Intro to Apple's app processors
OTTAWA — The entire world is fascinated, again, by the latest mobile gadget from Apple, the iPad. Speculation and rumors about the Apple A4 applications processor inside the iPad abound.
UBM TechInsights has analyzed the iPad and the A4 to establish some facts about the product and the processor. (UBM TechInsights is a division of United Business Media, the publisher of EE Times.)
We've conducted product teardowns, detailed process technology and functional layout analyses, functional testing, and power consumption measurements of the iPad. Our library of analysis of Apple’s products stretching back to the original iPhone enabled us to arrive at some concrete conclusions regarding the technology, power consumption and processor characteristics of this important element of Apple’s latest product.
To help understand Apple’s efforts in applications processors, it is useful to look at the history of Apple’s applications processors from the original iPhone introduced in 2007 to the latest iPad.
Apple has been introducing two new mobile products per year (see Figure 1). Apple introduces iPod Touch and iPhone products in alternating fashion: iPhone –> iPod Touch (first generation) –> iPhone 3G –> iPod Touch (second generation) -> iPhone 3GS -> iPod Touch (third generation) -> iPad.