A6 chip in iPhone 5 is dual-core Cortex-A15 from UK company

Karen Haslam
15 September, 2012
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An analyst is claiming to have insight into the A6 chip inside the new iPhone 5.

According to analysts at Nomura Equity Research, the A6 processor features a dual-core Cortex-A15.

The A6 processor, like the A-series processors before it, is manufactured for Apple by Samsung using its 32-nm HKMG manufacturing process.

The Cortex-A15 comes from intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings based in Cambridge, UK. It is their highest performance processor core, according to reports. It offers a 2GHz clock frequency that is claimed to double the performance of the previous 1.5GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 based Exynos. According to an EE Times report, mobile phone application processors typically run with clock signals of up to 1.5GHz.

Apple is one of the first companies to use the Cortex-A15-based processor, according to the report.

Announcing the iPhone 5, Apple claimed that the A6 processor provides twice the CPU performance and twice the graphics performance of the A5x chip that features in the iPhone 4S.

There is some speculation that Apple will end its relationship with Samsung following their patent dispute and court battles happening around the world. There has been speculation that Apple will replace Samsung with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company who are reported to be working on a version of the A6 processor for Apple, but according to reports TSMC hasn’t yet been able to match the numbers required each month. However, recent claims suggest that TSMC will supply Apple with processors from the second-half of 2013.

Samsung may be regretting its courtroom dispute with Apple. Apparently Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer and its business is worth 8.8 percent of Samsung’s revenue.


2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. SJ says:

    There is also a report out that the A6 uses custom made cores (2) designed by Apple. Apple is already licensed to use the Cortex instruction set.

  2. Denzo says:

    Hey I concur, after a bit of research and excitement over the A15 news.. it turns out they are using a custom chip! One that they can completely control the power and clock speeds of.

    It should still be around A15 speeds but with better battery life, because they took out functions they don’t need.

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