Second Generation iPad in January. Smaller and Faster? [Rumor]

It is fairly obvious, if you stop and think for a moment, that Apple will have an update to the Apple A4 ready for future iPad and iPhone 4. One of the main reasons they need to do this is that as they increase screen size on these devices with Retina Display, they need more powerful GPUs to fill those beautiful screens with pixels. The current GPU in the iPad and iPhone 4 are just about at full stretch running their graphics. And although the CPUs in Apple’s iDevices keep getting faster, the GPU they employ has stood still since the iPhone 3G.

DigiTimes are reporting today that Apple have an ARM Cortex-A9 based SoC for the next iPad. It gets a bit confusing with all the chips having ‘A’ designations. But the Apple A4 has an ARM A8 in it. So the ARM A9 is the next logical progression for Apple’s A5 SoC. SoC simply refers to the fact that the chip is a “System on a Chip”, and includes a GPU as well as other electronics to glue the CPU, I/O and GPU together. The GPU I suspect Apple will squeeze into the Apple A5 is a lot closer to what we have in our desktop machines today. It may even support full desktop OpenGL 3.x, not just OpenGL ES.

Another thing that Apple absolutely must do with the iPad is bring its RAM into parity with the iPhone 4, at 512MB. DigiTimes also confirm this for the next version of the iPad. Although I suspect we may just see a revision to the current iPad and a simple bump to 512MB RAM before we see any totally new devices with new silicon.

The really interesting news from DigiTimes, if true, is that Apple are not only going to revamp the existing iPad, but launch a 7 inch iPad with the same resolution as its 9.7 inch older brother.

Would you buy a 7″ iPad. Or is that too close to an iPhone in dimensions to interest you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

12 Comments on “Second Generation iPad in January. Smaller and Faster? [Rumor]”

  1. tButler87

    Apple definately doesn’t need to reduce its size. The reason why the iPad has alot of its fame is because of its 9.7″ screen display. Making it any smaller would defeat its orginal purpose of being an i”PAD”. I’m holding out on buying the first gen iPad is because it doesn’t have a camera and cause it doesn’t do flash player. But the reason Apple doesn’t enable flash player is to prevent bugs on the iPad. If Apple doesn’t add a camera and reduces the size I will be majorly disappointed.

  2. Major167

    I’m waiting for 2nd gen!! I think for the money it should have a camera as well, with video chat capabilities. . . . .

  3. Marie_lynell

    I wouldn’t buy a second-generation iPad IF they downsize the screen to 7″–if it stays the same size and they can manage a camera into it, I’ll definitely be in line for the iPad 2G

  4. guest #2

    Why would they make the ipad smaller?? A lot of people like the ipad because it is bigger than an iphone or ipod touch.

  5. Anonymous

    Exactly my thoughts. It will further cannibalise iPod sales. I am not sure Apple are ready to do that, especially when you consider that the iPad is already doing that to some degree.

  6. Anonymous

    “And although the CPUs in Appleā€™s iDevices keep getting faster, the GPU they employ has stood still since the iPhone 3G.”

    My use of the word ‘since’ was ambiguous. I should have perhaps said after. The point I was making is that in the 3GS, iPad and iPhone 4, as well as the latest gen iPods, the GPU has remained the same.

    And yet screen real estate has doubled. So the amount of pixels being pushed has also doubled. This has in effect brought the performance on ‘fill rate’ of the iPad and iPhone 4 down to the same as that on the 3G.

  7. blackberry developers

    I think that 7 inch iPad might be a very useful device, especially with all the new features that have been announced. But I don’t think many people will buy it, cause it may seem just something middle between bigger iPad and iPhone.

  8. guest

    the gpu actually was upgraded significantly with the iphone 3GS.

    iPhone 3G was a OpenGL ES 1.1 gpu (MBXLite), the iPhone 3GS has an OGL ES 2.0 one (SGX 535)

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