Apple A4 Teardown

iFixit have taken a very deep look in to what the Apple A4 processor looks like and have also confirmed how it works. The company iFixit worked with are called Chipworks who decided to X-Ray the A4 and other various components to see exactly what was in there.

The A4 has a couple of layers of Samsung RAM along with the microprocessor it’s self. It is described as being a package-on-package system that allows not only Samsung RAM to be used, but any other RAM that Apple [AAPL] want to purchase.

iFixit believe that the processor is in fact an ARM Cortex A8 due to it being a single core processor.

Other features include…

* Every iPhone processor that we have dissected has had a Samsung part number on the processor die. We have not found any such Samsung markings on the A4 (outside of the DRAM), perhaps the clearest sign to date that Apple is now in firm control of their semiconductor design.
* Software benchmarks indicate that the A4 has the same PowerVR SGX 535 GPU as the iPhone 3GS, but verifying this via hardware analysis is quite difficult. If this is true, and it likely is, graphics performance on the iPad is fairly poor relative to the screen size.
* There’s nothing revolutionary here. In fact, the A4 is quite similar to the Samsung processor Apple uses in the iPhone. The primary focus of this design was minimizing power consumption and cost.

The full results can be found over at iFixit where detailed pictures of what goes on inside the iPad can be found.

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