Next gen iPad Cortex A9 processor
Folks at DigiTimes had recently come up with some juicy rumors regarding the next generation iPad. In their latest report, the Taiwanese publication had claimed that Apple will be launching an upgraded version of their 9.7-inch iPad by the first quarter of 2011 that will deploy a powerful ARM Cortex-A9 processor.
The report had also backed claims made by iLounge earlier this month about Apple’s plans to launch a smaller 7-inch iPad with a similar processor configuration.
So how is this new ARM Cortex-A9 processor going to be different from the A4 chip that is running in the current iPad model and iPhone 4? For starters, unlike the single core configuration on the A4 processor, Cortex-A9 is capable of carrying multiple-cores – as many as 16 cores. This will extend peak performance to unprecedented levels. You may remember that Apple’s A4 chip is based on the ARM Cortex-A8 single-core configuration.
It is however worth noting that even the single core version of the ARM A9 processor is likely to double the ARM Cortex-A8 performance level from the current 1GHz to up to 2GHz. It is thus likely for Apple to retain the single-core nature of its iPad processor in order to minimize the power requirements and subsequently improve battery life.
Another area where the second generation iPad is likely to see an improvement is memory. The current iPad model is equipped with a 256MB RAM that is expected to give way to 512MB RAM, just like iPhone 4.
Interestingly, though Apple is likely to nearly double the performance levels of its processor and memory on the new iPad, the device is not expected to see any significant drop in battery life. In a white paper submitted by ARM, the researchers have claimed that the new A9 processor will see a 25% processing power boost even at the same processor speed.
There are indications that Apple may also field these new ARM A9 processors in the next generation iPhone that will be launched next year. Considering that such processors could bring many more powerful utilities to our iDevices, the future prospects for iOS-based devices look exciting. What do you think?