Apple's A6 chip sports 3-core graphics

Apple's A6 graphics silicon boasts three processor cores.

The iPhone 5's main circuit board with the A6 chip.
The iPhone 5's main circuit board with the A6 chip. iFixit

We learn a little more about the Apple processor inside the iPhone 5 every day. Today, the focus is the graphics processing unit.

UMB TechInsights has looked inside the chip, and review site Anandtech has followed up with an analysis claiming a 3-core GPU, which is likely a PowerVR SGX 543MP3 running at 266MHz, according to the chip-review site.

All of this makes for a fast A6 chip. Preliminary benchmarks show roughly twice the performance of Apple's A5.

Note that though the A5X chip in the third-generation iPad has a quad-core GPU (one more GPU core than the A6), it has an older -- and slower -- CPU (central processing unit). Both the A5 series processors and A6 have two CPU cores.

And who makes the A6 for Apple? Tech Insights surmises that it's Samsung. "An early analysis of...the A6 reveal markings that are similar to the Samsung markings found in the A4 and A5 processors," TechInsights said.

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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