updated 03:10 pm EST, Wed January 27, 2010
Apple A4 made by PA Semi, integrates GPU
Apple as part of its iPad introduction revealed its first self-produced processor, the A4. The ARM-based chip is made by the company's PA Semi team and incorporates a graphics core and memory controller into the main processor. Most details are still unclear, but it runs at 1GHz and is particularly power-efficient: Apple estimates 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing or video and a full month of standby.
Early estimates suggest the design is based on ARM's Cortex-A9 and may involve dual cores.
3G battery life is unknown but should be shorter. It's similarly unclear how the processor compares to its rivals, like the Qualcomm Snapdragon. Although Qualcomm's chip is clocked at a similar speed, it's based on an earlier architecture. Hands-on tests so far suggest it feels noticeably faster than the iPhone 3GS.
The company hasn't said who assembles the A4, though Samsung has usually manufactured the processor. Apple is likely to use the A4 or a variant of it in future handhelds, including the iPhone and iPod.