Vronko disagreed. Although ARM's A9 architecture supports multi-core, there's no rule that says it cannot be used to design a single-core chip. "There are no off-the-shelf ARM chips, there are only blueprints," he noted, referring to the design specifications that companies, like Apple, license from ARM.
"The speed increases [in the benchmarks] aren't possible with just the clock speed increase of the A4," he added, using the 67% boost provided by the iPad's 1GHz A4 to argue that the SoC integrates an ARM Cortex-A9, not an A8.
According to ARM's Web site , the Cortex-A9 is available in either single- or multi-core processor configurations.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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