Processor on next Apple iPhone to be produced via Samsung's 32nm process?

Processor on next Apple iPhone to be produced via Samsung's 32nm process?
With no official word from Apple on what will be in the innards of the next iteration of the iconic iPhone (that's called alliteration, folks!), a website called Chipworks decided to take an x-ray of the chip powering the new Apple TV 3. What it found was the next generation A5 processor, but with some interesting new features.

While the media was calling the new A5 a single core application processor, the x-rays revealed that the A5 in the third generation of Apple TV is actually made with dual-cores. But how could this be, you ask? Even Apple's specs sheet lists Apple TV 3 as being powered by a single core application processor. The answer is that either Apple is using just one of the two cores, or it is binning one of them. This is a process used when a initial runs of a new process result in lower yields. The "bad core" is disabled allowing the manufacturer to increase the number of usable dies per wafer which lowers costs. The A5X chip in the new iPad had both cores enabled, of course.

Both versions of the A5 contain dual-cores

Both versions of the A5 contain dual-cores

Besides the surprise of finding the dual-cores on the x-ray, Chipworks also found that Apple had used an A5 made with a different manufacturing process. Whereas the previous generation A5, part number APL0498, was manufactured using Samsung 45nm LP CMOS process, the new A5 was produced using Samsung’s new 32 nm high-k metal gate, gate first, LP CMOS process. This is APL2498. The new Samsung manufacturing technique shrinks the A5 by 41% compared to its predecessor and reduces current leakage. The question is, if Apple is using this complex technique on a product like Apple TV 3, is it just warming up for its use inside the next Apple iPhone?

Samsung has used its own high-k metal gate manufacturing process with the dual-core Cortex-A15 Exynos 5250 processor and the unnamed quad-core Cortex-A9 Exynos processor which is expected to power the Samsung Galaxy S III. Samsung, of course, has produced the other "Ax" chips used in the 3 other versions, so the Korean based manufacturer should be coming right back with the production of the A6, or whatever Apple decides to call the next-gen processor.

source: Chipworks via MobileSyrup

The A5 from Apple TV 3 and the A5 from the Apple iPhone 4S (R)
The A5 from Apple TV 3 and the A5 from the Apple iPhone 4S (R)

The A5 from Apple TV 3 and the A5 from the Apple iPhone 4S (R)


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46 Comments

1. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

"Processor on next Apple iPhone to be produced via Samsung's 32nm process?" Then Apple obtains a patent for Samsung's process and sues

32. cheetah2k

Posts: 2198; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

How can Apple get their hands on the patents for Samsung's processes, when Samsung already owns them???? More importantly, Samsung licences the architecture of these ARM cpu's from ARM.. So in reality what can Apple actually do? - That's right, nothing. In any case, Apple is at the mercy of chip manufacturers, and unless they buy one like TSMC, they always will be.

41. solidsnakeduds013

Posts: 219; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

I think he was just trying to make a joke

43. cheetah2k

Posts: 2198; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

You're probably right lol ha ha ha :p

35. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

not really… samsung is smart-- they wont let feuds like android vs ios to get in the way of their deals with apple… and apple knows samsung can provide them with high quality goods… neither one wants to get rid of their relationship in this respect-- they both benefit

2. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Apple these days would have little to no technological advances in its products if it weren't for dealings with Samsungs. Its making even more and more sense to see why Samsung own galaxy s phones keep winning phone of the year awards.

30. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

lol samsuck fan

33. cheetah2k

Posts: 2198; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

You're probably an icrap fan, but your icrap has samsuck inside so go samsuck your icrap till your ipop falls off hahaha

42. solidsnakeduds013

Posts: 219; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Revolutionary=Apple Copy cat=Samsung

38. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Eaxvac go marvel at your 'resolutionary' ipad screen,made by Samsung

39. TROLL.IS.AHA

Posts: 58; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Lol iPan. Uve been drinking to much iJuice.... iNtoxicated!

3. Ksupowercat13

Posts: 15; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

All I have to say is if Apple decides to use a dual core processor in the next iPhone that will be upsetting. I used to be an Android fan until I finally decided to give the iPhone 4s a try. Yeah, you can't customize widgets or anything but Apple's stability compared to Androids is 10x better. I still consider myself an Android guy, and I am simply trying out the iPhone and right now i do like it better. It will just be upsetting to see that all these new android phones will be coming out with quadcore processors, while the "iPhone 5" will only support a dual core with quadcore graphics. Maybe I just don't exactly know what that means...

6. Croxy

Posts: 55; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

Number of cores isn't the only factor in the quality of the processors. Compare Qualcoms snapdragon S4 and nVidias Tegra 3...

9. Ksupowercat13

Posts: 15; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

yeah i get that but would you rather have a dualcore or a quadcore?

13. Croxy

Posts: 55; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

I'm not a big expert at this: It depends on lots of things. architecture, the nanometers and that kind of s**t that I don't have a clue about.:D Of course I would prefer an n-core before an n-core processor ONLY IF it truly had better performances. I've gotten an impression that you were a kind of guy who would brag about his phone only because of the number of cores.

14. Ksupowercat13

Posts: 15; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

lol so true

19. CléonLeGrand

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 20, 2011

A x86 dual-core and a Cortex-A9 Octo-core, what would you prefer ?

22. TROLL.IS.AHA

Posts: 58; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

A9 Octocore obviously!

31. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

umad?

25. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Quadcore is BS for iOS. because it doesn't have the true multi-tasking, 2 threads only are enough. That's a advantage, and also the limit of ios. Android is f**king sluggy compared to ios, but it was the past. When the CPU is more and more powerful, it'll smooth like iOS but much faster and you can see a true multitasking device.

27. tedkord

Posts: 17183; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Android's already ad smooth as iOS. Has been since Gingerbread. The only reason it used to lag was the multitasking - it does more at once than iOS. But, hardware has caught up. My Thunderbolt, with Eternity r248, which has gingerbread on a single core 1.4ghz snapdragon is buttery smooth, no lag even with 4 or 5 concurrent apps running. Blame Verizon for its out of the box performance - they ruin every phone they release. With ics, Android is every bit as smooth as iOS, while being more powerful. It comes down to individual preference, there's no performance reason to choose one or the other.

28. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I'll admit, I tried the 4s as well, and the POS wouldn't last 12 hours on iOS 5.1, my RAZR lasts at LEAST 48 hours, and has never crashed on me, it has been perfect. I do plan on buying the iPhone 5, but to use it as a glorified iPod Touch, they keep throwing us iTouch users under the bus.

29. ph00ny

Posts: 2013; Member since: May 26, 2011

i guess you haven't used an iOS device I'm not saying it doesn't lag or anything because it does but the main reason why iOS devices are smoother in day to day operation is due to the hardware acceleration which GB doesn't have(outside of samsung's TW4.0) That's the beauty of ICS (btw nexus also lags occasionally) As for the performance reason to choose one over the other, there is a damn good reason.

45. setspeed

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

As smooth as iOS since Gingerbread? Come on, don't be silly! I'm a huge Android fan, but this is just rubbish. ICS is now only just APPROACHING the smoothness of iOS, and that's with kickass hardware. And the lag is still present in some areas. Sorry, but iOS (and WP) are the smoothest around. Android wins in other areas, but being the smoothest is not one (yet).

4. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

Now I see why Apple sues alot... they pay good money for their napkins designs only to have manufacturers steal their ideas and turn profit... samsung is the best at manufacturing chips thats why Apple looks for them, but to produce similar products as your main buyer...

5. Habib

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Troll!!!

7. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

come on are you saying they copied the idea of a slab of glass with bezels.

11. jove39

Posts: 2142; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You are real fool and ofcourse troll...anyone with little bit of usable brain...would google about chip manufacturing before posting on public forum...but thats just you...Apple/Samsung/Qualcomm/TI/Nvidia they all have licensed arm arch for use in their cpu...no one is stealing from anyone here (Its just that you are jealous)...and Samsung had 800Mhz cpu ~5 years ago in first gen wave handset...what was apple smoking then...stealing my @$$

12. jove39

Posts: 2142; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I certainly have no problem with Apple...but some morons who use Apple gadgets!

18. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

never I mention they stole their chip.. Apple doesnt even produce chips .. you moron...

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