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iPhone and iPad success helps find new home for A5 processor

by Rus Abz 2011-12-16 12:10

 

The 120 square millimeter A5 chip is twice as fast as its predecessor, the A4. The powerful A5 dual-core processor, which uses technology licensed from Britain's ARM Holdings, received final touch of its advanced design by Apple engineers in California to boost up its performance. The A5 processor delivers the brainpower to the iPhone and iPad. The A5 chip debuted in Apple's iPad 2 and now also powers the new iPhone 4S. Both A5 and A4 central processing unit chips are primarily manufactured at Samsung facilities. Lower cost foreign manufacturers have been dominating the micro chip sourcing and assemble market for most popular handheld gadgets, personal communicators and GPS navigators. New chip enables common use smartphones to provide enriched functionality earlier available only with specialized computing devices such as dedicated GPS navigators. One example is Garmin StreetPilot Onboard Application allowing for the on-board preloaded database of topographic maps and GPS satellite constellation guided vehicle driver navigation with convenient intuitive interface. 

A5 chipiPhone and StreetPilot work together providing safe driving planning with fast topo map drawing, map areas panning and slide zoom. Maps are preloaded and include hundreds of (POI) Points of Interest along the GPS guided route. The preloaded GPS maps are there to calculate routes and serve as most precise topographic maps regardless of wireless coverage or provider network availability. The intuitive interface has been tried and tested on nuvi automotive GPS navigators and proven a success among GPS gadget user community. With more power provided by A5 processor iPhone apps such as the StreetPilot Onboard Application integrate seamlessly with other most sophisticated features of the smartphone, such that GPS navigation features embedded into GPS software application could be used in concert with other iPhone email, social networking as well as rich media and video applications. Apple, the biggest consumer device giant recently started to receive a critical CPU component for its iPad and iPhone from sprawling 1.6 million square feet Samsung factory in Austin, Texas. It became one of the few major components to be sourced from within the United States. 

a5 chip adds power to run GPS applications such as StreetPilot on iPhone

The A5 processor is built by Samsung in a newly constructed $3.6 billion non-memory chip production facilities that reached full production power in early December. The South Korean giant began supplying the A5 processors to Apple earlier this year, now the company has begun to expand the Austin factory to include a production line to make the A5 inline with its logic chips production stream. Samsung also produces NAND flash memory chips in Austin, and nearly all of the output of the non-memory chip production from the factory, which is the size of about nine football fields, is dedicated to producing Apple A5 chips. The new non-memory chip production in the factory produces about 40,000 silicon wafers every month. The success of both the iPad and iPhone has helped the city of Austin become home for semiconductor companies which are attracted to Austin because of a steady supply of educated employees from the University of Texas' engineering school. Austin Chamber of Commerce lists Samsung's factory as the largest foreign investment in Texas with a total investment of about $9 billion.  Apart from Austin, Samsung has another non-memory logic chip factory located in South Korea. Apple gadgets are assembled in China and Taiwan factories and the international business model includes Foxconn as primary contract manufacturer for handheld gadgets. 

 

 

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