Coders plunged into the iOS 4.3 firmware Apple has released ahead of its iPad 2 launch Friday and found clues that the iPhone 5 will sport the same dual-core A5 processor as the new Apple tablet computer.
Such a move by Apple would be consistent with the evolution of the iPhone and iPad lines up until now.
An examination of iOS 4.3 and related iPhone kernel code by Chronic Dev group and Filippo Bigarella unveiled references to S5L8940, otherwise known as the A5 processor, associated with a new edition of the iPhone, according to various Apple watching blogs.
The energy efficient dual-core processor is seen as providing the iPad 2 with improved graphics processing key for gaming and videoconferencing, and presumably would deliver similar benefits for smartphone users. The A5 chip, based on an ARM design, features two cores running at 1GHz versus a single 1Ghz core in the A4 processor used in the first iPad and the iPhone 4. Apple says the A5 offers twice the CPU performance and nine times the graphics power of the A4.
“What it would bring to smartphones is increased [processing power] for computationally intensive applications,” such as photo and movie applications, Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64, recently told the IDG News Service. “Those do require more horsepower under the hood than you would get with a single-core processor.”
SlashGear suggests that if the A5 is in the next iPhone that it might need to run a tad slower to conserve battery life given the iPad’s bigger battery.