iPad’s A4 Processor Gets X-Rayed, Confirmed to be ARM Cortex A8

The cool cats at iFixit, with the help from the guys at Chipworks, have fully dissected and X-rayed an Apple A4 chip, the iPad’s central processing hub. Their findings confirmed that the A4 processor is built using a “package on package” method, meaning that the 256MB of Samsung-provided SDRAM is stacked immediately atop the CPU, which is noted as being reductive to both latency and energy use.

With a single core processor inside, the iFixit team concluded the iPad had to be running on a Cortex A8 chip, which seems the likeliest choice at this point. Even with this, there remained the assertion that it couldn’t be a Cortex A9 MPCore chip inside, though this is up for debate as the Cortex A9 MPCore chips also come in single-core options.

The iPad’s processor will have to compare against Samsung’s Hummingbird chip, which was designed by Intrinsity (the same firm Apple is rumored to have recently acquired). Finally, the visual inspection of the iPad’s mobo puts a model number to the already known PowerVR GPU, narrowing it down to the SGX 535, while also naming and picturing a number of other exciting components, such as the always popular capacitive touchscreen controller. 

An interesting video of the iPad’s internals has also surfaced on Gigaom, so be sure to take a look for yourself:


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