A faster, more powerful A6 chip will give the iPhone 6 the ability to run exciting new features, like 4G and 3D displays, all while producing less heat than the current A5 chip.
Just as Apple’s A5 chip has come to reign supreme in the smartphone and tablet market in 2011, reports today indicate that the A6 chip is now being tested, and promises to power the iPhone 6 with enough low-heat processing power to enable groundbreaking new smartphone features in 2012. The first report came from Reuters, which stated that “Taiwan’s TSMC has started trial manufacturing of next generation A6 chips for Apple Inc , a source familiar with the matter said.”
In spite of the success of the A5 chip in the iPad 2, recent reports have suggested that Apple may have had issues with the A5 chip overheating in the new iPhone 5 prototypes, due perhaps to a smaller form factor, more powerful battery, and audacious features that push the processor to the max. All indications are, however, that the iPhone 6‘s A6 will offer more processing power than the A5, but without the heat issues.
SlashGear has reported that “a Taiwanese report claims TSMC will be producing 3D 28nm chips by the end of the year which, SemiWiki says, can see performance boosted by around 30-percent while power consumption drops by around 50-percent. That will also add up to reduced heat output.” It is important to note that the “3D” in the new 3D 28nm A6 chip does not speak to any specific 3D-processing capabilities, as Jonny Evans at Computerworld explains: “A 3D IC is a chip in which two or more layers of active electronic components are integrated both vertically and horizontally into a single circuit.”
That being said, there is no reason not to believe that the A6 chip in the iPhone 6 could usher in a 3D screen in 2012, along with 4G capabilities, should the iPhone 5 fail to deliver on 4G in 2011.
By Michael Nace