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iPad CPU Rumors – #fail?

By deans ~ March 1st, 2010. Filed under: Observations.

I should know better than to ever accept anything written, or stated, about pre-launch Apple products.  Unfortunately, I was so excited about the iPad CPU that I ill-advisedly went ahead and talked about it during various conversations and planning sessions.  Thankfully, I didn’t write anything about the wonderful new part.  Fortunately, Engadget did:

“…we’re hearing that it is in fact a system-on-a-chip driven by a Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU “identical” to the one found inside NVIDIA’s Tegra 2, while besting the iPhone 3GS significantly with its 1GHz speed and multicore architecture.  The A4 is composed of that Cortex barnburner, an integrated memory controller, and the Mali GPU, making it an all ARM affair…”

Engadget was even so kind as to publish a “photo:”
Engadget:  A4 Image


And then, today, Ars Technica tries to bring the whole dream crashing down:

“…it turns out that the the A4 is a 1GHz custom SoC with a single Cortex A8 core and a PowerVR SGX GPU.  The fact that A4 uses a single A8 core hasn’t been made public, but I’ve heard from multiple sources who are certain for different reasons that this is indeed the case.  (I wish I could be more specific, but I can’t.)

In all, the A4 is quite comparable to the other Cortex A8-based SoCs that are coming onto the market, except that the A4 has even less hardware.  The iPad doesn’t have much in the way of I/O, so the A4 itself can do away with the I/O that it doesn’t need.  In contrast, the typical Cortex A8-based SoC has more I/O hardware than a mobile phone can use, because you never know what customers will need which interface types.”

Now I grew up in the days when real men had big block V8′s in their cars, so I was excited by the original rumors.  On the other hand, the Ars Technica post makes a lot of sense — cram a simpler CPU in, jack the clock rate and let the software do its stuff.  In many circles, that’s just plain old good system design.

Serious Wheels:  1970 Dodge Challenger image

Image Credit:  Serious Wheels


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1 Response to iPad CPU Rumors – #fail?

  1. introspective

    How god the iPod is for watching the movies? Is there an option for divx?