iOS 5.1 Beta: Quad-Core iOS Devices in the Works

Apple A6 ProcessorThe new iOS 5.1 beta proves that Apple is indeed planning on shipping iPhones and iPads with quad-core chips in the near future, which is no big surprise because we’ve all been expecting an upgraded processor in the next generation iPad anyway.

A quad-core chip makes sense, in light of the Asus Transformer Prime which sports a quad-core Tegra 3 NVIDIA processor. While the info doesn’t explicitly confirm or indicate a quad-core processor for the next generation iPad, it does confirm that Apple is working on quad-core devices.

Apple’s first generation iPad had a single core A4 processor, and the iPad 2 has a dual-core-speed A5 processor. In the iOS 5.1 beta, there’s recently updated processing-core management software supporting the A5 that the iPad and iPhone currently use, and new quad-core processing.

In the core management software, there’s an option for “/cores/core.3,” and according to 9to5 Mac, core references begin at zero. A single core device would read “/cores/core.0,” while dual-core (the A5) would read “/cores/core.1.” The three in the description indicates support for four cores, and strongly implies that a quad-core processor is in the works.

Image Courtesy of 9to5 Mac

Also, it should be noted that Apple is currently using iOS 5.1 as the test software on the iPad 3, and that a quad-core processor may be necessary to power the high resolution display that the next generation iPad is rumored to use. A quad-core iPad will be able to run advanced software, games, and interface elements at a rapid speed, and would be a major upgrade to the tablet.

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  • Anonymous

    hope its the ipad 3, otherwise just found a reason to wait, again.