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Apple Working on a Quad-Core iPhone, iPad?



Next year, we will have moved beyond the dual-core era into an era of smartphones powered by quad-core processors. NVIDIA has announced its plans to bring its quad-core chips to tablets this year and smartphones in 2012 and Qualcomm has made its plans for a 2.5GHz quad-core processor in 2012 known as well. Both chips will likely be deployed inside Android and maybe Windows Phone devices which doesn’t make Ars Technica‘s report about Apple possibly working on a quad-core chip all that hard to believe.

Source code from the Clang compiler, used in Apple’s Xcode developer tools, has revealed code that references support for the Armada XP which is a Marvell developed ARM quad-core chip:

A developer who works on low-level ARM assembly coding for security products was the first to alert Ars that support had been added for Armada’s Cortex A9-compatible processors in the latest version of Xcode (a claim that we later confirmed first-hand). The source code for a part of Clang that interprets what CPU type is being targeted for optimization includes a definition for an architecture type of “armv7k” and CPU type “pj4b”. PJ4B is a specially optimized CPU design used in Marvell’s quad-core Armada XP embedded processors.

At the moment, it’s unclear why support for the ARM-based processor is included inside the code but there is a chance that it could be a placeholder for a chip that Apple plans to put inside the next iPhone or iPad.

Apple Source Code

The upcoming iPhone 5 is widely expected to feature Apple’s A5 processor which is dual-core and is the same processor found in the iPad 2.

It’s also possible that Apple is planning on placing a quad-core chip inside a MacBook. So, at this point, much like the iPhone 5, Apple’s plans remain behind a curtain of uncertainty per usual. However, these plans aren’t shocking considering the current state of the market.

Apple is going to want to keep pace with Android in 2012 and it’s going to at least have to consider a quad-core chip, amongst other things, if it plans to do that.

Via: MacRumors



  1. Anonymous

    09/23/2011 at 10:43 pm

    All that power only makes sense if phones become desktop replacements. We need good, cheap, probably Thunderbolt docking stations to achieve that. Maybe Apple will lead the way once again ?

  2. John Zampier

    09/24/2011 at 12:11 am

    Yeah, that would be great.  Apple can lead the way, everyone else will make it better than apple 2 weeks later, and as they fall further behind by nerfing their own hardware/functionality they can make a newer version of it that’s thinner with almost no new added features that everyone can go crazy for again.

    • Guest

      09/24/2011 at 8:46 am

      You bitter, bitter man…

      • John Zampier

        09/25/2011 at 5:30 pm

        I am bitter, very bitter.  I used to be a huge Apple advocate.  Ever since the iPad 2 came out I woke up and realized, they don’t care about the consumer anymore.  It’s all about showing off for them.  OOO 326 pixels per inch.  Guess what, no one holds a phone less than 8 inches from their face so they can’t see the pixels even at 200 ppi, congratulations, you made your device less affordable.  Let’s charge $100 to go from just 16GB internal storage to 32GB internal storage, and not add a MicroSD slot for expandability,  Forcing people to go for that next model higher, just to make sure they have the space they need.  Let’s use a proprietary docking cable instead of micro USB like every other device uses. Let’s make the iPad thinner with almost no new added features.  Who comes up with this stuff??  Apple is going down the toilet, and unless they release something super outstanding with the iPhone 5, people are gonna start waking up.  So sad, cuz their Mac line of computers are still great, with tons of expandability options.  If they’d just follow that with their portable devices they would be back on top in my book again.  Till then, it’s ANYTHING BUT APPLE for me.

    • Thebikerboi

      09/28/2011 at 6:40 am

      Huh I wouldn’t count on it, not for another 6 months at least

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