Chatter surfaces about 'fast' Apple A7 chip for iPhone 5S

Speculation is mounting about the rumored A7 processor in the widely expected iPhone 5S. Upshot: it's faster, of course.

The iPhone 5's main logic board.
The iPhone 5's main logic board. iFixit

A tweet from a Fox News reporter claims that new Apple silicon rumored to land in the iPhone 5S is "very fast," while an Apple-centric blog says it will be 64-bit -- echoing a previous rumor.

Clayton Morris tweeted Sunday that Apple's next-generation A7 chip (the A6 currently powers the iPhone 5 and iPad 4) "is running at about 31% faster than A6. I'm hearing it's very fast."

Then 9to5Mac, which cited the tweet, added a bit of flavor, claiming that some A7 prototypes are 64-bit.

The 64-bit A7 speculation first popped up about ten days ago from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

If accurate, this is significant, as Apple's previous A series processors and other ARM chips from other suppliers, like Qualcomm, are 32-bit.

Generally, 64-bit chips can address more memory and, thus, can be better at running more demanding software. 9to5Mac speculates that a 64-bit Apple chip will be more adept at handling "animations, transparencies, and other iOS 7 graphical effects."

And it wouldn't be surprising to see similar silicon land in the iPad 5. The iPad 4, for example, uses a high-performance version of the A6 (used in the iPhone 5) called the A6X.

Separately, Morris also tweeted that the 5S will include a dedicated chip for motion tracking.

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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