iPhone 5S Rumor Round-Up: Will There Be An A7 Processor?
Fox News tech guru Clayton Morris told the world this weekend the new iPhone (the iPhone 5S to those in the know) will boast a new A7 processor built to be 31 percent faster than the current A6 System on a Chip (SoC). Moreover, Morris claims the new iPhone — expected to look exactly like the old one, but IN GOLD — will have a separate chip dedicated entirely to â€śmotion tracking.â€ť
Itâ€™s not really clear what a motion tracking chip would do, but in a follow up Tweet, Morris said something about an â€śinteresting camera upgrade,â€ť so, you know.
Another wild guesser, Mr. Ming-Chi Kuo with KGI Securities, claimed heâ€™s heard the new iPhone SoC will move to an ARMv8 architecture, lending it a 20 percent increase in efficiency. This, said Kuo, will be accomplished thanks to the alleged A7â€™s 64-bit application support.
Letâ€™s tie all these rumors together, shall we?
At this point weâ€™ve got an iPhone 5S available in gold (and 128 GB, too) that could run on a 31 percent faster, 20 percent more efficient A7 chip that supports 64-bit applications. Thereâ€™s also an unknown camera upgrade, which includes a separate motion tracking chip.
Thatâ€™s one hell of a phone, no?
Itâ€™s easy enough to debunk part of this rumor. In fact, itâ€™s a bit remarkable some of this stuff even made it to rumor status. First, the betas of iOS 7 have so far naryâ€™a mention of 64-bit capability. If Apple were going to introduce this feature in their mobile OS, the developers had better know about it now. Thereâ€™s always room for surprises, of courseâ€¦but I doubt weâ€™ll see 64-bit this year.
This assumes, however, that there will be a 64-bit capable SoC at some point in the future. Computing is certainly moving in this direction, so it only makes sense that weâ€™d see a mobile chip like this at some point. As a matter of fact, about a year ago one computer chip expert, Linely Gwennap, explained that Apple probably has plans to switch to a 64-bit, ARMv8 architecture, but Mooreâ€™s Law holds that this chip probably wonâ€™t even see the light of day — for any company — until 2014.
Apple can do what they want, but if the A6 is Appleâ€™s first â€śfrom scratchâ€ť design, as Gwennap suggests, and if Apple prefers to iterate on their designs (as their â€śSâ€ť naming convention suggests) then it makes sense that the next iPhone chip will probably be an A6X. Perhaps in quad core, as 9 to 5 Mac suggests, but possible in a tweaked reconfiguration. Donâ€™t forget, after all, that iOS 7 comes with several under-the-hood tweaks to make it more powerful and efficient.
As for a motion tracking chip? Sure, Iâ€™ll buy it. Apple normally gives their camera a sufficient upgrade every year, even though the improvement between the 4S and 5 camera was really nothing to write home about. It was faster, thanks to the A6 chip, of course, and it takes slightly better low-light images, but thatâ€™s about it. In other words, the iPhone 5S is due for a significant upgrade.
And Iâ€™ve completely learned to live with the fact that Apple may release an iPhone in gold.
Iâ€™m still curious to know if theyâ€™ll release the iPhone 5Cs in America, howeverâ€¦.and if so, where? Will they be prepaid only?
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