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Apple VP Mansfield could be leading Intel-to-ARM switch

11/06, 6:27am

Apple rumored focused on transitioning to self-designed chips

A fresh report from Bloomberg has reinforced rumors that Apple may be developing its own chips for use in its Mac range in addition to its mobile products in years to come. If true, it signals a transition from Intel chips and would help to contextualize Apple’s move to make Bob Mansfield the head of its new “Technologies” group, which is combines research into wireless, battery and semiconductor designs. At the time of Apple’s announcement of its executive reshuffle, it noted that the new group under Mansfield has “ambitious plans for the future.”

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Apple A6 teardown shows custom, likely expensive CPU layout

09/25, 2:43pm

Chip engineered for maximum efficiency

A teardown of the A6 processor inside the iPhone 5 suggests that Apple went to extraordinary efforts for processing speed, notes iFixit. The repair outfit has confirmed some basic details, such as the presence of 1GB of RAM, and a dual-core CPU matched by a triple-core GPU. Unusual, though, is that the ARM-based CPU cores appear to have been manually arranged, instead of located based on chip design software.

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A6 in iPhone 5 breaks smartphone record in Javascript tests

09/20, 2:55am

Other iOS products see modest improvement under iOS 6

Enthusiast site Anandtech has taken Apple's new iPhone 5 through its paces and found a dramatic jump in JavaScript performance that is certain to be helping the latest version of Mobile Safari test "twice as fast" as the previous model. Other iOS device owners report that some of the improvement comes from iOS 6, though not to the levels seen with the A6 dual-core processor. The iPhone 5 broke the record handily for smartphones using the SunSpider JavaScript benchmarking tool, bringing in a score below 1,000 for the first time.

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Alleged iPhone 5 logic board shows A6 chip, LTE support

09/12, 11:23am

Apple finally making leap

An Italian blog has posted photos of what it claims is the logic board for the iPhone 5, set to be announced later today. The board notably uses an A6 chip, indicating that Apple is finally advancing beyond the A5 line. When the third-generation iPad was introduced in March Apple designated its processor the A5X, since the chip was little different from the A5 except for graphics power.

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Photo could hint at next iPhone making jump to A6 processor

08/30, 6:39pm

Apple so far stuck with A5-series chips

A new photo from hacker and 9to5Mac researcher Sonny Dickson shows what it is allegedly a next-generation iPhone logic board with an A6 processor. While the legitimacy of the photo is still in question, the board does appear to match up with previous leaks. Apple may also finally be prepared to advance to an A6, since it has used variants of the A5 in the iPhone and iPad since March 2011.

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Next iPad tipped getting more RAM, separate LTE versions

03/06, 3:50pm

iPad HD may load up on RAM and fork LTE models

Another rumor surfacing less than a day before Apple's next-generation iPad event may have filled in some of the in-between details of the future iPad and the Apple TV. While recapping most of the common beliefs, such as the 2048x1536 display and sped-up A5X dual-core chip, The Verge understood there would be more RAM. How much wasn't mentioned, although 1GB is most likely given Apple's tendency to double RAM and the need to hold large art assets in memory.

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Secondary evidence supports next iPad carrying LTE

03/05, 5:30pm

iPad 3 now seen more likely with LTE

Mounting rumors of the next iPad carrying LTE built steam Monday. A new claim from iMore, which accurately pegged the March 7 event date, maintained that LTE would be part of the launch event on Wednesday. Details were still left out of the loop, such as whether it would involve a unified LTE chipset for everyone or if there would need to be separate versions for AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers.

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iPad 3's whole shell put together ahead of launch

03/04, 11:10am

iPad 3 externals assembled in hint of future

Various part leaks for the next iPad came full circle on Sunday after a project successfully melded several parts together. MIC Gadget was able to get the front, back, and glass of the future Apple tablet assembled to prove that they were part of a cohesive design. As already suspected, the new iPad's case was just slightly thicker than its predecessor, although a more gradually tapered back could make it feel thinner in the hand.

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Apple seen working on both A5X and A6 chips

02/26, 5:25pm

Apple may have two iOS processors in development

Apple's A5X chip might still be joined by a full-fledged A6, based on an investigation of code. A deep dig by 9to5 into the iOS 5.1 beta code has shown both a more modest upgrade, the S5L8945X (possibly A5X), as well as a previously undiscovered S5L8950X. With the existing A5 known as the S5L8940X, it hints that Apple has been working on two chips at once for the first time.

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iPad 3 display inspection backs 2048x1536 resolution

02/17, 5:35pm

iPad 3 pixels seen 4X as dense

A rare, direct hands-on with what's believed to be a leaked iPad 3 display may have confirmed its 2048x1536 resolution. The MacRumors investigation went beyond surface checks to show that the pixel density was exactly four times higher than on the iPad 2 while keeping the 9.7-inch size. As expected, the display couldn't be powered up to show the effect, although at 264 pixels per inch it could appear near-seamless.

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Rumor pegs iPad 3 launch event for March 7

02/13, 5:10pm

iPad 3 may have firmer launch date

Apple's rumored early March iPad 3 launch event may have been narrowed down through a claim Monday. The company was said by previously accurate iMore tipsters to be currently set for March 7. It could still change, the people said, but the date was consistent both with the earlier rumor and with Apple's preferences for mid-week events.

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Apple TV stock runs dry, fuels 1080p upgrade talk

02/12, 1:25pm

Apple TV update may join iPad 3 on stage

An upgraded Apple TV media hub might come sooner than thought after signs emerged that multiple stores ran low on stock. Amazon, Best Buy, Buy.com, Radio Shack, and Target all show the device either as out of stock or taking weeks to ship. Apple and others do have supply, but it follows a pattern of third-party resellers usually running out first.

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Apple rumored rounding up graphics-heavy apps to show iPad 3

02/09, 11:00pm

Apple iPad 3 keynote, apps poised to focus on LCD

More if indirect support for an early March iPad 3 launch came Thursday night through assertions that Apple was in "crunch mode" rounding up apps to demo the tablet. The rumor's sources at The Next Web had Apple stepping up the process of finding apps that would showcase the new iPad's very high resolution display. Apple was focusing on "graphics-oriented applications with high-definition assets," the tipsters said.

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Purported iPad 3 code look shows new processor, world LTE

02/01, 12:00pm

iPad 3 uses new Samsung-built chip and two models

A code delve by an insider claiming to BGR to have access to an iPad 3 prototype may have supported some of the previously mentioned but not always corroborated rumors. Using what appears to be an internal Apple tool known as iBoot, the source showed a new S5L8945X processor that appeared to support quad-core references in iOS 5.1. The existing A4 and A5 processors are the S5L8930X and S5L8940X respectively, both of which will have been assembled by Samsung.

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Samsung to sell $1b in debt to fund Austin mobile tech plant

01/16, 4:50pm

Samsung Austin factory needs 1b bond

Samsung disclosed Monday that its new Austin plant might require that it sell $1 billion in debt for funding. It expects to sell a five-year bond and has been talking to banks to help orchestrate the deal. The arrangement would be its first significant sale of the kind in over a decade.

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TI shows OMAP5, claims to be 'way ahead' of Apple

01/13, 12:05am

TI OMAP5 to ARM Cortex-A15

TI has teased its first practical OMAP5 reference hardware. The dual-core, dual-graphics ARM-Cortex A15 device shown to Engadget by VP Remi El-Ouazzane was capable of playing 1080p content at 64 frames per second and ran Android 4.0. The executive anticipated it being fast enough at 800MHz to rival a Cortex-A9 chip at 1.5GHz, overshadowing Apple's A5.

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iOS 5.1 hides references to quad-core chips

01/06, 10:05am

iOS 5.1 references four cores

A delve into the iOS 5.1 beta has supported beliefs that the A6 chip will have four cores. Its processor management software was seen by 9to5 as referencing "core.0" through "core.3," a giveaway that it has to control quad-core hardware. iOS 5.0 only stops at "core.1" and hints Apple is at least using iOS 5.1 as a testbed for quad-core devices, if not as the initially shipping version.

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iPad 3 rumored getting HD front, iPhone 4-level rear cameras

01/05, 5:10pm

iPad 3 camera upgrades tipped early

Talk of upgraded cameras on the iPad 3 was given unofficial support, though not confirmation, from a rumor on Thursday. The front camera would go "HD," iLounge had heard from a purported source. At the back, the camera hole size was visibly larger and supported claims that the sensor would be closer to the five-megapixel iPhone 4 or eight-megapixel iPhone 4S than the one-megapixel camera from the iPad 2.

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Samsung's Austin fab dedicated to Apple A5 chips

12/16, 2:25am

Samsung uses lone US plant for iPhone and iPad

Samsung's $3.6 billion Austin plant may be dedicated almost exclusively to making Apple's A5 processors. Sources asserted Friday in conversation with Reuters that the 1.6 million square foot facility began supplying the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S with its main chip earlier in the year. Full production only just kicked in as of this month, the contacts said.

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Samsung may beat iPad 3 with 2560x1600 Galaxy Tab 11.6

12/08, 1:50pm

Samsung may go for upsized 2GHz, 1600p tablet

Samsung's plans to counter the iPad 3 could involve going for size, a rumor hinted Thursday. It would step up from 10.1 inches to 11.6 inches, BGR said, hinting that it might be called the Galaxy Tab 11.6. The larger display would similarly challenge Apple on resolution: it would use the same 2560x1600 image as a recent 10-inch prototype, just scaled to a larger screen.

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Apple TV 3,1 reappears with J33 codename

11/28, 11:25pm

iOS 5.1 gives away new Apple TV name

A recently discovered third-generation Apple TV has reemerged in the wake of the iOS 5.1 beta. New hunts in the file system by iH8Snow for 9to5 have seen it get the codename J33, in step with the iPad 3's J-series naming. Apple had been using K codenames even up to the iPad 2's K95.

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Apple's rumored J1, J2 next-gen iPad prototypes detailed

11/03, 8:05am

Apple said testing high, low-spec iPads in case

The previously glossed-over J1 and J2 iPad prototypes have been partly clarified in an uncommon follow-up rumor. The two are both candidates for what would replace the iPad 2, with only one of them going ahead, Digitimes claimed. The J2 would be a superset of the J1 with more advanced technology and different dimensions.

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Samsung main producer of A6 chips for Apple, says source

10/17, 9:35am

Business, legal issues being kept separate

Samsung is still the main producer for Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A6, claims an anonymous executive with a South Korea-based Apple supplier. "Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner," the person tells the Korea Times. Samsung is in fact said to be boosting output of A6 chips at a manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.

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5% of Apple core staff said on mobile CPUs, going all SSD

10/09, 12:20pm

Apple said with 1,000 CPU engineers

Apple has over 1,000 engineers working on its mobile processors, the late Steve Jobs purportedly mentioned a few weeks ago. An unnamed but "veteran" CEO said shortly after Jobs' resignation that the iconic Apple CEO had told him there were "1,000 engineers working on chips." With 20,000 workers in Apple's non-retail staff, TechCrunch noted in getting the leak, that amounted to five percent of the entire company.

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TSMC said talking to Apple over A6 chip yields, patents

10/05, 11:40pm

TSMC and Apple have tech discussions

TSMC is sending an envoy to Cupertino to discuss more details of manufacturing Apple A6 chips, insiders revealed late Wednesday. The talks, which Digitimes claims are to pledge "full support," should talk about 28 nanometer chip manufacturing yields as well as patent terms. Global UniChip, which is working with TSMC and has rights to use ARM's Cortex CPU and Mali graphics, is also believed to be part of the visit.

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References to quad-core ARM CPU appear in Xcode compiler

09/23, 12:00pm

May be testbed for future A-series chip

The most recent source code for Clang -- the default compiler in Xcode -- now shows support for a quad-core Marvell processor, the ARM-based Armada XP, according to Ars Technica. The chip is notably built for low-powered cloud computing tasks. Support can only be enabled when an "open source" flag is left undefined, something believed to imply that only Apple's own Clang binaries can compile for the XP.

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TSMC may be ready to build A6 chipsets in early 2012

09/08, 1:10pm

Supplier prepping for 28nm chip production

TSMC will be ready to mass-produce 28nm chips beginning in early 2012, says the supplier's research and development head, Shang-yi Chiang. Chiang elaborates that the company has already received enough orders to fully exploit its new 28nm capacity. At least some of the orders are likely to be for a next-generation Apple processor, the A6.

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SPIL tapped as early party to Apple A6 processor

08/26, 10:55am

Could join TSMC, Samsung in chipwork

Packaging and testing firm Siliconware Precision Industries is likely to join work on Apple's A6 processor, industry sources allege. Apple officials are said to have recently visited SPIL's assembly line and engaged in talks. SPIL has so far denied any speculation, but Apple's suppliers are typically hesitant to talk about connections with Apple and/or other clients.

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AMD adds budget, triple-core A6-3500 to Fusion chip family

08/17, 5:25pm

AMD A6-3500 costs just 95

AMD has added a new desktop processor to its A-Series Fusion processors. The A6-3500 runs three 2.1GHz cores along with a 444MHz Radeon HD 6530D for integrated graphics still fast enough to handle 1080p video and some games. Turbo technology bumps the speed of the main cores up to 2.4 GHz.

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Rumor: Apple wants October 7 for iPhone 5, no iPad 3 in 2011

08/12, 7:05pm

Fresh source targets October 7 for ship date

A comparatively untested rumor on Friday has added to the slew of disputed iPhone 5 release dates. Apple is purportedly aiming to ship the new model on October 7. TiPb's insiders were suggesting it would be a subtler upgrade to the iPhone 4 design rather than the major reworking hinted by some, but the site wasn't ready to commit to that view.

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New part makers join in making iPad 3 to help drop prices

07/26, 7:40am

iPad 3 may be more cost efficient with Taiwan ICs

Manufacturing sources said Tuesday that Apple was turning to new integrated circuit suppliers to help in "adjusting the cost structure" for the iPad 3. Capella Microsystems, Integrated Memory Logic, Novatek Microelectronics, and Richtek Technology have all supposedly been asked to supply key chipsets, Digitimes heard. Capella would provide ambient light sensors, IML would provide gamma/Vcom buffers, Novatek would provide LCD drivers, and Richtek would supply integrated power management chips.

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Apple working on white iPod touch, iPad 3 production in fall

07/22, 9:45am

Analyst checks point to white iPod touch 5

(Updated with alleged white iPod touch photo) New estimates by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest Apple will bring white back to the iPod for the first time in years through the fifth-generation iPod touch. The design is rumored to be much like that of the iPad 2, where only the front gets the new color. Kuo told AppleInsider the design showed few signs of direct changes and would be in volume production in late August.

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TSMC in test runs of Apple's A6 processor for 2012

07/15, 7:40am

TSMC being gauged on A6 chip production levels

One source leaked overnight that Apple was at least experimenting with plans to make the A6 through TSMC. The Taiwanese contractor is said in practice runs that would gauge whether or not its manufacturing yields of working chips were enough that it could be trusted production. All the "authorisation and details" were ready and were just hinging on Apple's reaction, Reuters was told.

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HP starts selling Pavilion dv6z Quad Edition with Fusion

07/04, 11:20pm

HP dv6z Quad Edition brings four-core AMD Llano

HP on Monday quietly posted some of the highest end of its new AMD Fusion-based Pavilion notebooks. The dv6z Quad Edition uses AMD's faster Llano-based chips and ranges from a 1.4GHz quad A6-3400M through to a 1.9GHz A8-3530MX, the two extremes of which can boost to 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz respectively. The Fusion technology gives them graphics capable of playing 1080p video smoothly, but they can be optioned up with an unspecific dedicated AMD Radeon chipset to handle more demanding games.

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TSMC tapped as likely to win orders for Apple A6 processor

06/24, 10:20am

Samsung still producer of A5 chips

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company should stand a good chance of winning orders for Apple's A6 processor, says Merrill Lynch analyst Dan Heyler. Apple has not yet announced the A6, but will likely continue to use custom chip designs for iOS devices as it has since the introduction of the original iPad. An A6 would probably first appear in the iPad 3, then migrate in modified form to an iPhone 6 and sixth-generation iPod touch.

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