Apple's iPad Has Home Grown CPU

"Apple has used an all new chip for its recently launched iPad tablet; according to iFixit, the tablet is powered by an Apple CPU that is based on an ARM design."

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Apple has used an all new chip for its recently launched iPad tablet; according to iFixit, the tablet is powered by an Apple CPU that is based on an ARM design. The new CPU has been dubbed the Apple A4.

While there was only brief mention about the CPU in Steve Jobs’ speech at the launch, he did confirm that it is clocked at 1GHz and is a system-on-a-chip. This means it carries the GPU, CPU, I/O, and memory controller all on a single chip.

Apple signaled its intentions of moving into chip making when it acquired P.A. Semi in April 2008. It then furthered its plans by first becoming an ARM licensee and then hiring Bob Drebin, CTO of AMD and ATI’s Graphics Products Group. It now seems that all of these were advance preparations for the iPad.

The A4 inside the iPad is an ARM CPU along the lines of either the Cortex-A8 or A9 MPCore. This makes it quite similar to the ARM core used by NVIDIA in its latest Tegra 2 SOC design. What this also means is that the A4 is not much different from the processor used in the HTC HD2 phone. But unlike the HTC HD2, which can run multiple applications at the same time, the iPad is only capable of handling a single application. No wonder it’s snappy and loads applications quickly and responsively.

There is however, very little known about its graphics or multimedia abilities. Apple though claims that the iPad should be able to play 720p videos with ease. All said and considered, the A4 is still very much a preliminary CPU and Apple might have to put in lots of work to make it successful. But its appearance in the netbook market definitely means another threat to Intel and its Atom CPU’s dominance of the market.

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Most Recent Comments

31-03-2010, 16:27:25

fitted my H50 a few days ago, doubled up on the fans on each side of the radiator and i'm really chuffed with the results, my i7 920 overclocked to 4000mhz (first time i've ever overclocked a pc for myself) temperatures between 39~40 and under prime95 stress i was hitting just over 70

regarding noise I've got 2 quiet 120mms and I think its v quiet compared to my old heatsink, I tried buying another fan with a higher airflow rate and it don't seem to drop the temps for the noise increase

I'm looking at going down the "proper" watercooling path though soon but the H50 is deffo worth it in my eyes

29-04-2010, 20:34:54

Just got my H50 today with two Ultra kaze Scythe's @ 2000 rpm, should keep the temps good and low.

29-05-2010, 23:00:04

I have a H50 fitted for about 2 weeks now, along with accelero s1's on my 8800gt's and I can honestly say i'm chuffed, temps are fine and my case has never been as quiet :).

30-05-2010, 06:43:07

Despite slagging it off slightly in the past, I saw one for £40, so bought it! Seemed like a good price (second hand) and that way it's actually significantly cheaper than the air coolers it trades blows with. Thought I'd give it a try.

On my Q6600, temps were not impressive, even using push pull. It hit 80 deg using IBT at 3.4GHz, so something wasn't right. Tried remounting it twice, but it still didn't perform up to my expectations. It may be because it was a low VID chip where the voltage had been increased somewhat for a rock solid clock, I sold it now so I'll never know anyway. I then moved to a Phenom II 965 BE, and the temperatures (despite the higher TDP) are much better at 60 max on IBT at 3.8GHz. Case is an Antec P182SE, so not particularly high airflow. I think part of the increase in temps was due to me spending about 30 mins really thoroughly cleaning the surface of the cooler with IPA. Stuff was still coming onto the cloth after around 25 mins of buffing it, so I guess there was a lot of TIM from not just me, but the previous owners (two of them!) still in the small valleys in the cooler. It must be noted that it doesn't have a perfectly flat contact area, so this may be a problem for other people if they're not getting great temps due to the tiny micro-valleys in the copper. Lapping may therefore yield improvements, if not certainly making it easier to clean.

Overall, it now performs as I expected, and was a good investment for £40 I reckon. I wouldn't pay any more than that for it though, as I actually prefer the mounting of my old cooler more (Noctua NH-U12F), and it's a lot less fuss than to worry about fitting a rad and push pull fans, not that it's difficult, but less convenient. There was also a potential issue of less air getting to the motherboard, particularly the CPU power phases, but this seems under control at the moment. It does look better in the case, that's for sure, and now I can worry less about transporting my PC in the car (happens around twice a year atm) as there's less weight hanging off the mainboard.

30-05-2010, 21:32:35

I just bought mine and im looking for some decent push/pull fans. Any Sugestions out there.

31-05-2010, 08:46:38

What's your budget?

I'll recommend noctua since they seem to have the best noise/performance ratio, but they're not cheap.

31-05-2010, 12:05:55

I been looking at these three models.




No more than $20 each.

and they have to be black or red. I have the coolermaster 932 Haf case along with the Crosshair IV Formula. So I am trying to keep the color looking okay lol

31-05-2010, 12:22:12


08-06-2010, 00:07:53

I have had an H50 for a few months and it works great. Just normal usage and surfing my 930 sits about 38c with an ambient temp of 23c. With gaming or heavy cpu usage it will be about 62-68c. I know some air coolers will work better but the H50 works well in my mid-tower case with not so good airflow.

08-06-2010, 12:04:12

I just bought some Ultra Thermo 120 x 120 x 25 mm for p/p but im not sure if im even going to use them for that.

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