Apple iPhone 3G S Sports Faster, More Powerful Chip

Specifications for the iPhone 3G S have surfaced, indicating that Apple's latest mobile device has a 600-MHz processor and 256 RAM on board.
Apple iPhone 3G S
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Apple iPhone 3G S

The higher performance touted by Apple in the iPhone 3G S is because of a new ARM processor that delivers roughly twice the performance of its predecessor in the older iPhone 3G.

In unveiling the iPhone 3G S Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, executives boasted that the new smartphone had twice the overall performance of the older model, but did not offer any technical details. On Tuesday, however, wireless carrier T-Mobile in the Netherlands posted iPhone 3G S specifications that indicate a "600-MHz processor" and "256 RAM."

The iPhone 3G is powered by a 400-MHz ARM processor and 128 MB of RAM, or system memory. The new specs indicate that the latest iPhone would have twice the processing power of the older model.

What won't be known for sure until Apple releases the iPhone 3G S on June 19 is the kind of processor in the smartphone. Before the device was introduced, Apple-focused tech sites speculated that it would contain an ARMv7 Cortex processor.

On Wednesday, however, AnandTech reported that the iPhone 3G S uses a Samsung Electronics system-on-a-chip with an ARMv8 Cortex and PowerVR SGX graphics processor, the same CPU and GPU, respectively, as the recently released Palm Pre. The iPhone 3G also uses a Samsung SoC, but with the slower ARM processor.

The iPhone 3G S may be the last to use ARM's off-the-shelf reference designs. Future versions are likely to use an ARM processor surrounded by Apple's proprietary technologies based on PA Semi, a low-power chip designer that Apple bought last year.

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