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NewsPoster Mar 12, 2013 03:32 PM
Smaller A5 chip in Apple TV still 32nm Samsung design
The <A href="">new, smaller A5 chip in recent Apple TVs</a> is actually still a Samsung design, and still built using a 32nm process, says semiconductor analysis firm Chipworks. Initial examination suggested that the processor had switched to 28nm, which might also have pointed to TSMC as the responsible manufacturer. The new <a href="">information</a> indicates that Apple has redesigned the processor, and not just shrunken it.<br /><br />If any functionality is different though, it's not yet apparent. The A5 continues to go without stacked DRAM, which another firm, Silicon-IP, argues may simply mean that Apple hasn't yet lined up a process for package-on-package design. Chipworks speculates that the new chip may yet be part of a "pipe-cleaner" run for handing over some A-series production to TSMC, giving Apple a reference and/or fallback option while TSMC works on new silicon.

Why Apple would need to redesign the A5 is otherwise unknown, given that the Apple TV, iPad 2, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch are all already equipped with it. The company could be planning to use the chip in a rumored low-cost iPhone, where space might be at a premium.
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