Nov 3 2013, 4:44pm CST | by Triszia Marie Santos
The third-generation iPad released in early 2012 required a different display resolution from the sister iPhone. The 1136 × 640 resolution for iPhones and 2048 × 1536 for iPads meant that different chips were required, A5 and A6 for the phones and A5X and A6X for the tabs. The X chips had more powerful GPUs and wider memory interfaces to power larger displays on the tablets.
The A7 processor in the iPhone 5S offers consumers two Apple's 64-bit ARMv8 "Cyclone" CPU cores, 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM, Imagination Technologies PowerVR G6430 GPU, as well as a 64-bit memory interface. The iPad Air however, uses the A7 chip at a hardware level, in a different configuration.
The A7 in iPad Air runs at a base CPU clock speed of 1.4GHz, very slightly above the 1.3GHz figure of the iPhone 5S. It is possible to further increase the the clock speed theoretically, but this requires a correspondingly large amount of power and is not the best way to increase performance. Since the iPad is larger than the iPhone and allows Apple more room for heat dissipation, the iPad's A7 core can sustain higher CPU clock speeds for longer periods of time.
While the A7 performs admirably in performance tests, a potential bottleneck seems to be the 1GB RAM provision. Apple's fantastic memory management means that iOS devices have generally gotten by with less RAM than Android gadgets, but the iPad Air does crash due to low memory errors.
Triszia Marie Santos
Triszia Marie Santos is navigating the mobile device space for you. She is an early adopter in all things mobile and loves to write about the latest mobile trends.
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