By Binu Paul email: email@example.com | Mar 11, 2013 08:21 AM EDT
Contrary to what was rumored earlier, Apple appears to have made its mind as to which chip to be used in its tweaked third-generation Apple TV and it's a die-shrunk version of the single-core A5 system on a chip (SoC) rather than the rumored A5X.
The tweaked third-generation Apple TV is now making its way into Apple's retail store stocks and the folks at Mac Rumors have managed to crack open one of them to find that the device does not contain an A5X chip.
The newly-released Apple TV carries a model number of A1469 (A1427 was the model number of the original version) and it comes with an A5 chip. Although the chip used in the latest model is the same as it predecessor, it's considerably smaller than the previous one, the report states.
According to initial calculations, the chip seen in the updated Apple TV is smaller than all its predecessors, measuring at just 6x6 mm. The original A5 chip introduced on iPad 2 in 2011 was built on a 45-nanometer process, measuring 10.09 mm by 12.15 mm. The first die-shrunk A5 chip that came along in the third-generation Apple TV in 2012 as well as on the tweaked iPad 2, was 41 percent smaller measuring at 8.19 mm by 8.68 mm.
"We do not know for sure what Apple is using to produce this even smaller A5, but it is very possible that the company is piloting a 28-nanometer process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for this new chip," Mac Rumors assumes. "Such a move would be a major development, making this A5 the first iOS device processor to be manufactured by a company other than Samsung."
The very first hints about the new Apple TV were out from FCC documents back in January that an update to the Apple TV software revealed a new 'AppleTV3,2.' As Mac Rumors notes, the device was discovered to be using an A5X chip rather than the single-core A5 chip found in the third-generation Apple TV then. Tech geeks took a deep dig into the software files to find out the details and the conclusion was basically made on the identifier number of S5L8947 against S5L8945 which is often seen on the original A5X.
We further saw a similar move from Apple last year as it choose to include a die shrink of the A5 in the third-generation Apple TV which was a shift from the original S5L8940 to the smaller S5L8942. The latest update to Apple TV offers no changes in features and as Apple says, the update is designed to be invisible to users.
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