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The Apple A5X is a 32-bit system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc., introduced at the launch of the third generation iPad on March 7, 2012. It is a high performance variant of the Apple A5; Apple claims it has twice the graphics performance of the A5.[6] It was superseded in the iPhone 5 and 5C by the A6 chip and the fourth generation iPad by the A6X chip. Software updates for the iPad 3rd generation ended in 2016, thus ceasing support for this chip.

Apple A5X
Apple A5X Chip.jpg
The A5X chip
ProducedFrom March 16, 2012 to October 23, 2012
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Max. CPU clock rate1 GHz 
Min. feature size45 nm[1][2]
Instruction setARMv7
MicroarchitectureARM Cortex-A9
Product codeS5L8945X[3]
L1 cache32 KB instruction + 32 KB data[4]
L2 cache1 MB[4]
PredecessorApple A5
SuccessorApple A6X
GPUPowerVR SGX543MP4 (quad-core)[5]
VariantApple A5



The A5X features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU[4] at 1 GHz[7] and a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU[5] clocked at 250 MHz. Apple doubled the size of the A5X's memory interface in comparison to the A5, including a memory interface subsystem with four 32-bit wide LP-DDR2 memory controllers.[5] This was done to provide sufficient bandwidth for the very high pixel count on the third generation iPad's Retina Display.[5]

Unlike the A4 and A5, the A5X is covered with a metal heat spreader and is not a package-on-package (PoP) assembly.[1] In those earlier chips the RAM sat on top of the SoC, however, in the A5X the RAM is not bundled together with the SoC, instead the A5X sits on one side of the motherboard and twin Samsung LP DDR2 SDRAM is soldered directly to the other side of the motherboard.[1][8] The A5X is manufactured on a 45 nm process[2] by Samsung. The silicon die size has increased drastically compared to the A5 at 165 mm2, 3.1 times larger than the 53.3 mm2 die area of the original A4.[2]

Products that include the Apple A5XEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "The New iPad: A Closer Look Inside". Chipworks. March 16, 2012. Archived from the original on 16 Sep 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "The Apple A5X versus the A5 and A4 – Big Is Beautiful". Chipworks. March 19, 2012. Archived from the original on 5 Dec 2013.
  3. ^ Straker, Fred (February 22, 2012), "What is the Apple A5X Processor?", The iPad Guide, retrieved May 3, 2012
  4. ^ a b c Gowri, Vivek; Lal Shimpi, Anand (March 28, 2012). "The Apple iPad Review (2012): The A5X SoC". AnandTech. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d Gowri, Vivek; Lal Shimpi, Anand (March 28, 2012). "The Apple iPad Review (2012): The GPU". AnandTech. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Apple Launches New iPad". Apple. March 7, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "iFixit 3rd generation iPad teardown". Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  8. ^ Foresman, Chris (March 15, 2012). "iPad 3 teardown: my god, it's full of lithium ions". ArsTechnica. Retrieved September 16, 2013.