THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Kolide

A fleet visibility solution for Mac, Windows, and Linux to help you securely scale your business


Chipworks’ Teardown Confirms A5 Comes From Samsung, Twice The Size of A4

Following the various teardowns of the iPad 2 we saw last week, Chipworks decided to take a closer look at the Apple A5, the dual-core processor that powers the iPad 2 and contributes to its impressive gain in speed and performance. Whilst Chipworks’ teardown isn’t something the average Apple geek would be able to fully appreciate (there’s some highly technical stuff in there, like microscopes and layers of aluminum being closely inspected), there are some interesting points worth mentioning.

By looking at the internal structure of the A5, Chipworks concludes it was manufactured by Samsung in spite of the rumors suggesting Apple would go with TSMC due to the competition arisen with Samsung in the cellphone and tablet market.

At  this scale even electron microscopes start to run out of steam, so not the clearest of images in either case, but good enough to see the similar shape of the transistor gates and the dielectric layers.  So at least this sample of the A5 is fabbed by Samsung, just as all Apple’s processor chips have been for the last while.

Other notes by Chipworks include the ARM cores with ~4.5 Mb of cache memory each, and the A5 being roughly twice the size of the old Apple A4 chip from the iPad 1. Just in case you had any doubts about the performances guaranteed by the A5, this teardown is here to confirm that Apple went with Samsung once again to produce a chip that’s twice the size, dual-core and optimized for a tablet’s battery life. [via TUAW]

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.