A9

Teardown analysis finds Apple’s new 9.7″ iPad is a repackaged iPad Air with a few differences

Repair experts over at iFixit tore apart Apple’s new iPad with a brighter 9.7-inch screen. What they discovered doesn’t come as surprise: the canonical iPad is basically an original four-year-old iPad Air with a more repairable screen and some new jewelry in the form of Touch ID, Apple Pay, Apple’s homegrown third-generation 64-bit A9 chip with the embedded M9 motion coprocessor and other minor updates.

Unfortunately, the device’s A9 processor is outfitted with two gigabytes of RAM. iPhone 6s’s A9 chip has two gigabytes of RAM as well, just like iPad Air 2’s A8X chip, so this may not be that big of a deal. On the other hand, it’s a letdown considering iPhone 7 Plus is rocking three gigabytes of RAM.

Early CPU scores suggest modest gains for iPhone 7’s A10 chip vs. iPad Pro’s A9X

Early Geekbench 3 benchmark of the Apple-designed A10 system-on-a-chip—which will be the next iPhone and iPad’s engine—was posted Thursday by Dutch blog TechTastic.nl. Purported scores suggest the device may not be much speedier than the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro. The upcoming chip scored a tad more than last year’s A9 powering the iPhone 6s series and a little bit faster than the A9X in the iPad Pro.

On the other hand, the benchmarked A10 is almost certainly a prototype unit so final scores should be higher than is currently the case.

Teardown of iPhone SE finds hardware is a collage of 5s, 6, and 6s parts

The first legitimate hardware teardown of Apple’s new 4-inch smartphone, the iPhone SE, has been conducted by Chipworks. Apple just unveiled this new handset at its recent ‘Let us loop you in’ event alongside the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The teardown finds that the iPhone SE is more than just a new generation of smaller iPhone from Apple, but that it’s actually a very clever device that takes the best from the performance world and combines it with the economics of older devices. This allows Apple to provide a product at a cheaper cost, but with similar performance.

As the teardown reveals, the iPhone SE is actually a Frankenstein of iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s parts that all work together to create a powerful 6s-like performance experience in a smaller 4-inch package.

iPhone 5se said to run A9/M9 chips, come in 16/64GB capacities

Apple’s allegedly upcoming four-inch iPhone refresh, that some people believe will be marketed as ‘iPhone 5se’, is said to include “variants” of the A9 system-on-a-chip and the M9 motion coprocessor, both of which are found inside the iPhone 6s, rather than the previous-generation A8 and M8 chips, according to 9to5Mac.

KGI: mid-range iPhone 6c with Apple Pay, fast A9 chip and three color options due in early-2016

According to a research note that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent to clients this morning, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, Apple’s rumored four-inch iPhone refresh will be released in early-2016, possibly in time for the spring.

It will feature an iPhone 5s-like exterior design with an iPhone 6s-like display that’s curved at the edges.

The device apparently sports a colorful metal chassis, runs the A9 system-on-a-chip manufactured by both TSMC and Samsung (which also powers the latest iPhone 6s series) and includes NFC to support Apple Pay transactions.

Apple’s rumored 4-inch iPhone 6c apparently won’t run A9 chip after all

Reliable analyst who have been calling for a refresh to the now discontinued four-inch iPhone 5c may have gotten one detail wrong: it sounds like the device, expected to be branded under the ‘iPhone 6c’ moniker, will run Apple’s A8 processor used in last year’s iPhone 6 rather than the latest A9 chip powering the new iPhone 6s.

That’s what Japanese blog Macotakara, which has a pretty good track record when it comes to Apple leaks, said this morning citing “credible sources” familiar with the device.

How to check if you have TSMC or Samsung chip in your iPhone 6s

For the first time ever, Apple has dual-sourced the engine that drives the new handsets from more than one supplier. Both Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) won contracts to build the Apple-designed ‘A9’ system-on-a-chip for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

While these chips offer literally the same compute and graphics power, both synthetic benchmarks and real-life tests have shown small yet notable difference in terms of battery as the TSCM-built A9 appears to be more power efficient than its Samsung counterpart.

The question is, does your brand spanking new iPhone 6s have the TSMC or Samsung-built chip? You can find that out in just a few simple steps, let me show you how.

Samsung-built A9 chip in iPhone 6s found to drain battery faster than TSMC one, Apple doesn’t really agree

Does your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus come outfitted with Samsung or TSMC-built A9 processor? The answer to that question could determine how long your device will run before its battery needs recharging.

Your key takeaway is this: while the dual-sourced chips perform identically in synthetic Geekbench tests in terms of sheer CPU compute power and GPU performance, there’s a marked difference in observed battery life ranging from six to eleven percent.

You could argue the difference is barely felt in day-to-day use, but I beg to differ: energy efficiency is paramount for mobile devices and the battery-friendlier the main processor is, the longer it will run on a single charge.

How to check if you have a Samsung or TSMC A9 processor inside of your iPhone 6s

You’ve probably heard that Apple is using A9 processors from two different sources for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. One processor is from Samsung, and the other is from TSMC.

It’s been confirmed via benchmarks that both processors perform similarly with no major differences in performance. With that said, each processor features a different die size, which was first noted by Chipworks. The Samsung processor is the smaller of the two. Physically, it’s 96mm squared, while the TSMC A9 is 104.5 mm squared.

Chipworks conjectures that two different sources were used due to supply constraints. They also say that they are further researching both processors in an effort to gain better clarity.

Ultimately, it really doesn’t mean much to the end user, but I know that curiosity gets the best of us at times. If you’d like to check to see who sourced your A9 processor, you can follow these simple steps.