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Apple launches its own chip for the iPad

by Scott Bicheno on 27 January 2010, 20:13

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qavtn

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The burden of hype

Apart from the $499 entry-level price, the thing that most grabbed our attention about the launch of the much-hyped Apple iPad was the system-on-chip (SoC) that powers it. No sign of Snapdragon or Tegra here, Apple had decided to go it alone and design its own SoC.

It's called the Apple A4 and clocks at 1GHz. Its existence shouldn't really come as a surprise given that Apple bought low-power chip-maker PA Semi in 2008 and hired Bob Drebin and Raja Koduri - both former ATI CTOs - last year. Furthermore, Apple likes to be as autonomous as possible in order to control the entire ecosystem around its products and it collaborated closely with Samsung on the iPhone chip.

What will be interesting to see, however, is how the Apple A4 stacks up against all the other ARM-based SoCs out there, especially in terms of graphics performance. To us the launch was a bit of an anti-climax, with the iPad appearing to just be a big iPhone, but with data-only connectivity. So some of the stuff you can do with it, like gaming and media, had better be pretty decent to justify the hype.

Here are some more bullet points, pricing and a piccie:

  • Weight: 0.7 kg
  • Dimensions: 24 x 20 x 1.3 cm
  • Screen: 9.7 inch 1024 x 768
  • Accelerometer
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi (a-n), Bluetooth 2.1, UMTS/HSDPA, GSM/EDGE
  • Input/output: docking port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, speakers, microphone
  • Battery life: 10 hours use, 1 month standby

 

 



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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Looks ok, but I prefer some of the fake renders when all the rumours were flying around.

Can't find the link though, but it was a tablet where the screen ran almost to the edge.

Some others can be seen here:
http://gizmodo.com/5249808/apples-tablet-the-story-so-far
I'm no Apple expert, but didn't they make a deal with Intel for chips?
Singh400
I'm no Apple expert, but didn't they make a deal with Intel for chips?

for notebooks yes…. think of this as a big iphone… iphone has a ARM processor inside… and they bought there own semi conductor and chip designer a while ago… and so produced A4
Obviously it's the kind of deal that isn't exclusive.

Just in case you missed the link in that HEXUS.channel article, Apple bought PA Semi in April 2008 - http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=12938
From engaget
* The ebook implementation is about as close as you can get to reading without a stack of bound paper in your hand. The visual stuff really helps flesh out the experience. It may be just for show, but it counts here.
Apart from the fact that it's full colour so you can have pretty pictures, it's still a glossy lcd screen isn't it?
So in bright light conditions, you'll get lots of reflection and it'll be hard to see.

Where as ebooks use Electronic paper which is a totally different technology, based of reflected light and no refreshing.
This means the stronger the light the clearer they are to read, just like word written on paper.

If I want an ebook then it's to read on, not look at pictures, although this would be a good for a “my first epicturebook”

Here was a great use for the old tablet pc's http://arstechnica.com/gaming/guides/2009/08/how-i-rode-a-samsung-tablet-pc-to-retro-rpg-nirvana.ars/2
Now if someone would make a nice old school isometric rpg app then you'd have a use for the ipad.