iPhone 5S gets quad-core graphics, analysis shows

The 5S is the first iPhone to pack quad-core graphics silicon. This gives the 64-bit chip plenty of horsepower for games.

Apple's A7: the lower right is the quad-core GPU.
Apple's A7 chip: The lower right is the quad-core GPU. Chipworks

The 64-bit iPhone 5S boasts a quad-core graphics processing unit -- a first for an iPhone.

Semiconductor analysis company Chipworks has supplied the best evidence yet of the layout of the A7 processor in Apple's iPhone 5S, showing a quad-core GPU. (See image above.)

The A6 chip in the iPhone 5 had a three-core GPU.

While core counts aren't necessarily the deciding factor in making a chip fast, there is a trend toward adding more cores to boost performance. Samsung and Qualcomm, for instance, have had quad-core graphics for a while now. As have Apple's higher-performance A5X and A6X chips that are used in the iPad 3 and iPad 4.

And getting quad-core graphics into a phone undoubtedly helps games like Infinity Blade 3 run faster.

Now we come to the central processing unit, or CPU. In this case, Apple is bucking a trend. The Chipworks layout confirms earlier reports that the A7 has a dual-core CPU .

Quad-core CPUs are increasingly common now, if not standard.

That said, the proof is in the pudding: Apple's A7 has impressive benchmarks.

"The quad-core card was kind of forced," Anand Shimpi of Anandtech told CNET last week. "It's definitely not the only way to arrive at the ideal performance-power for a phone."

The iPhone 5S is anything but slow.
The iPhone 5S is anything but slow. CNET

[Via MacRumors]

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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