Apple is aiming for 6 cores in A10 processor


If you think the A9 processor is fast, wait 'til you see the A10.
If you think the A9 processor is fast, wait 'til you see the A10.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 6s is the fastest smartphone on the planet, but according to a new rumor, Apple is planning to make a huge leap with its A10 processor in the iPhone 7 that will turn the device into an unbelievable speed machine.

It seems a bit early to start talking about the iPhone 7’s processor when the 6s hasn’t even gone on sale yet, however, the Apple rumor mill has spit out a rumor claiming Apple’s A10 processor will boast 6 cores.

The next generation A10 architecture will focus on development of multi-threading, reports one source close to Apple’s supply chain in China. The new chips will be manufactured at a 10nm or 14nm process, with Samsung and TSMC competing for the huge order Apple will place for the chips next year. Intel might also make a bid to manufacture the chips, which would be a first if they actually get the contract.

Fans should still take the A10 6-core rumor with a grain of salt though according to Apple expert Ben Bajarin, who tweeted that it’s more likely that Apple would invest in GPU improvements, rather than tossing in 6 cores, which are needless.

The source of the rumor posted his tip on the Chinese site Weibo today, and has given numerous correct leaks on next-gen chipsets in the past. GforGames points out that most of what their A9 scoops turned out to be true. A lot can change between now and the iPhone 7 unveiling in Fall 2016 though.

  • Meanwhile SWINESUNG is busy stealing more information from TSMC so they can try to advance on the Apple Design chips. SWINESUNG is expected to come up with a 16 Core phone to keep up with Apples next generation chip.

    • Erik

      why don’t you just call them “cancersung”? :D

      • AidSung, ShartSung.ScamSung,CorruptSung. ect

      • Zdenka Micka


    • Jaga

      Now Snarf.. You know Swinesung would skip the 16 core chip and go straight to 32 core chips. What’s wrong with you?

  • Skanoza

    Just watch. SamDung has now got wind of this and will hastily release a similar chip in their next model, coming Thursday, and after Apple releases the iPhone 7 around next year all neatly designed and tested to be superior, the fandroid monkeys will claim, “Oh, Apple is always playing catch up! Look, Apple is copying SamDung. Android handsets had this years ago ..”


    • CelestialTerrestrial

      It’s all about the types of cores they are using. In Samsung’s case, they had two different cores, 4 for the low level processing to save battery life, and 4 for the high end processing for games/video and those ate of battery life and they were STILL older core designs that aren’t as efficient in terms of per core processing.

      I read that Qualcomm and Samsung are working on a new processor that’s moving away from the Krait cores, because they suck. Little is known, but Apple needs to always stay ahead.

  • trihouse

    Seems like A10 is meant for OS X

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      How? Because they both have 10 in the name?

      • trihouse

        Well there is that coincidence but a 6 core CPU is built for multi-tasking and multiple threads. Perfect for something like OS X

  • RL

    I’m unsure what six cores will do to give the A10 a leap in performance. The additional cores may come in handy for running several apps simultaneously, but I don’t see a lot of gains for individual apps. Most apps don’t take much advantage of multiple cores.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      Maybe they want to have developers to be able to develop apps take advantage of multiple cores. Maybe there’s some other future technology that we don’t know about that will.

    • Prabhu Seshadri

      Since Apple started focusing on Apple TV too, these cores can come in handy as well. For example, Imagine if you can stream more advanced games from your iPhone to Television via Apple TV and still use the iPhone for other purpose.

      • tjwolf

        Whether the game is advanced or not, isn’t the streaming still just a function of the frames per second that need to be transmitted? Besides, the number of cores doesn’t limit the amount of parallel activity that can take place – each core can handle multiple threads.

        I think this rumor is total nonsense – at least for an iPhone. Apple doesn’t TRIPPLE the core count just because it wants to win some benchmarks or because it can. I just don’t see a use case with mass market appeal that requires 6 cores in a smartphone. Maybe they’ll use a 6 core variant of the A10 for the next iPad Pro. Then it will truly begin to reach desktop leve performance.

    • Astroboy888

      If there is a 6 core A10, it won’t be for the iPhone. Mobile apps don’t really need for multi-threading. Most likely it will be intended for iPad Pro or the Macbooks.

  • cire1776

    My guess is that this is not for the iPhone or AppleTV, it is for the iPad. The extra cores will begin to differentiate the iPad and especially the iPad Pro from the iPhone, helping it to compete against the Surface Pro and laptops. There will be versions of the A10 with fewer cores for the iPhone and maybe AppleTV.

    My point is that we will begin to see iPhones slow in their performance increases, and iPads will accelerate. Then if AppleTV truly has stopped being a hobby, it may need to increase somewhere in-between the two to be a competitive console-like device with a faster upgrade cycle than existing consoles.

    I predict that Apple Watch will not compete in the performance race at all. Like the current AppleTV, cpu performance will remain tertiary.

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Either have quad-core or octa-core, this six-core thing sounds like Samsung, like 3GB RAM

  • Astroboy888

    I doubt 6 core is going to happen with the A10 intended for the iPhone. If anything 4 cores makes more sense. If Apple does create a 4 core A10, it will go into the iPad Pro rather than the iPhone. (A9X, like A8X should be 3 cores). For mobile phone, might just stick with 2 core, but significantly beef up the GPU.

    Take it with a grain of salt. If (that is a big IF), Apple does create a 6 core A10, it will most likely be intended for the Macbook laptop.

    The first A9 benchmark recently came out showing the A9 outperforming the Intel Core M in the Macbooks. If true this is very significant.

    • Exploited

      If A10 even delivers half the generational performance boost of what the A9 delivered over the A8 there will be long sleepless nights over at Intel for their execs, if not already.

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  • take the good person test

    It seems like Apple iPhones always have very good single performance and more than acceptable multi core performance. If Samsung ever gets twice as fast running Android as Apple run iOS it would not matter to me. Samsung seems to think it’s an arms race.