As we predicted earlier, 2012 seems to be the year of the debut for the A6 processor and as expected with it’s in an iPad 3. The original iPad featured an A4 processor and iPad2 came with the upgraded dual-core A5 chip. 9to5Mac found evidence of Apple’s work on a quad-core A6 processor. They have sifted through the code of latest iOS 5.1 beta update and found references to “/cores/core.3” in the updated core management software.
Conventionally, references start with zero (0) in software terminology and dual cores are referenced as core.0 and core.1. In this light there is enough evidence to deduce that ‘core.3’ refers to the quad-core A6 processor that is in the pipeline. A quad-core processor is the logical extension for Apple considering their dual-core A5 chip in the iPad 2. Moreover ASUS’s Eee Pad Transformer tablet features NVidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor is heating up the quad-core market. We cannot expect Apple to lag behind these developments. For them to be at the forefront of tablet computing power the iPad 3 HAS to come with a quad core processor.
The implications of a quad-core processor are immense. It will help power up the high-resolution displays such as the retina display everyone is talking about. The A6 processor will add extra horsepower to gaming experiences and improve the overall OS navigation ease. Also the possibility for new apps and what they will be capable of is very exciting indeed.