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Apple A6X CPU

What's lurking inside the silicone of the iPad 4 power house.

Yesterday saw the announcement of not only the iPad mini, but also the iPad 4, which is simply the iPad 3 with a few minor tweaks and a whopping CPU and graphics upgrade.

While the Mini obviously got the most love and attention, due to the fact it's small and cute I imagine, regardless of the fact people can't decide if its just a big iPhone or a small iPad. But the iPad 4 was the real announcement, given the success of the last 3 gens of the iPad and the jaw dropping power update that apple is promising from the new tech.

The new iPad 4 will be powered by the A6X CPU, which is said to be twice as fast as the previous A5X which features in the iPad 3. Bringing with it double the CPU performance and double the GPU performance, which is a big performance leap given that the iPad 3 isn't exactly lazy in terms of performance.

Let's take a look at the current clock speeds of the Apple range to get an idea for their power:

• A5 - 800MHz (iPhone 4S)
• A5X - 1000MHz (iPad 3)
• A6 - 1200MHz (iPhone 5)
• A6X - Estimated @ 1400MHz - 1500MHz (iPad 4)

So with a good 50% overhead compared to the last gen CPU, it's easy to see how CPU and GPU performance can be doubled, although how it will fare in real life benchmarks has yet to be seen, either way it should be faster, that much we don't doubt. We expect the GPU clock to have similar performance increase in terms of clock speed, ranging from a 50-100% to give the double performance in gaming applications.

While upping the performance uses more power, Apple have switched from a 45nm process down to a 32nm process. So even with the higher performance, Apple claims that energy efficiency will be improved and the new device should operate for 10 hours continuous usage, but time will tell how true that is.