Apple just confirmed the new iPad uses an Apple A5X SoC. Its main improvement? What Apple is calling quad-core graphics. Our guess? Dual-core Cortex A9 plus a PowerVR SGX543MP4, an upgrade over the 543MP2 used in the iPad 2. Clock speeds are still unknown, however Apple is claiming 2x the performance over the iPad 2 implying equal GPU clocks. 

It's also very interesting that Apple used NVIDIA as a baseline for GPU performance comparison, boasting 4x the performance of the Tegra 3. 

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  • gevorg - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Is it still made on 45nm tech like A5, or they went down a step?
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    So that's the same GPU as the Vita, but with half the processor cores. I wonder if the per-core performance is up any on the A5X? Too early for A15 cores, but they could have brewed something up, or raised clocks with a die shrink.
  • jeremyshaw - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Given the rumor mill pointing the A6 chip being slated for the next iPhone, and the a5x being given a metal IHS, it's definitely possible this is a chip that will only make it to the tablet.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    That would make sense because the next iPhone will need a faster CPU.
  • name99 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    I assume this is sarcasm, but there are presumably timing issues here --- the new core simply wasn't available in time.
    There will ALWAYS be better cores, faster baseband, more advanced WiFi, etc, just about ready. You either make a decision and ship with what's available, or you never ship. Real Engineers ship --- unlike blog commenters.

    If your primary reason for wanting a new iPad was a faster CPU, well, sorry, then you wait till next year (or maybe you get surprised by Apple doing a stealth CPU bump in six months, like they sometime do with Macs!) That's life.
    If your primary reason for wanting a new iPad was the better screen, well, that's still there.
  • ils - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    can't wait for Cortex A15 + Series 6 Rogue GPU :)
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    One thing I've wanted for quite a while is a really in depth article looking at these architectures and comparing them.

    I mean from what I know, it seems like:
    ARM 11 = 486
    A8 = Pentium 1
    A9 = Pentium 3-esque

    But I don't know for sure...I mean how is an A9 versus AMD's C50 at the same clocks? Are they actually comparable as the out of order execution + 2 integer units per core would have it seem?

    I feel like I know even less about both Nvidia's ultra mobile GPU part, and the SGX stuff, etc. Swear I heard somewhere that only part of the performance on the SGX 543 scales, and part remains the same as with 1, and either way I don't have a clue what they compare to.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    For a rough guestimate, Intels Atom SoC is supposedly within 10% of the performance of the netbook one, and beats dual core Cortex A9s in tests, so they're still behind Atom. The Atom itself was about as fast clock per clock and core for core as an early P4.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    As for the GPUs, again its a very rough guestimate, but the MP2 could push about 12Gflops, the MP4 probably double that, and a low end integrated laptop chip like the Nvidia 9400M was around 54Gflops. Radeon 7970 is above 3 terraflops.
  • hammerd2 - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    SGX MP cores are almost perfectly scalar -

    If SGX 543 = 1 as a base, 543MP2 = 2, 543MP4 = 4, 543MP8 = 8 (x performance at same die size and clock speed)

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