Apple's new iPad 3 features a modified version of the company's standard A5 processor, A5X, which has a larger floor plan to include quad-core graphics, according to an analysis performed by UBM TechInsights, one of our sister organizations.
The A5X measures roughly 163 square millimeters, compared to about 120 square millimeters for the A5. Both use identical ARM processor cores, but the A5X adds four PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics cores, which are paired in groups of two and then symmetrically opposed to each other on the floor plan. Both chips feature two application processor cores and operate at 1GHz, but the A5X includes more DDR interfaces and more architecture added for the handling of quad-core GPU, according to the teardown analysis.
Click on the image below to view a slideshow of the iPad 3 in various stages of disassembly:
Seeing the apparent ease with which UBM TechInsights tears it down, it's a wonder to me that Apple is so resistant in their interviews. It's difficult to get through an Apple interview without bumping into a "proprietary concern." Yet, it appears from this teardown that reverse engineering of the hardware must be commonplace.
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