Feeds

Raised res iPad 2 to sport four-core chip?

2048 x 1536 graphics, anyone?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

First out of the starting gate this Monday morning: iPad 2 speculation has gone into overdrive, with talk of a dual-core processor and a quadrupling of the 10.1in display's pixel count.

That would take the tablet's screen resolution to a whopping 2048 x 1536, higher than a full HD TV. The rumour started with a piece on Endgadet claiming the iPad 2 will sport a rather higher resolution than the current version does.

The claimed resolution followed separately, by guesswork. Since Apple double the horizontal and vertical pixel counts when it introduced the iPhone 4's "retina display", from 320 x 480 to 640 x 960, it's not unreasonable to assume it'll do the same with the iPad at some point.

That would be easier on developers, not least because Apple put in place a mechanism to deal with it. iOS coders can add two sets of graphics to their apps: one set plainly named for the 'old' resolution and a second, double-size set with "@x2" suffixed to the filename plus an statement of hardware type, for example: 'screen_background@x2ipad.png' or 'screen_background@x2iphone.png'. iOS then automatically displays the correct image.

A greater number of pixels requires extra memory and a beefier graphics chip, so it follows that if its screen resolution is doubled, the iPad 2 will need plenty more Ram - 1GB at least, possibly 2GB - and a more powerful GPU. AppleInsider reckons it'll be Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX543MP2, based on word from a "source familiar with Apple's graphics strategy".

The SGX543MP2 has two cores that, if necessary, can work as one. The second powers down when it's not needed, to conserve battery life.

That, if integrated into the ARM Cortex A8-based chip Apple calls A4, would be enough to justify a nomenclature upgrade to A5, but the Engadget report says the new part will be based on ARM's Cortex A9 design. It can comprise two CPU cores, and we can well see Apple touting the system-on-a-chip as a quad-core design. Eat that, Tegra 2, etc, etc.

Indeed, all the claimed features would allow Apple to maintain some clear blue water between the iPad's feature list and those of the incoming new breed of tablets running Android 3.0.

Moles also suggest Apple is migrating to a Qualcomm chipset for future iPhone and - presumably - iPad wireless connectivity, the better to support both GSM/Edge/HSPA 3G and CDMA/EvDO standards more cheaply. Having entirely separate hardware for these network technologies - the latter is required by Verizon - isn't cost effective.

Reports continue to claim the iPad 2 will have front- and rear-facing cameras, but it's once again being suggested that the new model will indeed incorporate an SD card slot.

The finished product can't be far off. Mac Rumors reports that not only has an iPad 2 screen appeared on a Chinese parts supply website, but US retail giant Best Buy briefly has three new Wi-Fi iPad entries listed in its database. All of these have since been removed. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.