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CPU core and its cache are also spotted, possible interfaces, PLL block as well

Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) A8 is now pictured up close and personal, thanks to ChipWorks.  So how has the chip that powers the iPhone 6/6+ evolved since the A7 (found in the iPhone 5S)?

Here's the A7 found in the iPhone 5S by ChipWorks last year [source]:

Apple A7 die
Last year's Apple A7 is seen here in all its glory. [Image Source: ChipWorks]

And here's analysis from ChipWorks [source]:

Apple A7 analysis
Here's the breakdown ChipWorks did of the Apple A7 die. [Image Source: ChipWorks]

Here's this year's A8:

A8 stripped
The Apple A8 core, stripped [Image Source: Chipworks]

Here it is again, with slightly tweaked color/hue/brightness profile for better feature visibility:

Chipworks die
The Apple A8 core, stripped and recolored [Image Source: Chipworks]

Here's our rough analysis of the features:

A8 CPU -- analyzed
The Apple A8 from a component standpoint
[Image Source: Chipworks ; Text/Analysis: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

One key improvement is the new 6-cluster PowerVR GPU from Imagination Technologies Group Plc (LON:IMG).  Apple's formula for increasing GPU power by 50 percent was simple -- added an additional 2 clusters to the existing 4.  
 
The die shot all but confirms that Apple has moved to the PowerVR "Rogue" Series6XT GX6650, the best available GPU from the UK intellectual property core designer.  This on-die GPU has 384 shader cores capable of simultaneous FP32 ops.  Shared logic is at the center of the core.  This GPU has as many threads as many laptop GPUs, albeit likely lower clocked. 
 
The cache on the CPU side looks relatively different, but that could just be our eyes playing tricks on us.  Either way, it's hard to discern from these die shots how the second-generation Cyclone core is squeezing out more performance.




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates






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