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.
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.