Apple's iPad twice as fast as iPhone 3GS, tests show

Results consistent with single-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, adds expert

By , Computerworld |  Hardware, ipad, iPhone 3GS

Apple's iPad is about twice as fast as the current iPhone, according to recently-published benchmark tests.

The results fit the assumption that the iPad is powered by a single-core ARM processor, an Apple product repair expert said today.

On average, the iPad executes native applications about twice as fast as does the iPhone 3GS, said Craig Hockenberry, who works for Iconfactory, best known as the developer of Twitterific, a Twitter client. Iconfactory released an iPad version of Twitterific last week.

After comparing the performance of iPad and iPhone native applications, as well as the two devices' JavaScript execution speeds, Hockenberry posted results on his personal blog last Saturday.

Hockenberry measured the speed that the iPad and iPhone 3GS each ran an application written with Apple's Cocoa Touch API (application programming interface) using the company's SDK (software developers toolkit). The two devices rely on different versions of Apple's iPhone operating system, however; iPad runs iPhone 3.2, while the iPhone 3GS uses 3.0.

The iPad's JavaScript performance increases were less impressive, said Hockenberry. "The same 2x improvement is not seen for the same benchmarks when executing JavaScript code in Web pages," he said. "Things have definitely improved [in the iPad], but there was a wide variation in results when performing the tests. I suspect that just-in-time compilation or other similar types of caching are affecting the results."

Just-in-time compilation, or JIT, is a technique that improves runtime performance by compiling JavaScript it into native code just before executing, rather than letting the JavaScript run through an interpreter. Apple added a new JIT compiler to Safari's JavaScript engine with version 4.0 of the browser, which launched last summer.

Hockenberry's results for the iPad are consistent with the performance boost one would expect from a single-core ARM processor running at 1GHz, said Aaron Vronko, the CEO of Michigan-based Rapid Repair. Vronko, whose company repairs and supplies parts for Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad, disassembled an iPad last weekend to get a better idea of what was inside.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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