Leaks are in from someone allegedly in possession of an iPad 3. Fueling debate across sites, the key spec in question is the processor: will the iPad3 arrive with an A6 quad-core or an A5 dual-core processor.
BGR reported the latest reveal on the subject suggesting that the iPad 3 would almost certainly arrive with four cores firing. Why? Apparently someone in possession of the yet to be announced tablet let slip some code (below) indicating that not only would there be an LTE variant as predicted, the tab would feature a processor with a model number of S5L8945X. Using logical sequencing, the succession of cores from the A4 to A5 bumped the last two numbers up from 30 to 40. Now at 45, BGR infer there is a new processor on board and therefore it makes sense that it's the A6 everyone has been waiting for.
Not according to PhoneArena. Sourcing BGR, with some help from a wily reader, they explicitly suggest that this information points towards little more than a souped up dual-core processor in their next iPad. With a strapline indicating we'll likely see a two cored iPad 2S rather than a quad-core iPad 3, they treat the smaller number increase to be at the heart of their reasoning. If it was a 50x, then they might be convinced, but at 45x, it's likely a dual core "A5.5" chip.
What do we think? Given Apple's mastery of focus, each upgrade tends to tout one major spec soar, with incremental upgrades else where. We're already pretty sure that the screen on the next iPad will have a higher 'retina display' resolution. In turn, we doubt they'll use it to showcase their much anticipated A6 Processor, instead leaving that for either the iPhone 5 or the following iPad.
Perhaps the 45x processor leaked contains an additional companion core to complement its two primary cores, similar to that found in Tegra 3 processors. This low-powered core would kick in for non-demanding tasks, thus saving battery and ensuring optimal performance across the primary cores. With an April release on the cards for the the iPad 2S / iPad 3 we shouldn't have too long to wait.
Given iOS' efficiency as an operating system and how well the dual-cores manage day to day tasks, we'd still consider the next iPad if it didn't have four cores, as long as it actually did get the resolution bump we're longing for. Would you? Answers and opinions in the comments section below.