iPad 2 will include more RAM, faster processor, and faster memory access

Mon, Jan 31, 2011


There’s been a lot of iPad 2 information swirling about the past few days, including a rumor that the next-gen iPad, contrary to a number of previous reports, will not include an SD Card slot.

Now comes a handful of new information about the iPad 2 courtesy of Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Dispelling rumors of an iPad sporting a Retina Display, Kuo writes that the rumored screen enhancements for the next-gen iPad actually pertain to thickness and anti-reflection improvements, a feature Apple hopes will help the iPad compete with the increasingly popular Amazon Kindle. That said, the iPad two will sport the same 1024×768 resolution as the first-gen iPad and will be 30-35% thinner than the original.

“The most important reason why iPad 2 won’t have a retina display is yield rate of panel making,” Kuo writes. “At this point, making high resolution and bright IPS/FFS panel is not easy and the production volume and cost couldn’t meet Apple’s requirements.”

More importantly, the iPad 2 will usher in a slew of under the hood improvements that will make the the iPad 2 significantly faster than the already blazingly fast iPad.

Kuo writes that the upcoming iPad 2, rumored to launch during the first or second week of April, is chock full of internal upgrades, from faster processing power to more RAM and faster memory access. In the increasingly competitive tablet market, competitors are finally starting to match the specs on the iPad, albeit in a smaller form factor, but the upcoming iPad upgrade will apparently leave rivals competing against outdated specs

But down to the nitty gritty. According to Kuo’s sources, the iPad 2 will come with an ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor running at 1.2 GHZ. “Increasing 1~2% single core processor clock results in a 3~5% power increase,” the report notes, “and dual core could get a better balance between computing power and power consumption. That’s the reason why Apple will use dual core for iPad 2.”

Also hibernating under the hood is Imagination’s SGX543 dual core GPU which is 200-300% more powerful than the iPhone 4. And then there’s the RAM.

“For making full use of GPU upgrading advantage, iPad 2 needs bigger memory bandwidth. So iPad 2 has 512MB RAM, same as iPhone 4 and twice as much as iPad 1, but running at higher clock 1,066 MHz for getting bigger memory bandwidth (iPhone 4 memory clock is 800 MHz).”

If you recall, when the original iPad first hit store shelves, tech pundits and consumers alike were floored at how fast the device ran and hwo it was able to chug away for 10+ hours on a single charge. Assuming the aforementioned iPad upgrades come to pass, the iPad will further distance itself from a slew (read: over 100) of competing tablet devices scheduled for release in 2011.

Also of note is that the iPad 2 will be available in both GSM and CDMA models. This is in slight contrast to the upcoming iPhone 5 which is rumored to include a hybrid GSM/CDMA chipset from Qualcomm. Dual sided cameras are also expected, though the quality on the rear-facing camera will be the same as that on the iPod Touch and therefore a notch below the camera quality on the iPhone 4.

Lastly, Kuo writes that Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the iPad and that the firm expects to ship anywhere between 4 and 5 million units during the upcoming quarter.



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