iPhone 6 to Sport Blazing Quad-Core A8 Processor (Report)

iPhone 6 A8 Chip Rumor

Apple was the first smartphone maker to pack a 64-bit processor inside a smartphone with the iPhone 5s, and it looks like the iPhone 6 will kick things up a notch. According to a new report, Apple’s big-screen sequel will have a quad-core CPU under the hood (up from dual core) along with quad core graphics.

According to the Commercial Times of Taiwan, Apple is working with chipmaker TSMC, which means the company could be dumping Samsung as its primary supplier. It’s no secret that Apple and Samsung’s relationship has been damaged by ongoing copyright court battles, and this could be one way Apple is distancing itself from its main rival.

MORE: iPhone 6 Rumors: Inside Apple’s Next Big Thing

The A7 processor inside the iPhone 5s is already quite fast, beating the Samsung Galaxy S4’s Snapdragon 600 CPU by a wide margin in the Geekbench 3 performance test. Apple’s device notched 2,556, compared to 1,880 for the S4. However, the Galaxy Note 3’s new Snapdragon 800 chip scored an even higher 2,979.

The iPhone 5s was also in between the S4 and Note 3 in terms of graphics performance, registering 13,795 on the 3DMark Icestorm Unlimited Test. The S4 yielded 10,393 and the Note 3 reached 18,808. Keep in mind, however, that Samsung had been artificially boosting its devices for better benchmark results, a practice it has apparently halted with the latest KitKat devices.

The new Galaxy S5 sports a newer Snapdragon 801 chip, which has a quad-core Krait 400 CPU with speeds up to 2.5 GHz per core. There’s also an Adreno 330 GPU. This processor promises much faster camera performance (thus the S5’s speedy auto-focus claim), in addition to 28 percent faster graphics and 17 percent faster memory than the Snapdragon 800.

However, the Snapdragon 801 CPU doesn’t benefit from 64-bit architecture as the A7 does and A8 will. iOS 7 and its apps are built on 64-bit, which supposedly delivers desktop-class performance. 64-bit also paves the way for smartphones with memory capacity that exceeds 4GB. Today the highest-end smartphones have 3GB of RAM. It remains to be seen how much system memory the A8 chip might support.

The biggest advantage for the iPhone has been apps, so it will be very interesting to see which game developers and app makers vouch their support for the A8 chip when it’s announced.

via Apple Insider, AFP

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Michael Says:

    If you’re going to talk about performance, you should also talk about efficiency. Apple’s Cyclone core is about maximizing performance and power efficiency. Those stats are from dual cores running at 1.3 GHz. And you’re comparing that to quad cores running at up to 2.3GHz. The fact that it only scored 20% higher says a lot about Apple’s CPU design prowess. Technically if Apple were to put the same size battery and speed up the clock, their A7 would absolutely trounce that Snapdragon 800.

  2. march Says:

    yes, BUT samsung has been conclusively proven to cheat on benchmarks. so what CAN one believe from them?

  3. RichPMD Says:

    My guess is that the “A8″ you describe is intended for the next iPad and not the iPhone. A CPU based on the A7 (perhaps clocked up a bit and with improved graphics) will be more than enough for the iPhone 6 and still be quite energy efficient.

  4. AJC Says:

    Mike, efficiency here is the key as you said. Samsung knows the A7 and manufacturers it for Apple. Having said that, decisions as to how best to match hardware to tried and trued software is where Apple remains ahead. Samsung doesn’t care for efficiency probably because they know their consumer base just wants to see fastest performance at all costs (carpet bombing if you want a military analogy vs strategic bombing).

  5. Pepto Gizmo Says:

    You can Thank The P.A. simiconductor folks for Apple’s custom ARMv8 ISA based CPUs. Apple acquired P.A. Simiconductor(founded by the lead designer for the DEC Alpha 21064 and StrongARM processors.) so Apple bought some brain power and IP when it purchased P.A. Simiconductor, and a lot of other Chip IP and brainpower over the last 10 years. The A7 is a wide order superscalar custom Apple design that outperforms any of the Arm Holdings’ refrence designs that run the ARMv8 ISA(instruction set architecture). The Apple A7 is an all Apple design that can run the ARMv8 64 bit instruction set, but it has more execution ports, and can retire more instructions per clock(IPC) than the Arm Holdings refrence designs, and Apple beat Arm Holdings(the creator of the ARMv8 ISA) to the market with the Apple A7 64 bit custom CPU. Apple has an Arm Holdings top tier architecture license to make custom processsors that can run the ARMv8 ISA, but other than the ability to run the ARMv8 instructions, the Apple CPUs are of an all Apple design. Thanks to the P.A. simiconductor purchase, and other acquisitions, Apple has an in house first class CPU design team.

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