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New custom A4 will double graphics processing at the same clock speed

While there has been some speculation about Apple's "Retina" display for the iPad 2, there have been few details regarding the tablet's resolution -- until now

MacRumors suggests that simply doubling the iPad's current resolution (1024x768) to 2048x1536 at a 260 DPI would result in a display that, while not exactly "Retina", would be easier for developers to adapt to. Apple doubled its resolution on the iPhone when it introduced the iPhone 4 for this very reason, with older apps running pixel-doubled.

This approach is looking more likely, considering version 1.1 of Apple's iBooks app accidentally included artwork for a pixel-doubled iPad. The bookmark icon included art for the iPad, iPhone, iPhonex2, and iPadx2. The x2 versions are exactly double the resolution of the original versions. The graphics have been removed in subsequent versions of the app.

While this isn't, by any means, confirmation that the iPad 2 will be double the resolution of its predecessor, it certainly is evidence that it may be likely. 

But a doubling of resolution also requires some additional graphics processing power. AppleInsider reports that this will come in the form of the a new custom A4 chip, jumping from from the SGX535 to the new SGX543 graphics and video core, reportedly doubling the processing power at the same clock speed. The new core also supports OpenCL. 

The new A4 also includes acceleration for video encoding and decoding, meaning improved video-conferencing via the FaceTime app. It could also mean HDMI support -- already on Apple TV -- for the iPad and iPhone.

An AI source, described as "familiar with Apple's graphics strategy," said the company would most likely be going to multiple cores, as well. According to the source, "The most likely configuration of Apple's next custom chip is reportedly the SGX543MP2, which pairs two SGX543 cores to work as one, offering around four times the capability of the previous A4 in graphics and video tasks."

As for general purpose processing, Apple will likely employ multi-core ARM Cortex-A9.

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My math is a bit rusty...
By Mudhen6 on 1/17/2011 10:59:52 AM , Rating: 5
...but isn't the increase from 1024x768 to 2048x1536 a quadrupling of the resolution? On account of there being four times the pixels.

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By BernardP on 1/17/2011 11:43:46 AM , Rating: 3

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By psonice on 1/17/2011 11:46:59 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. The resolution is doubled, but the pixel count quadruples. Resolution is normally measured in 1 dimension, so x or y (or both together).

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By mcnabney on 1/17/2011 3:44:39 PM , Rating: 3
So if going from 1024x768 to 2046x1536 is doubling what would moving to 1024x1536 be? Twice the number of lines and pixels.

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By SPOOFE on 1/17/2011 6:37:04 PM , Rating: 1
what would moving to 1024x1536 be?

Not double the resolution, I can tell you that.

Twice the number of lines and pixels.

Sure, but "resolution" describes an area; the number of pixels on two axes. To "double" the resolution is to double the number of pixels along both axes. Otherwise, you're doubling something other than resolution. Pixel count and line count are not the same as resolution.

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By omnicronx on 1/20/2011 10:32:57 AM , Rating: 2
In that case you are doubling the amount of horizontal pixels only (i.e only adding pixels to one axis).

That would result in a change in aspect ratio..

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By Phoque on 1/18/2011 5:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
And where have you gotten that non sense from? Screen resolution is referred to as the number of pixels displayed on the screen.

If you double the resolution both horizontally and vertically, the resulting resolution is quadrupled.

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By SPOOFE on 1/17/2011 2:37:09 PM , Rating: 4
Think of it this way: Start with a single pixel. That's 1x1. Then add another pixel; did you double the resolution? No, you've just made it 1x2 (or 2x1). Doubling the resolution would give you 2x2 ( (1x1)x2 ), which is four pixels.

Resolution is inherently tied to its ratio. Doubling a single axis changes the aspect ratio, and thus you have a different resolution. A doubling of resolution requires four times as many pixels.

RE: My math is a bit rusty...
By omnicronx on 1/20/2011 10:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
Bingo. The resolution is doubled, and as a result the pixel count is quadrupled ;)

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