iOS Devices to Get Quad-Core Processors

The beta of iOS 5.1 has some indications that the next iPad and iPhone will run a quad-core processor. That particular processor is expected to be an Apple A6 provided by Samsung. Although a quad-core chip is not really a surprise, what is good to see is that the iOS 5.1 beta has references to such a processor.

Within the iOS code are references to different types of processor. These start at “/cores/core.0,” which indicates a device is compatible with single core processors. Changing that to “/cores/core.1,” indicates a dual core device. Moving on to the next indication we now hear that “/cores/core.3,” is also mentioned which indicates a quad-core setup. A quick note about the core.2 is that this relates to a triple-core CPU which isn’t used.

Apple will currently be using iOS to test the next generation iPad (and iPhone). We will likely see the iPad 3 release date being in late March or April and suspect it will also run iOS 5.X when it launches. When Apple release the iPhone 5 we expect to see a jump from iOS 5 to iOS 6.

A quad-core CPU will make an already snappy device even quicker. We also understand that a quad-core chip can also help handle the strain of using a higher resolution display which also further makes it likely that the iPad 3 will get a Retina display. It isn’t clear how Apple will use the quad-core chip and if they will use some sort of low-power mode to preserve battery life and then move out to more cores as the app or task at hand requires it. We expect the iPad 3 to be quite a change.


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