Analyzing Apple's A7 SoC for the iPhone 5s

Posted by Trent Nouveau

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's offers his predictions about Apple's upcoming A7 SoC, the processor expected to power the long-awaited iPhone 5s.

According to Kuo, Apple's upcoming A-series silicon (A7) is likely to be based on the latest ARM v8 architecture. In contrast, the previous-gen A6 was was built on a custom ARMv7 setup that doubled number crunching and graphics speeds - all while shrinking die size by 22 percent.

"By stepping up to ARMv8, and tweaking hardware and software packages, Kuo believes Apple will manage to squeeze out a 20 percent increase in efficiency over the A6," an AppleInsider writer explained.

"Boosting those numbers is the inclusion of LPDDR3 RAM, a faster memory specification than the LPDDR2 modules used in the A6. The increased bandwidth will allow Apple to maintain a relatively small amount of dedicated memory."

Kup also notes that the A7 is likely to pack the same 1GB of on-die RAM as the A6, although it remains unclear if the A7 will support 32-bit or 64-bit processes. Still, says the analyst, he certainly wouldn't be surprised to see 64-bit support in 2013. If not, 64-bit support will likely surface in an A8 processor at some point in the future.