iPad 2: What's new with Apple's A5 processor

Steve Jobs and friends took to the stage this Wednesday to reveal Apple's second generation iPad. The new tablet device, which is due to ship later this month, will also see the introduction of Apple's latest mobile processor, known as the A5.

Apple's new A5 processor is a dual-core affair, and the company claims that it's twice as fast as its predecessor, the A4, and capable of running at up to 1GHz. The graphics capabilities of the A5 have also seen serious improvements over the A4: Apple claims that the graphics performance is now nine times faster than that of the first iPad.

Beyond the speed improvement, the A5 is said to have the same low power consumption of the A4. This means that despite the welcome performance improvements the iPad should still offer a battery life of around 10 hours.

Apple's update to their mobile processors brings the Cupertino gang up to speed with what other mobile chip makers are currently pushing out. Qualcomm's current range of Snapdragon processors, including the MSM8260, are already dual-core and can reach clock speeds of up to 1.2 GHz. Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip series also boast clock speeds around the 1GHz mark, have dual cores, and are designed with low power consumption in mind.

Faster performance, faster graphics and low-power, that's the A5. It'll be interesting to see how the A5 stacks up against other mobile processors when the iPad 2 ships in little over a week.

Will you be picking up an iPad 2 on March 11? Let us know in the comments.

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Chris Brandrick

PC World (US online)
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