Apple A5

The Apple A5 is a 32-bit system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. and manufactured by Samsung.[3][4] The first product Apple featured an A5 in was the iPad 2. Apple claimed during their media event on March 2, 2011 that the ARM Cortex-A9 central processing unit (CPU) in the A5 is up to two times faster than the CPU in the Apple A4, and the PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics processing unit (GPU) in the A5 is up to nine times faster than the GPU in the A4.[5] Apple also claimed that the A5 uses the same amount of power as the A4.

Apple A5
Apple A5 Chip.jpg
Apple A5 (S5L8940 version) chip
General information
LaunchedMarch 11, 2011
DiscontinuedOctober 4, 2016
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Product codeS5L8940X (A5)
S5L8942X (A5R2)
S5L8947X (A5R3)
Performance
Max. CPU clock rate800 MHz to 1 GHz
Cache
L1 cache32 KB instruction + 32 KB data[1]
L2 cache1 MB[1]
Architecture and classification
ApplicationMobile
Min. feature size45 nm to 32 nm
MicroarchitectureARM Cortex-A9
Instruction setARM, Thumb-2
Physical specifications
Cores
  • 1 (third-generation Rev A Apple TV)
    2 (iPad 2, iPhone 4S, third-generation Apple TV [one core is disabled], fifth-generation iPod Touch, first-generation iPad Mini)
GPU(s)PowerVR SGX543MP2 (dual-core)[2]
Products, models, variants
Variant(s)Apple A5X
History
PredecessorApple A4
SuccessorApple A6

The last operating system update Apple provided for a mobile device containing an A5 (iPad 2 CDMA, iPhone 4S, and first-generation iPad Mini cellular models) was iOS 9.3.6, which was released on July 22, 2019. The latest operating system update Apple has provided for an Apple TV containing an A5 (third-generation Apple TV and third-generation Rev A Apple TV) was Apple TV Software 7.5, which was released on March 24th, 2020.

DesignEdit

The A5 chip features a dual-core 45 nm Cortex-A9 CPU (shrunk to 32 nm in later versions of the chip) including the Advanced SIMD (Neon) extension,[6] and a dual-core 32 nm PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.

The A5 integrates an image signal processor unit (ISP) that can perform advanced image post-processing, such as face detection, white balance, and automatic image stabilization.[7] The A5 also directly integrates Audience earSmart technology for removing surrounding background noise and secondary voices during phone calls.[8]

The clock rate of the Cortex-A9 in the A5 used inside the iPad 2 and first-generation iPad Mini is 1 GHz. Both of these devices, unlike devices containing the A4 with a clock rate of 1 GHz, can automatically underclock their A5 chip to save battery life.[9][6] The clock rate of the Cortex-A9 in the A5 used inside the iPhone 4S and fifth-generation iPod Touch is 800 MHz (underclocked from 1 GHz). It is unknown what the clock rate of the Cortex-A9 in the A5 used inside the third-generation Apple TV and third-generation Rev A Apple TV is.

When the A5 was first released, the production cost of the chip was estimated to be 75% more than the A4, with the difference expected to diminish when production would later increase.[10] As of August 2012, the A5 was manufactured at Samsung's Austin, Texas factory.[11] Samsung invested $3.6 billion in the Austin facility to produce various chips, and nearly all of the facility's output was dedicated to producing Apple chips.[12] Samsung later invested a further $4.2 billion in the Austin facility in order to transition to a 28 nm fabrication process by the second half of 2013.[11]

Apple A5 versionsEdit

Three versions of the A5 chip exist: S5L8940 (containing a 45 nm CPU), S5L8942 (containing a 32 nm CPU), and S5L8947 (containing a single-core 32 nm CPU).[13] Apple also designed a separate high-performance variant of the A5 called the Apple A5X, which features a wider memory subsystem and two additional GPU cores. The A5X was used only in the third-generation iPad.

Apple A5 (S5L8940)Edit

The S5L8940 version of the A5 was used in the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S.[14] The CPU was manufactured on a 45 nm fabrication process. The die of this version takes up 122.2 mm2 of area.[15] It uses the PoP method of installation to support RAM. The top package contains two 256 MB LPDDR2[16] chips, providing a total of 512 MB[15] of RAM.

Apple A5R2 (S5L8942)Edit

The S5L8942 version of the A5 was used in the third-generation Apple TV (one CPU core is disabled),[17] the iPad 2 (iPad2,4 revision), the fifth-generation iPod Touch, and the first-generation iPad Mini. The CPU was manufactured on a 32 nm fabrication process. The die of this version takes up 69.6 mm2 of area[17]—nearly 41% smaller than the die of the S5L8940 version. Like the S5L8940 version, it uses the PoP method of installation to support RAM. The top package contains two 256 MB LPDDR2 chips, providing a total of 512 MB of RAM.[18]

Apple A5R3 (S5L8947)Edit

The S5L8947 version of the A5 was used only in the third-generation Rev A Apple TV. Unlike the previous two A5 versions, this version contains only one CPU core.[19] Also unlike the previous two A5 versions, this version does not use the PoP method of installation to support RAM—RAM is found externally from the A5 chip.[20] The die of this version takes up 37.8mm2 of area,[20] using a new design made specifically for the third-generation Rev A Apple TV.[21][22]

Products featuring the Apple A5Edit

GalleryEdit

These images are illustrations and approximate to scale.

The A5 (S5L8940) first started shipping in products March 2011
The A5R2 (S5L8942) first started shipping in products March 2012
The A5R3 (S5L8947) first started shipping in products March 2013
Sizes: A5 (10.1 mm x 12.2 mm),[15] A5R2 (8.1 mm x 8.6 mm),[17] A5R3 (6.1 mm x 6.3 mm)[20]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Gowri, Vivek; Lal Shimpi, Anand (March 28, 2012). "The Apple iPad Review (2012): The A5X SoC". Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  2. ^ "Apple iPad 2 GPU Performance Explored: PowerVR SGX543MP2 Benchmarked". AnandTech. March 12, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  3. ^ "Updated: Samsung fabs Apple A5 processor". EETimes.com. March 12, 2011. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "Apple's A5 chip is built by Samsung". The Guardian. December 16, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2012. "The powerful A5 processor, which uses technology licensed from Britain's ARM Holdings, is designed by Apple in California, by a team formerly part of PA Semi – an American chip design company that Apple bought in April 2008."
  5. ^ "Apple iPad 2 feature page". Apple.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Apple iPad 2 Preview". AnandTech. March 12, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  7. ^ "Apple Announces iPhone 4S: A5, 8 MP Camera, 1080p Video Recording". October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "Why Apple's A5 is so big—and iPhone 4 won't get Siri". August 4, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  9. ^ "Inside Apple's iPad 2 A5: fast LPDDR2 RAM, costs 66% more than Tegra 2". AppleInsider. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  10. ^ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (March 14, 2011). "It Costs $326.60 To Make An iPad 2 – Why That Matters". Business Insider. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Samsung upgrades Texas mobile device chip factory". BBC News Online. August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  12. ^ Gupta, Poornima (December 16, 2011). "Exclusive: Made in Texas: Apple's A5 iPhone chip". Reuters. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Foresman, Chris (February 27, 2012), iOS 5.1 code hints at simultaneous A5X and A6 processor development, Ars Technica, retrieved March 26, 2012
  14. ^ "iPhone 4S CPU Clocked At 800MHz Is 73% Faster Than iPhone 4, Twice As Fast As Galaxy S II, And All Other Android Phones". Redmond Pie. October 11, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c "A First Look at Apple's A5 Processor". Chipworks. March 12, 2011. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  16. ^ "iPad 2 Tablet Teardown and Apple A5 IC Analysis". TechInsights. March 12, 2011. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c "Update – 32-nm Apple A5 in the Apple TV 3 – and an iPad 2!". Chipworks. April 11, 2012. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  18. ^ "iPad Mini Wi-Fi Teardown". iFixit. November 1, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  19. ^ Lal Shimpi, Anand (March 15, 2013). "Apple TV 2013 (A1469) Short Review: Analysis of a New A5". AnandTech. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  20. ^ a b c "Apple's TV surprise – a new A5 chip!". Chipworks. March 12, 2013. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  21. ^ A5 Chip in Tweaked Apple TV Still Manufactured by Samsung at 32nm - MacRumors.com
  22. ^ Tweaked Apple TV Contains Die-Shrunk A5 Chip, Not A5X - MacRumors.com

External linksEdit