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Detailed analysis of the A5 processor brings new doubts about its design

Although it has already been dissected, photographed with microscopes and analyzed with X-rays, the A5 processor created by Apple for the iPad 2 still hides a lot that experts in the area are unable to discover. In a five-page article from EETimes, two of them comment on many unanswered doubts about the chip, which has a much more mysterious design than imagined.

Apple A5 processor

According to them, only half of the A5 has all the components that we are used to seeing in one system-on-a-chip (CPU, GPU, input / output controllers, memories, etc.), while the other half has parts whose function is still unknown. Obviously, it has always been clear that the chip has additional features (such as independent audio and video decoders via hardware), but they are out of the middle of the processor and no one is able to identify what they are doing.

It is believed that the components in it are responsible for working with other types of tasks specific to iOS, aiming to reduce the energy consumption that would be generated if they were executed on the main CPU and GPU via software. Image processing, sensor control and calculation of complex mathematical functions would be some examples.

Anyway, the possibilities are endless, but they show that Apple has no concern in offering only computational performance on its chips. In addition to the A5 already being competitive with NVIDIA products, for example, it has the advantage of being adaptable to the needs of Ma's gadgets in aspects that other manufacturers cannot define for generic products, which is certainly a strong differentiator.