iPad 2 A5 Chip Teardown Reveals Samsung Fab, Advanced Power Management - InformationWeek
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
10:33 AM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
Connect Directly
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

iPad 2 A5 Chip Teardown Reveals Samsung Fab, Advanced Power Management

The new dual core A5 chip inside the iPad 2 is very fast, but as always, Apple isn't very forthcoming on its origin. UBM TechInsights dissected the chip and found it to be a Samsung fab. TechInsights also provided a cost breakdown of all the iPad 2 components.
1 of 10

Speculation about the fabrication source of the iPad 2's A5 dual core processor can now end. It wasn't new fab partner TSMC, but Samsung, according to UBM TechInsights, whose lab and process analysis team dissected the chip using optical die and SEM cross-section images to analyze various factors, like the chip's die edge seal, metal 1 pitch, logic and SRAM transistor gate measurements. In comparing the findings to others in the TechInsights database, the clear match was Samsung, using its 45nm process. Samsung's 45nm fab process also produced the A4 processor found in the original iPad.The A5 was said to support Low Power DDR2 DRAM memory and tests confirmed this.

UBM TechInsights performed the first iPad 2 3G teardown just 24 hours earlier.

Moreover, teardowns performed at two UBM TechInsights locations (Austin and Ottawa) revealed two different LPDDR2 DRAM from two different manufacturers (Samsung and Elpida). The Samsung K4P2G324EC LPDDR2 die could be the first appearance of Samsung's new 46nm LPDDR2 memory. The findings also tell us that Apple is fully prepared to package multiple LPDDR2 offerings.

Finally, IO Snoops also found that while the iPad A4 chip's clock speed was steady at 1 GHz, the iPad 2 A5 chip's clock speed varies depending on the application it is running. This indicates an advanced power management circuitry controlling the clock speeds of the cores -- something new for the A5, and it may explain the use of a different power management integrated circuit (IC) from Dialog Semiconductor.

1 of 10
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll