While there’s no official announcement launch date for the Apple’s iPad 3, its being speculated by many bloggers around the web that Apple may unveil its next generation tablet around March 7th. In anticipation, morerumors have been emerging about the upcoming device, including a leaked image showing the inside logic board of the iPad 3.
Several reports say the iPad 3 will carry the next generation of quad-core processing chip, called the A6. Details on the technology behind the A6 remain a bit scarce, but we can guess the chip will be based on a design of a quad-core Cortex-A9 architecture. With A5 dual-core processor custum-built around the iPad2 and iPhone 4S, it makes sense that the third iteration of the iPad will make the leap forward to a quad-core processor.
However, newly leaked photos by Chinese forum WeiPhone suggest a slightly different variant to the existing A5 chips found within the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. MacRumors noted a date code on the chip, 1146, meaning the A5X processor was created in November 2011. The discovery of the A5X chip is model #S5L8945X, may suggest a small incremental upgrade to the A5 instead of a change to Apple’s A6 chip-set as previously rumored.
9to5Mac explains the change name of the processor:
The original iPad’s A4 chip was called S5L8930X, the iPad 2′s A5 chip was called the S5L8940X, and now this A5X chip is labeled as S5L8945X. Notice the jump of 10 in the labeling on the A4 to A5, and notice the jump of only 5 on the A5 to “A5X.” The 5 would note a half-way upgrade, something that an A5X chip with improved graphics, but still dual-core processing, would be likely referred to as.
MacRumors points out that the prototype chip found inside the logic board comes with two 16GB Hynix flash memory chips, and also carries an Apple-branded chip responsible for power supply and management. Those markings within the chip could be in previous iPad teardowns, thus suggesting the images might be legitimate.
Many believe Apple will be bringing some improvements to the iPad 3 such as bigger camera, faster processor and a Retina Display. However, if these images serve as evidence, then Apple’s tablet will just receive a bump upgrade over the iPad 2. Also, while it lacks any kind of confirmation, we could expect to see some type of Siri integration on the next generation of iPad 3.
With time ticking away, it could be just a matter of weeks before we get full confirmation from Apple’s executives. Until they take the stage to announce the iPad 3, try to keep the salt pretty close. After all, it’s still very early in February to firmly believe in any Apple rumors.