Apple preps A8 chip for fifth-gen iPhone and beyond

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Apple is reportedly prepping a souped-up, custom-designed A8 processor for its fifth-generation iPhone and future mobile devices.

According to the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily, the latest iteration of Cupertino's popular smartphone will also boast a baseband processor from Qualcomm.

Apple's current A4 processor - which debuted last year - powers a number of items in the company's mobile lineup, including the iPad, iPhone 4, iPod Touch and even Apple TV.

Apple preps A8 chip for fifth-gen iPhone and beyondThe indigenously developed ARM-powered SoC (manufactured by Samsung) features a single-core CPU and GPU on a single piece of silicon. 

Although A8 specs have yet to officially be revealed, it is quite likely that the next-gen chip will offer a dual-core CPU, faster clock speed (exceeding 1 GHz), along with low-power sipping capabilities.

Future versions of the ARM-based chip - say the A12, A16, or A20 - may even be powerful enough to find their way into the sleek Macbook Air.

Yes, Apple has not yet signaled that it is interested in moving away from x86 architecture, which is still quite a lucrative laptop platform at this point in time.

However, a RISC-based Macbook Air running a modified version of iOS may not be entirely out of the question at some point in the near future.