Apple’s New A6 Processor Could Have Been Designed Manually By Hand

Apple A6 ProcessorMore details on Apple’s A6 processor have come to light and it was revealed recently that the chip is dual-core with triple-core GPU. More detailed examinations performed by iFixit and Chipworks revealed an interesting fact that the processor could be designed manually by hand. Modern processors are highly complicated and manual design works could prove to be time-consuming. Chipworks removed the casing material of an A6 processor with ion beam etching and used some high-powered microscopes to take a closer look. It appears, A6’s layout isn’t typical of ARM-based processors in the market.

This suggests a manual approach, which is becoming rarer in today’s industry. When performed properly, manual layout could deliver better processing speeds, but it’s more time-consuming and inefficient. This could explain why it took Apple more than four years after the purchase of PA firm to release its own custom-designed chip. The A6 has a larger die area than the older A5 and it seems to be built using the same 32nm high-K process.