July 9, 2012

Will The iPhone 5 Be Quad-Core?

Welcome back, iPhone geeks, to the second half of iPhone rumor season. Like the All Star break to Major League Baseball, this year’s WWDC has cleanly separated the early rumor season from the home stretch, and what an early season it was!

So far, most of the iPhone “5” rumors center on a 4-inch screen and form factor, brand new case design, a smaller, 19-pin dock connector and possible NFC capabilities. As with each of Apple’s product revisions, the new iPhone will almost certainly be thinner, take better pictures and be even more powerful than before. This iPhone has to compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S III, after all, which has been receiving some very positive press.

Now, a new rumor suggests the next iPhone will be powered by a similar processor as the S III.

This rumor comes to you courtesy of the often-wrong DigiTimes, however, so best to read on with caution.

According to DigiTimes, sources in the industry have said Apple will use a quad-core ARM processor based on Samsung’s Exynos 4 architecture.

This new chip was announced by Samsung in April and is said to be just as efficient as it is powerful.

“To improve power efficiency, Samsung adopted hot-plug functionality to support on-off switching for each core as well as the per-core dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), which offers a dramatic reduction in power consumption by adapting different levels of voltage and frequency when changing workloads,” according to a Samsung statement.

This new processor is present in the international versions of Samsung’s S III, though the American variety uses another processor.

Should this rumor pan out, this would be the first time the iPhone houses a better processor than the current iPad.

Since the iPad’s introduction in 2010, the iPhone has always taken on the processor introduced in Apple’s tablet, beginning with the A4 in the original iPad and iPhone 4. While many expected the latest iPad to introduce a new, A6 processor, Apple instead opted for an A5X processor, which offered improved graphics in order to power the Retina Display. The A5X CPU remained dual core, though it’s GPU was doubled to include quad-core power.

DigiTimes also points out that HTC, LG, and Samsung each have quad-core smartphones on the market. As such, many more are expected to arrive shortly as Qualcomm releases their lineup of Snapdragon quad-core processors. NVIDIA, too, is expected to release a quad-core variant of their Tegra-3 chipsets.

DigiTimes also notes that such an upgrade to their processor could earn it the title A6, the next major upgrade to Apple’s System on a Chip line.

Such an announcement from Apple could further illuminate the interesting relationship Apple has with Samsung. Though they are currently fighting one another in court room’s across the world, the two are still working partners. Apple still buys their flash memory from Samsung, for instance, and still uses Samsung’s A5 and A5X designs.

The next iPhone is expected to be released this fall, just after iOS 6 makes its way into the world.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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