Rumor: Apple’s A8 chip boasts frequencies of 2.0GHz or more per core

By , Jul 11, 2014

iPad Air promo (A7 closeup 002)

Given Apple’s past mobile processor patterns, it’s fairly safe to assume that the new iPhones and iPads – when they drop this Fall – will feature a new A8 chip, designed by Apple and manufactured by both Samsung and Taiwanese chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

We also heard whispers that the A8 chip focuses primarily on power efficiency and thus yields only marginal CPU speed increases. However, if a new report out of China is anything to go by, that may not be the case after all as the new 20-nanometer chip is said to boasts clock frequencies of 2.0GHz or more per core…

By comparison, Apple’s current A7 processor is clocked at 1.3Ghz per core. The A7 powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display.

GforGames passes along reports by Chinese media claiming that the A8 package will be fabbed on the new 20-nanometer process, as opposed to the existing 28nm A7 chip.

The 20-nanometer process technology yields smaller transistors, making the chip smaller and in turn requiring less energy and improving performance because the electrons travel shorter distances.

The report also adds that the A8 will still be dual-core and 64-bit, just like the A7. Although some pundits were expecting a quad-core A8 chip, the A7 actually blows flagship quad-core Android chips out of the water so Apple is right to focus on speed optimizations stemming from greater power efficiency, higher clock raters and smaller process technology, methinks.

Also, having more cores does not immediately translate to speed increases as multiple cores lend themselves to parallel computing where the chip is able to perform more functions simultaneously, an important prerequisite for smooth multitasking.

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  • Al

    Just give up 2 gigs of ram.. 2 gigs of ram, Apple.

    • TJ

      Do we really need 2GB’s RAM though? The current 1GB is clearly more than enough for the iPad and iPhone, no need to put 2GB in unless the device needs it, otherwise it’s just overkill.

      • Jake Rogers

        F you!!!

      • TJ

        Charming, there’s some nice people around here these days.

        If you can justify a case for needing 2GB RAM in an iPhone or iPad beyond just wanting it for the sake of it or for the want of a higher spec then I’m all ears.

      • Jake Rogers

        When I try to multitask, the OS ends up closing half of my open programs. When I open safari, every time I switch pages they have to refresh. These are ram issues that can be solves with more ram. Also, for future proofing. Who wants to be forced to buy a new phone once iOS starts to use more than 1GB of ram (or anywhere near that)?

      • TJ

        iOS is made to run on devices with less than 1GB RAM so that won’t be an issue for some time. If and when that day comes then they’ll increase the RAM, but right now it’s not needed. I suspect most users are fine with the current 1GB RAM, I’ve never experienced any issues on the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.

      • Kitten Meow

        I’m fine with the 512MB RAM inside my iPod touch :P

      • Rowan09

        I have a note 2 as well and an Amazon Fire TV which closes apps on me more often than my 5s and rarely ever on my iPad 3rd gen. I would like more RAM as well but increased speed and battery life is more important to me.

      • Platy

        Not so sure about the iphone as the screen is too small to multi-task efficiently IMO (maybe on the new ones with larger screens?)

        Definitely think the iPads should get 2gb though, maybe not this time if they aren’t set on putting multitasking/side by side app view just yet, but when Apple does decide to – the device is going to need more ram.

        Probably would do it next time though, can’t really have 512mb ipad 2 and mini out there with 2gb devices :/

      • Victor Molina

        Playing games on a 2 gb iPad would be so much better. And probably airplay hi end games like godfire or modern combat would be a lot better. So in gaming perspective we need 2 gb’s to play these types of games even now that more and more graphicall games are coming to the iPad

      • TJ

        I play high end games all the time and they play just fine, never noticed any issues with performance. Although 2GB probably wouldn’t hurt in the future with games improving all the time.

      • SteveZ

        Don’t know what kind of iPhone and iPad you are holding in your hand.

        You can’t deny the fact that safari just have to refresh tabs while multitasking everynow and then.

      • TJ

        Never needed to do that.

      • SteveZ

        You are weird

      • TJ

        Why? Because I don’t share the same issues that other people have? I don’t have any issues with having 1GB RAM, if others do then that’s entirely their opinion, everyone uses their devices in different ways.

      • SteveZ

        Of course everyone has a different way of using everything.
        But it seems that you’ve never multitask-ed? (FYI, by double pressing the home button)
        That’s why you are (so) weird.
        Nuff said.

      • TJ

        I know what multitasking is.

      • Al

        There’s tons of things we don’t need… Apple is boasting about their 64 bit chip… does the iPhone or iPad need a 64 bit chip, no. Will 2 gigs of ram help the iPhone or iPad, yes. Primarily on the iPad.

      • sriram varadarajulu

        2GB of RAM could be very useful for Jailbroken iphones :P

      • regkilla

        WE. DO. NEED. 2GB of RAM.

      • rockdude094

        On the other hand you pay a heap of cash for your device, so might as well put somthing in there.

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      What the hell would you want to do with 2 gigs of ram when you don’t even need it? You’ll never need 2 gigs of ram with iOS, Android is a different story.

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        Exactly. It just isn’t needed. Although I could understand the desire for more memory in an iPad though. All things considered though the iPhone 5s and iPad Air are brilliant devices. The biggest thing hardware wise that Apple should focus on in my honest opinion is battery life. The iPhone 5s gets brilliant battery life when you consider its form factor but with a bigger iPhone 6 there would be more room for a bigger (and better?) battery.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        They sure are, and it sure is!! Most days my iPhone 5s survives the whole day, with pretty intensive use, but I never end the day with more than 35% battery life. Knowing Apple though, they focus on minimizing the weight and thickness of the device rather than improving the battery life (a lot).

      • RarestName

        I don’t need it, I want it. I hate it when applications clear themselves in the background to free RAM.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Alright, it may be useful for guys like you, who need to use 35 apps at a time and need to keep them all up to date, but guys like you are an exception, that’s why Apple won’t upgrade their RAM.

      • Sohail Wahab

        What’s wrong with you dude?
        Everyone needs 2gbs of RAM especially us ( the jail breakers ). We need more tweaks to run faster & don’t worry about battery life Apple already figured it out.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Yeah, guys like you (jailbreakers) might need more RAM, but Apple is against jailbreaking and Apple won’t upgrade their RAM because jailbreakers need it.

      • Kitten Meow

        You see, this is one of the reasons why people use Android. I don’t, but that reasons is because Android is open for customisation. IOS just isn’t.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Sure, but I don’t need the customization, you shouldn’t be able to fully customize a well designed OS, which iOS is.

      • Kitten Meow

        I agree with that, but not /everyone/ likes the design of iOS, especially 7. I’m not saying I dont, I actually like the design.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Yeah that’s definitely true, but I think that being able to fully customize a device would ruin the OS. Look at Android; nobody says, wow that looks good, Google did a great job on it. It would just make iOS a lot less of an ‘Apple product’.

      • Kitten Meow

        I suppose you’re right, I mean everything apple is making is going with this design (OS X Yosemite…)

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Yeah exactly, at least it’s the way me and a lot of other people like.

      • Kitten Meow

        I’ll agree with you for most except ONE: not everyone needs it. Most people, but not /everyone/.

      • felixtaf

        Dont say that you dont need 2GB ram in iOS. 95% of crashes in iOS7 is due to low memory (RAM). My iPad Air Safari crashes atleast once in a week due to low ram. Have a look at crash report. You will know what I mean.
        1 GB RAM is more than enuf but more than that is necessary for Zero crashes.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Well I always wipe the background apps, it’s a habit of mine, so no, I do not need 2 gigs of RAM. The other members of my family own iPhones and iPads too and they never wipe the background apps but they don’t experience more crashes than me. Maybe even less. 2 gigs of RAM may reduce the crash rate of iOS devices but it isn’t a highly demanded thing so it probably won’t come to iOS devices soon.

      • ohdame

        I dont think you fully understand what extra RAM does.
        Your view of the functionality of an iPhone is clearly very restricted to basic tasks. You’re misinformed if you don’t believe what Apple plans to release in the next few years will demand more RAM. Stop thinking about present. new iPhones tech isnt also to satisfy the needs of the now.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Hahahahahahah wow, you don’t know who I am or what I do with my iPhone. Let me explain. I’m a 17 year old smartphone addict who has owned the newest iPhones since I was 12, I probably do and know more about smartphones and technology, let alone RAM, than you do so please stop belittling me. Thank you.

      • ohdame

        I’m 20. and owned every iPhone as well. If you owned them all, you cannot tell me you don’t know the importance of upgraded RAM…cmon man. Are you familiar with the jailbreak community??? The ones who came up with half the UI tweaks that exist on iOS7..cmon..

        Owning an iPhone doesnt mean anything. You aren’t an Apple employee, and neither am I, but I definetly know that Apple has made considerable moves to show they are serious about enhancing gaming experience to their products. Its a fact (direct quote from WWDC) that RAM is important for achieving those goals.

        you have no clue.. about Third party keyboards, and features of iOS8 connectivity with the iWatch and haptic feedback to be making claims that RAM is not needed….. end of story. You probably know alot about iPhones man… but please build a better argument about why we don’t need more RAM for iOS. and why you think we don’t need RAM for a iOS8 Gold when its not even out yet….

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Yes I am familiar with the jailbreak community but I gave up on jailbreaking. iOS offers me all I want in a mobile operating system. Do you really think Apple will upgrade the RAM of their iOS devices because jailbreakers need it? Apple will do everything it can to exterminate jailbreaking so I don’t think it will upgrade the RAM for the jailbreakers. Also, you can’t possibly state that Jony Ive stole the design of iOS 7 from some Cydia theme?

        I know owning an iPhone doesn’t mean anything but I can say I know a lot about Apple and (mobile) tech in general. I spend at least 2 hours of every day learning new things about Apple or tech in general. Apple has become part of my life nowadays. I know more than enough about RAM, CPU’s, graphic cards, batteries etc. so I think I know if I need 2 gigs of RAM or not.

        Also, 1 gig of RAM is more than enough for most iOS games, excluding GTA, Real Racing, Infinity Blade etc.

        You do not need 2 gigs of RAM to do those things, I follow and research all of the recent hard- and software developments so I think I know enough about the new iOS and iWatch features. You are starting a new discussion about iOS 8 right now, stating that I mentioned iOS 8 in my replies but I didn’t, so don’t state that I said things I didn’t.

        Quote: ‘and why you think we don’t need RAM for a iOS8 Gold when its not even out yet….’

      • DogeCoin

        Modern desktop OSes can run in the amount of ram the original iphone had.

      • Kitten Meow

        Guess my iPod touch is gonna crap out when I get ios 8 :P [its only got 512MB of ram...!]

      • Ashraf Morenos

        merely 17 years old and thinks he owns the whole tech world. gimme a break.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        LOL is that what I said? NO. I’m just saying I think I know a bit more about tech than he thought which means he shouldn’t act like I didn’t know shit about tech. You just can’t see that and start coming up with the wrong conclusions. Give ME a break, thank you.

      • regkilla

        Yes we damn do!

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        No we damn don’t! Some people might use it, but most people won’t.

      • Bailey Clark

        Vanilla android needs around 512mb to 1gig of ram but company’s like samsung customize the look making it need more ram

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        I know

    • PhoneTechJay

      Our devices don’t even need that. It would be good to brag about but our device are still as fast or faster than the android device that actually have more ram.

  • sosarozay300

    dual core 2 ghz 64 bit > any android phone
    now just give us 2 gb ram for the jailbreakers

  • Qasim

    I just need a battery that lasts a couple of days, idgaf about ram or processor as far as they are enough to use all yhe phone features smoothly.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    More ram = more jailbreak tweaks. How hard is it for some of you to understand? 1gb is more than enough? Yeah maybe on non jailbroken devices. An all around spec bump, not just ram, will definitely benefit the jailbreaking side of things. Vote me up because you know I’m right.

  • NekoMichi Kobayashi

    Just need to clear up something that some people often get confused with: RAM does not necessarily make a device run faster – that’s the CPU’s job. RAM governs how many things can be loaded up in a stable fashion (ie. multitasking). If you load too many things, either apps crash or you’ll find backgrounded apps terminated.

    Right now I don’t think having more than 1GB of RAM will be likely for this year’s iOS devices. Under proper care and usage, iOS runs fine with that 1GB RAM, leaving plenty to spare for other apps. Sure, future iOS versions may need more but right now iOS 8 comes nowhere near close to breaking the “safe” RAM limit. It could be years before we really “need” more than 1GB of RAM and it’s not within Apple’s habits to future-proof their iOS devices by more than one or two years. Yes, 2GB of RAM on the iPhone 6 will definitely be advantageous for jailbreaking but that’s assuming a jailbreak will be developed in time and plus I really, *really* doubt Apple will add an extra gigabyte of RAM just because jailbreak users ask for it, since they’re strictly against jailbreaking.

    An improved 20nm process for an enhanced A8 chip feels more like the way to go since it offers both a performance and battery boost. We’ve seen Infinity Blade III and they hinted that the app already contains features that will be “only be supported on future iOS hardwares” beyond the A7. Even though the trilogy is over, I’m excited about what they can do with the A8.

    • ohdame

      I agree the 1GB jump is significant. RAM will play a role if Apple wants more background running apps without putting too much stress on CPU which decreases battery life. Increasing RAM alleviates that problem…ONLY if RAM is always near its limits.

      My problem…. is if you think Health Kit, HomeKit is gonna run in the background, and other apps will be terminated at the expense, as well as increasing use of bluetooth due to the iWatch, increased Passbook and mobile payment functions… + all the normal other apps that already exist, its very hard to believe Apple will ONLY need a A8 chip to support all that smoothly. Unless you think, termination and opening of apps will constantly going on in the background….

    • h4nd0fg0d

      Rite, ios 8. But what about ram intensive gaming? Rite.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Enough with this 1gb vs 2gb ram. Those who are satisfied with their 1 gb device should stick with their 5s. Those of us who want more processing power will enjoy a 2gb of raw power lol. More ram = future proof iphones

  • Donovan

    More RAM please. Stock iOS doesn’t need it, but jailbroken iOS (atleast mine, heavily tweaked) DOES.
    Edit: just realized this makes no sense

  • Kitten Meow

    How did all of these discussions go from 2 GHz to 2 GB?!?! Gigahertz (GHz) is the speed of the processor. Gigabyte (GB) is space, meaning 1024MB. 2GB, thus, is 2048MB. RAM is Random Access Memory, a short term place where the computer (this case: iDevice) can store data until a) it’s unneeded or b) when the power is off, whichever comes FIRST.

    Unrelated note: SSDs came from RAM. They just made it so that the contents don’t get wiped the moment the power turns off.