iPhone 5 A6 chip running A15 cores beats Samsung

The Apple iPhone 5 was officially announced yesterday and we’ve been bringing readers all the details. One of the first things covered in Apple’s keynote speech was the introduction of the new A6 chip, a step up from the A5 used in the current iPhone 4S and Apple claims this new processor will offer speeds up to two times quicker than the older A5. Now we have learned that the iPhone 5 A6 chip is running A15 cores, beating Samsung in bringing them to the market.

We’ve already given pre-order, price and release details for the iPhone, a specs contrast with other hot smartphones, news on how you can now see a video of the Apple keynote and much more but now we want to focus more on the A6 processor for the next iPhone. The A6 chip (S5L8950X) was widely rumored but although it has now arrived in the iPhone 5, Apple has kept rather quiet about its architecture and aspects such as clock speeds and core counts. However, as you would expect the new processor is already being scrutinized by various tech sites that have managed to unearth more information.

A report on iDownload Blog tells of an AnandTech article where we’re informed, “Based on the performance gains, Apple’s history of SoC naming and some other stuff we’ve heard recently, it looks like Apple has integrated two ARM Cortex A15 cores on Samsung’s 32nm LP HK+MG process.” While this may sound confusing to the layman it shows that Apple has managed to get the A15 core out before Samsung or TI and other licensees such as Broadcom and NVIDIA even though they had all announced upcoming implementations of it.

Some of the products that have already been officially introduced but not released yet are Samsung’s Exynos 5250, NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 and TI’s OMAP 5 application processor. Both the previous A5 and A5X Apple chips use Samsung’s 45-nanometer process and ARM’s Cortex A9 CPU core but ARM says that the A15 core is 40% faster. The fact that the new iPhone now has more power than its predecessor doesn’t seem to have affected battery performance negatively either and according to Apple usage times have actually improved slightly in some aspects.

Although the actual core count still appears to be unclear depending on what reports you look at, AnandTech does say that the increase in performance of the GPU, “could be had through a move to 4 PowerVR SGX543 cores, up from 2 in the iPhone 4S.” Looking at the finer points of the new A6 chip is intriguing stuff and no doubt we will soon be seeing the results of benchmark tests to see just how fast the iPhone 5’s processor is compared to other hot phones of the moment.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the iPhone 5 and its much-improved processor. Is this one of the factors that’s likely to persuade you to purchase the new iPhone? Maybe you feel the iPhone 5 doesn’t offer you as much as you’d like or perhaps you’ll be first in line? Send your comments to let us know.


58 thoughts on “iPhone 5 A6 chip running A15 cores beats Samsung”

    1. Sorry I’m one of those anti huge screen people. My friend has LG Optimus Vu 5″ screen you might as well grab iPad and stick phone chip into it. I wasn’t bothered with 3.7″ screen it sits perfectly in the hand. So in my eyes worst thing with iPhone 5 is that it got longer

  1. I think it’s quite disappointing really. 1gb ram? I actually thought the 4S had a 1gb of ram already, but that has a 512. It’s only just caught up to the industry standard. But if an OS runs like butter, that’s the most important thing regardless of ram. The camera is disappointing too, only 8mp. The screen has a decent pixel density, but isn’t 720p? What?? Finger print unlock is a nice gimmick, but I was really hoping this phone would raise the bar and it’s just an incremental improvement.

    1. Android needs more ram to run vs iOS jailbroken phone with 300 aps full theme only using 50mb ram leaving other 974mb for other things. That’s something you should think about. Just like 1gb ram in windows and 1gb in osx is huge difference in performance from personal experience windows pc needs 3-4 gb ram to compare with osx at 1gb. For the camera part it isn’t all about mpix just take Kodak 12 mpix camera and compare the picture vs 6 mpix Sony picture. For the resolution you’re misunderstanding iPhone has 4″ screen and at 326 pixels per inch it’s display is 1136×640 where Galaxy S3 screen is 4.8″ and having pixel density of 306 resulting in 1280×720 resolution which is worse image quality (bigger pixels = worse quality). So playing 1080p movie on both devices side by side it will look nicer on iPhone due to having smaller pixels

      1. mooseolly says:

        So playing 1080p movie on both devices side by side it will look nicer on iPhone due to having smaller pixels

        Wrong. The greyish black on LCD is still there and takes out the experience you would get on a amoled. Pixel doesn’t matter as it is a moving picture. And lastly watching movie on sgs3 is still better due to the larger screen.

        1. Also consider how efficient a rooted SGS3 is with a custom JB rom. I imagine it takes a bite out of Apple’s poor offering. Double dipping once again but the people that buy/ upgrade to them deserve to own them, I guess. I came here wondering how the A6 would compare to a quad core, guess I’ll have to wait a little longer.

  2. apple does not make Soc they have always bought them from manufacture (samsung), if they did A15 cortex they are gonna have HUGE supply issues. that being said it would make since cause the battery in the 5 is not big and now it has to push LTE and bigger screen so they would need a better power saving option. that being it has to be clocked low and if it is the first A-15 cortex i dont think it will have the fire power to beat an Exynos 4412.

    1. Doug Petrosky says:

      Apple has been designing chips for decades. They use other foundries but they do design chips. History has shown that the A4 outperformed the other ARM chips when it came out. The A5 bested the chips of it’s day and the A6 will probably do the same. Note: These chips normally are only slightly better in CPU but normally massively faster GPU.

      Watch for it and see if benchmarks and real world performance doesn’t prove me right.

    1. Adam says:

      There’s no java web browser plugin on android either and adobe has killed mobile flash. What website needs java anyway? Java is slow even on desktops and a big virus target lately. So much for the sandboxed VM it’s meant to be.

  3. Keith Breese says:

    One thing I must empathise guys is that although this new iPhone might be running the Arm Cortex 15 SoC but Apple always clock down processor speed unlike Samsung and also there iOS is better for power saving generally. Also using In Cell Touch Technology and using the smaller 32nm die size means they should be able to squeeze in a better battery……although they are going to need it running 4G LTE lol

  4. Simon_K says:

    How can you be so sure that the iPhone 5 has the ARM Cortex-A15? The guy who said it on Anandtech may be wrong, Apple haven’t released any specs and just because its twice faster than the previous processor it doesn’t mean it has to be the A15. Now dozens of technology blogs are writing it’s the brand new A15 and someone even wrote on Wikipedia that the iPhone’s A6 is built on the ARM Cortex-A15 architecture and linking the Anandtech article. The only company that has started mass production of ARM processors built on A15 is Samsung and if you consider the fact that Apple just sued Samsung over 1 billion US dollars the chance that Samsung are licensing their new Exynos 5 Dual to Apple minimal.

    1. Simon_K says:

      In Korea Apple were fined by Samsung. Its just because the jury are based in California. And their “slide-to-unlock” patent is not valid, a company in Sweden used it in their old mobilephone, in UK they said the patent was invalid and they had to pay Samsung fines.

      1. When did Samsung touch screen phones come out? After they got idea from Apple. C-mon how ignorant can you be? They even took iPhone box and slapped a picture of Gallaxy S on it and used it as their own. What about their patent of how touch screen works or dragging icons or using two fingers on display? What will you do when S3 gets banned too? It wasn’t affected by court ruling as it wasn’t out at time of lawsuit. How will Android make money after having to pay apple for using their patents when they only make 3$ per phone life, that’s sad.

        1. lol touch screens been used since 89, using finger gestures since than too those patents are stupid!. maybe you never seen the windows mobiles of early 2000, or how i-phone copied lg chocolate design?but usa patenbt system being dirty and a usa court system that is corupt. the only reason apple only won in usa and lost the rest of the world. a court held in apples hometurf, a judge that used to work for apple, and jury foreman that had intrests in what this courts outcome could have since he is a patent holder of some dum patents too. the list of stuff that s3,note 2 can do and do well is far behind iphone.

        2. Jimmy says:

          Completely untrue. You know who made the touchscreen retina display on the iphones?? LG. You know who made the camera on the iphone? (4s) Sony. You know who made the processor chip in the iphone? Samsung. You know who invented the first touchscreen phone? IBM in 1992. Get your facts straight and stop defending apple. Apple sued samsung because of design ?? really?? thats like McDonalds suing Burger King becuase their whopper looks like McDonalds Big N Tasty burger, its stupid. What smartphones does not have a screen and button(s) on the bottom today? Does apple expect other companies to make triangle shape touchscreen phones and not rectangular shaped like their iPhones? Jesus, be logic people.

        3. Anne Ortega says:

          Apple chose Samsung to manufacture the processors for their iPhone 5s because Samsung is the best choice in doing that. Kids in the US don’t want to work in factories to assemble their beloved iPhones and iPad Minis before the holiday rush (preferring to star in Jersey Shore instead) and let the kids in China do that. Once made, the purple fringing found in pictures taken by iPhone 5s is apparently the customer’s fault – Apple saying that “you’re holding your camera wrong” (remember Antennagate?), plus dumping Google Maps ‘coz they thought they have better (ulk!) maps. Jobs has enforced a monthly “patent everything not nailed down” meeting, after losing in a iPod patent dispute with Creative back in 2006. It seems anything not patented is “game” so once the US patent clears, they’ll claim it’s legally their design. I’m wondering if they’ll transcend the border of patenting even non-technology related things, like the word Apple or the rectangle shape, or the purple fringing in camera photos, or how your fingers are to be arranged while making a call with an older iPhone…. Anyhow, it’s fun being indoctrinated, because you cannot see the wrongs in what you believe in, even if it was spitting in your face. This isn’t about who made it first, it’s about who made it better for everyone to appreciate.

          By the way, love iPhone 5s new connector, makes me wanna buy additional adapters so I wouldn’t need to buy new accessories since I already goddamn have them. 0-O

      1. How many different phones is Android on? How many different iPhones are there being sold? Toyota is #1 worlds selling car does that make it the best? Or are they selling because they are cheap? Where you have way less Mercedes-B’s yet they are far better and anyone in Toyota wishing they had MB 😉

      2. Ld23brooklyn says:

        i like how you say android is 65% and iphone is 19% lol compare one phone to the iphone not android to iphone lol but anyway if iphone had more models it would kill android

        1. Laurentiu Venter says:

          OK thats easy ! One Phone right. Galaxy S2 beat Iphone in sales the first half of this year. Dont talk if you dont know. And thats one phone. Read up man.

          1. Lolwut says:

            No it didn’t. It happened just the month proper to Iphone 5 release. Ignorant opinion u got. I guess u can’t afford the iPhone and I whine 😉

        1. But you can test the cumulative effect of processors, OS, and all other system components to see the final output of the device and get a real comparison.
          I don’t think it would be fair claim a PC running a 2Ghz Quadcore on Windows 3.1 is better than one with 1.5Ghz and Windows 7 64 bit…, likely the 7 machine will be faster aat certain things than the 3.1 despite having a slower CPU, a real time benchmark, though, would tell you which is faster with no guess work involved.
          Soooo, yes, you can!

        1. squiddy20 says:

          “Pretty sad to say the least” that you can’t even finish a sentence or spell “you’re” correctly despite the fact that you insult me about being a “useless college boy”. How very sad and pitiful indeed.

          1. yarrellray says:

            Yes you are very pitiful squiddy20 the biggest troll ever on the Internet. How’s your crappy cdma Sprint 3g Galaxy Nexus?? Pretty crappy I bet.

          2. squiddy20 says:

            Yep, cause nothing says “pitiful” or “biggest troll” quite like responding to a month old comment, like you have just done. Congratulations. Want a cookie?

  5. iphone has an dual core… the only reason they didnt mention it, trust me apple and their marketing machine use any thing they can gain, like the stupid 28 m.pixel claim on a 8 m/pixel camera(basicly taking a number of pic and put it together to get more pixel,marketing crap)

  6. easyhits01 says:

    galaxy s3 has quad core 1.4 ghz which can be overclocked to 1.8 ghz with some tweaks. iphone 5 comes with dual core cortex with speed of 1.2 to 1.5 ghz. all in all. iphone doesnt beat samsung in processor speed. on top of this, s3 supports bluetooth flie transfer, wifi tethering, usb support (without requiring tools like itunes), microsd support, many audio and video formats(iphone has only mp4 and mp3 support) simple integration and connectivity with non samsung devices (iphones mostly connect with iphones and its accessories). also s3 has android 4 which is awesome and better standby time and talktime. it has about 100 more features compared to iphone.

    1. Rasil says:

      You must be pretty biased if you think that the S3 is better than iPhone in a few aspects, iPhone once jailbreaked, just like ‘rooting’ a S3, becomes a much better phone.
      The best on the market, if you can top 1million apps, available at your disposable, along with 100’s of thousands of jb tweaks, that only the S3 can offer in the 10 thousand’s range.
      You can call S3 better, but for now, you can’t
      iPhone is still the top of the chain
      if you look up all bench mark tests ,you can see the phones are close, but the iPhone is slightly better.
      Not saying that the S3 is a bad phone, compared to the iPhone it isn’t quite as good.

      1. Mike says:

        Actually they tested both the i5 vs gs3 and egger gs3 with jelly bean smoked the i5 by over 150 points! It was geek bench so it was a fair playing field

  7. easyhits01 says:

    apple will die out slowly. iphone 5 is a loser compared to galaxy s3. its a lesser smartphone with crippled features. crippled file transfer (have to use itunes), crippled bluetooth (no file sharing) crippled tethering (no wifi tether), full of paid apps, a screen that gets easily scratched, retina display which shows black as grey. yuck… if its made in china it should also have a price tag like a chinese product. iphone days are over.

  8. Engineeeer says:

    stupid subject. what a stupid title ? where is the proof of it ? how you figured out that Iphone 5 processor beats samsung ? and which samsung are you talking about ?
    stupid apple fan

  9. phreezerburn says:

    A faster CPU with eating more power? Seriously? That hasn’t happened since 2 generations ago at Intel. Everyone else has been steadily reducing consumption with die shrinks… even AMD.

  10. Above Average Bear says:

    This article is retarded. The iPhone 5’s A6 SoC is made by SAMSUNG, its a Samsung chip. Its something Samsung will release in their phones soon enough.

  11. No Apple, not quite says:

    All things are copies of a previous product or idea… To agree otherwise is foolish and ignorant. These BS patents are completely childish. Patents create (or attempt to create) a superiority in an economy. I love my Iphone 4s to death, but Apple hasnt changed significantly enough to justify upgrading an iphone to an iphone. As always, Apple attempts to be user friendly, however; in doing so you lose customization. There is no superior phone. Depends on the person. Btw, ive come to the conclusion that Apple fanboys suffer a mental illness and should be labotomized..

  12. lexlexgubsky28 says:

    Samsung Exynos 5 with Mali 604 GPU, the A15 true processor found in Nexus 10 beats A6 found in iPhone 5 or A6X(found in IPad 4) hands down (2200 geeckbench score vs 1760 on A6X.). Also, the Snapdragon S4 Pro in LG Optimus G & Nexus 4, beats the A6X by 300 in Gee bench.

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