Clayton Morris, a Fox anchor, tweeted yesterday afternoon that Apple’s new A7 chip could be much more than just an incremental update to the A6 currently used in the iPhone 5. While we’ve heard in the past that it’s likely to be 20% more efficient than the current processor, Morris heard from his sources that the new A7 is also going to be 31% faster. What’s more, there could be a separate chip especially for processing motion tracking.
Perhaps of greatest importance is that the chip uses 64-bit technology, which means it’s able to handle many more processes than anything Apple has built in to an iOS device before. And Morris isn’t the only person to hear of these changes. Well-connected Mark Gurman (of 9to5Mac) reports the following:
“We’ve independently heard claims that some of the iPhone 5S internal prototypes include 64-bit processors.”
64-bit chips would almost certainly make iOS 7 look and feel better than it already does on existing devices, with graphical elements such as the transparency of the UI and animations between apps and elements of the OS appearing much smoother. While the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit iDevices may not be immediately and distinctly apparent, as apps and elements of the platform are fine tuned and designed specifically for the 64 bit processors, the two chips’ capabilities will become clearer.
As with previous generations of iPhone and iPad, it’s likely that the A7 chip will form the base of the iPad range too. Apple’s expected to launch a 5th generation 9.7″ iPad this year, and inside it is likely to be the upgraded version or ‘A7X’. As for the iPad mini 2, which processor it includes will depend entirely on the pixel count of the display. If it has the same resolution as the current mini, it’ll more than likely use a similar chip to the 3rd generation iPad. However, if it is Retina, it’ll have exactly the same number of pixels as the 5th generation iPad but in a smaller frame and will need at least the A6X chip found in the iPad 4.
It must be noted that all this is still just rumor. And, although Apple is certainly testing the A7 chip with 64-bit capabilities, it may still not make it to market. Cupertino’s been known to make last minute decisions in the past, and could still ultimately go for a 32-bit A7 chip over a 64-bit one.