New A6 CPU: Fastest Mobile Chip on the Market Today

A6 ProcessorWe’ve been talking about this secretive A6 processor since at least August of 2011. First, we thought the high-speed processor chip would allow Apple to merge iOS and OSX as early as this year (the possibility isn’t out of the question, but it won’t be happening in 2012). Then we thought that the processor would find its way into the third-generation iPad. We were only slightly disappointed to find out that the new iPad is run by a dual-core A5X CPU processor instead. Although, not too disappointed since the third-generation iPad still blows everything else out of the water.

That is, until this coming Friday when the iPhone 5 hits store shelves.

Only a few days ago, tech website Geekbench received a data report submitted by a user that showed the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the third-generation iPad. While there was no confirmation that the data wasn’t faked, analyst John Poole of PrimateLabs said he believed it could be true.

Today, AnandTech is reporting that a test of the iPhone 5’s processor chip showed speeds that beat out most mobile processors, including the popular Intel’s Medfield Atom Z2460 processor chip. AnandTech ran SunSpider v0.9.1 on an iPhone 5 review sample and discovered that it outpaced Lava XOLO X900, powered by the Atom chip, by no less than 364.7 milliseconds– making it the fastest phone ever run on SunSpider. It also beats the Samsung Galaxy S III by a large margin (over 33-percent faster), and the previous generation iPhone 4S (over twice as fast).

While these improvements are impressive, the SunSpider test only gives a glimpse of what the A6 can do, as it targets mostly the cache/memory subsystems. Further tests will be required to confirm that the chip is also screamingly fast in other areas.

On a side note, we’re secretly hoping that the A6 chip will also be featured in the upcoming iPad mini, but there is a good chance that Apple might opt for a cheaper, less expensive processor such as the A5X, in order to keep costs to a minimum. On the other hand, we will most likely see the chip – or an improved version of it – in the iPad 4 next year.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik