iPad Air 2 and rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro said to run graphics-enhanced A8X processor

Tim Cook holding iPad Pro (Bloomberg mockup 001)

Apple’s upcoming iPad Air 2 and the rumored 12.9-inch iPad, dubbed by the media the ‘iPad Pro’, will both run an enhanced “A8X” processor with improved graphics, GforGames claimed Thursday citing Taiwan’s TechNews [Google Translate].

Last year’s debut of the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display driven by the A7 chip broke Apple’s previous practice of maintaining two separate mobile processor families, one for iPhones and ‘X’ version powering the iPads.

The fact of the matter is, the A7 and A8 chips are powerful enough to drive graphics on both smartphone and tablet displays. That said, if there’s an A8X chip in tow for the rumored 12.9-inch device, chances are it’ll come outfitted with an ultra high-resolution screen that would require a more powerful GPU than that found inside the A8 chip.

The report claims that the A8X chip will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a Taiwan-based contract foundry. TSMC is also said to have been tasked with churning out most, if not all, A8 chips powering the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The story reiterates that the second-generation iPad Air will have 2GB of RAM, larger speaker grilles, a smaller camera lens “that will be fitted in a slightly different location” and a slightly thinner body, matching up with previous reporting by the rumor-mill and component leaks.

iPad Air 2 (rear panel, Nowhere Else 003)

The original iPad debuted in 2010 outfitted with the A4 processor that a few months later would make its way inside the iPhone 4. Then in 2011, the iPhone 4s and iPad 2 came along both running the A5 chip.

The following year, however, Apple realized that the A5 chip lacks oomph to drive the iPad 3’s high-resolution Retina screen so it introduced a modified A5X processor with improved graphics.

In 2012, the iPhone 5 released with the A6 chip. Later that year, the fourth-generation iPad debuted rocking an “A6X” variant inside. Apple never launched an “A7X“ or “A8X” chip variants.

[TechNews via GforGames]