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iPad 2 System On Chip Set To Power iPhone 5 Says Analyst

The A5 system on chip that powers the iPad 2 and the iPhone 5 might be more expensive to produce, at least initially according to a note published by market analysts UBM TechInsights.

Allan Yogasingam, UBM engineer and technical marketing manager, said that the significant increase in the die size of the component (going from 53.3mm square to 122.2mm square) together with an increase in the license fees means that A5 could cost up to $25 to build, $10 more expensive than the Nvidia Tegra 2 for example.

Apple, he says, is likely to recoup initial research and development costs by utilising the chip across the iPad 2, the iPhone 5, the iPod Touch and the Apple TV.

We also suspect that variants of the chip with different speeds will be deployed as well across the aforementioned products (for e.g. a much faster A5 for the lounge-bound Apple TV).

Yogasingam also confirmed that the A5 - at least the one they analysed - is built by Samsung Electronics using their 45nm manufacturing process based on the font used to label the product.

He also confirmed the facts that (a) Apple is using a Low Power DDR2 DRAM memory (b) a new power management circuitry that allows cores to be independently clocked (c) Apple may offer multiple LPDDR2 offerings in the future, paving the way for a 1GB iPhone 5.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.