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iPhone 3G S
Anand Shimpi gets the scoop on the iPhone 3G S' upgraded processor and GPU

On Monday, Apple unveiled its next generation iPhone to the world. The iPhone 3G S placed a big emphasis on speed which is witnessed by the "S" moniker.

According to Apple presentation on the iPhone 3G S, overall system performance has been greatly improved. In fact, Apple's on projections note that launching the Email.app is 2.1x faster, loading SimCity is 2.4x faster, view an Excel attachment completes 3.6x faster, and loading the NY Times website is 2.9x faster.

Despite these claims, Apple didn't give out any details on the hardware changes made underneath to make these performance gains possible. AnandTech, however, has managed to pull all of its moles together to get the lowdown on the iPhone 3G S' innards.

According to Anand Shimpi, the iPhone 3G S uses a 32-bit ARM Cortex A8 RISC processor -- the same used in Palm's headline-grabbing Pre. Unlike the 412 MHz ARM11 processor used in the original iPhone and iPhone 3G which is a single-issue in-order design, the Cortex A8 is a two-issue order design with a longer, 13 stage pipeline. The Cortex A8 also has a beefed up SIMD engine called NEON and more robust FPU performance.

Shimpi speculates that the Cortex A8 used in the iPhone 3G S is running at around 600 MHz.

In addition to the new processor, the iPhone 3G S is also sporting a greatly improved graphics unit in the form of the PowerVR SGX, specifically, the PowerVR SGX 520. According to Shimpi, "In its lowest end configuration with only one USSE pipe running at 200MHz, the SGX can push through 7M triangles per second and render 250M pixels per second." He continues, "That’s 7x the geometry throughput of the iPhone 3G and 2.5x the fill rate."

As we get closer to the launch of the iPhone 3G S, and surely once the device is actually launched, we'll get further details on all of the upgraded components within the device.

While most of the emphasis has been on the speed improvements, the iPhone 3G S does have some other new features to bring to the table including Voice Control, a digital compass, 7.2Mbps cellular data transfer speeds, a new 3.0MP camera with video recording capabilities, a new 32GB range topping model, and improved battery life.

Updated 6/10/2009
T-Mobile Netherlands has confirmed that the processor used on the iPhone 3G S is indeed 600 MHz and that system RAM has been doubled to 256MB.





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