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.