First Teardown Pictures of Apple A5 Processor

iPad 2 teardown pictures keep pouring in, and after iFixIt published detailed pictures of the iPad 2 components last week, Chipworks jumped on the bandwagon, and released teardown pictures of the Apple A5, the new dual-core processor that powers the iPad 2. Chipworks really went the extra mile to show the secrets hidden inside the A5, as they had to go through countless layers of transistors, and use specialized gear such as electron microscopes, to really see what improvements the processor offers over its predecessor. Chipworks‘s pictures show a highly advanced design, as the A5 offers three times as many layers of transistors as the Apple A4 used inside the first generation iPad. Based on the design, the tech blog also found out that the foundry chip maker that built the chip is Samsung. The blog also found out that the A5 doesn’t take much more space than the A4, even though it features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU, a dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics unit, and additional memory, as the A5 comes with twice as much memory as the A4.

Overall, the Apple A5 shows major improvements over its predecessor, but the additional amount of transistors likely increased the chip power consumption as well. Once Apple moves the production of the A5 over to TSMC, the current 45-nm process used to build the processor will be transitioned to a more efficient 28-nm process, to further reduce the power footprint of the processor.