The upcoming version of Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad, dubbed the “iPad Air 2,” and the long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad, presumably called the “iPad Pro,” could be powered by an enhanced A8X processor that could boast improved graphics, according to a report on Thursday.
The new A8X processor, which could be an upgraded version of the A8 chip found inside the iPhone 6 series, is expected to be manufactured by Apple in association with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the same contract foundry that build the A8 SoC, Taiwan’s TechNews, reported.
Apple used to incorporate two separate mobile processors, one for iPhones and the other one -- with an “X” in its name -- for iPads. However, the company broke that tradition in 2013 when three of its devices, including the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display, sported the same A7 processor.
Given the fact that the A7 and A8 chips are powerful enough to support graphics on both iPhone and iPad displays, the introduction of a new A8X chip for the iPad Pro could suggest that the device may feature an ultra high-resolution screen, which would need a more powerful GPU to function hassle-free, iDownloadBlog reported.
A report from Apple Insider said it will not come as a surprise if the iPad Pro features a more powerful A8X chip as the A8 processor apparently does not go well with the scaling required on the 5.5-inch display of the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPad Air is also likely to have 2GB of RAM, larger speaker grilles, a thinner body and a smaller camera lens “that will be fitted in a slightly different location,” according to GforGames, which first spotted the TechNews report.
When it comes to the release of the new iPads, Taiwan’s Commercial Times reported earlier this week that Apple could launch the iPad Air 2 sometime in October, while the launch of the second-generation Retina iPad mini could be delayed until early 2015.
The report also said that the iPad Pro is expected to go into production in the second quarter of 2015 and could be launched soon after that.