iFixIt tears down Apple’s iPhone 5 A6 processor and has some interesting findings.
Journey to the center of the A6. The most prominent features inside are the Dual ARM cores, and the three PowerVR graphics cores.
When compared to the rigid, efficient layout of the GPU cores directly below it, the layout of the ARM cores looks a little homespun—at first.
Generally, logic blocks are automagically laid out with the use of advanced computer software. However, it looks like the ARM core blocks were laid out manually—as in, by hand.
A manual layout will usually result in faster processing speeds, but it is much more expensive and time consuming.
The manual layout of the ARM processors lends much credence to the rumor that Apple designed a custom processor of the same caliber as the all-new Cortex-A15, and it just might be the only manual layout in a chip to hit the market in several years.