Could the A6 in the iPhone 5 have Apple’s first custom core?

The new system-on-chip of the iPhone 5 has captured the interest of many online because it could well have positioned Apple as a market leader rather than a follower, as it has been for the past few years with the A4, the A5 and the A5X.

Anand from AnandTech claims in an update that the A6, the system-on-chip used in the iPhone 5, is based on the ARM Cortex A15, rather than on the A9 as was previously expected.

He came to this conclusion because “Apple reserves major Ax SoC number iterations for architecture changes, combine that with the performance claims as well as some other stuff we've heard offline”.

On his Twitter account, Anand also points out that Apple employs one of the chief (chip) architects on the A15 but refrains from giving more details. Meanwhile, another Anandtech employee, Brian Klug, reaffirmed in a Twitter post that the A6 has two A15 cores.

Interestingly, Anandtech’s sidekick, DailyTech, reported back in February 2012 that Apple was building a quad-core CPU based on its own customer ARM core (not unlike Qualcomm and its Krait/Scorpion cores) for the first time, citing two trusted sources - one working at ARM and a former Apple employee.

You can win an iPhone 5 in our iPhone 5 competition by answering a simple question about what generation the Phone 5 is. ITProPortal reported live on Apple’s announcement. Other than the iPhone 5, we saw new iPod devices but no cheaper version of the iPhone 4S, an iPad mini and potentially a 13in Macbook Pro with Retina Display.