New Apple TV uses A5 chip, not A5X as rumoured

The rumoured A5X chip update for the Apple TV has materialised as something much more interesting.

The new box, which was designed to be a simple internal hardware update, has long been rumoured to be using an A5X chip after documents of the new Apple TV were leaked by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). A teardown of the tweaked third-generation Apple TV shows a much smaller 6 x 6mm A5 chip.

Why is this interesting? Because it shows that Apple might be using a 28-nanometer process from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Still not interested? This means the new Apple TV tweak could be the first device using an iOS device processor put together for Apple by a company other than Samsung.

TSMC is rumoured to be helping to build chips for the current-generation iPad and should be pioneering even smaller processes in future Apple devices. So then, in a strange twist, the future of Apple's processors might be in an update to a chip first unveiled in the iPad 2.

Okay, it is all a bit tech heavy we know, but the bottom line here is: pick up an Apple TV and it won't have an A5X sitting inside it. Understandably so really, as the A5X adds GPU cores and little else to the original chip, which the Apple TV wouldn't need.

Disappointing, as an update to Apple TV would be fairly exciting. Who knows, we might see more grunt in a different kind of Apple TV, when it eventually materialises.

 



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