows what's best for me. It would be nice to have flash support on my iPad.
    yeah. The Flash thing makes my wife curse the day I got her an iPad. EVERY SITE she needs for her hobbies and job have Flash material. But that ship has sailed and no Apple product will ever have Flash natively. It's a philosophy thing with Apple and they would never give credence to one of their main competitors: Adobe. But Apple's holding us hostage from half the websites on the planet. It's such a pain.

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