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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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RE: "The new core also supports OpenCL"
By Shadowself on 1/17/2011 7:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
QuickSync has virtually nothing to do with OpenCL.

CUDA ties quite nicely into OpenCL.

What was your point?

RE: "The new core also supports OpenCL"
By Pirks on 1/18/2011 11:13:12 AM , Rating: 2
My point was that OpenCL is useless in real life, it's nothing but Jobs's RDF and marketing. Even HPC people use CUDA on Teslas mostly. So why bother with such stupidity as OpenCL on a toy tablet??

RE: "The new core also supports OpenCL"
By Alexstarfire on 1/18/2011 12:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
Repeating what you already said doesn't change its meaning.

I'm failing to see how anything cross-platform can be useless when compared to something that is not cross-platform. Doesn't necessarily mean one is always superior to another though.

RE: "The new core also supports OpenCL"
By Pirks on 1/18/2011 12:46:07 PM , Rating: 3
I'm failing to see how anything cross-platform can be useless when compared to something that is not cross-platform
Ask this very interesting question to HPC folks who chose CUDA over OpenCL :P Or maybe think about why most games are done in non-crossplatform DX while cross-platform OpenGL is all but forgotten ;)))

RE: "The new core also supports OpenCL"
By StuckMojo on 1/19/2011 4:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
Uhuh, and VHS won over Betamax because it was technically superior.

Games are done in DX because 99% of gaming PCs run windows AND the xbox does as well. It doesn't mean it's a better solution.

By Pirks on 1/20/2011 9:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
HPC is done in CUDA because 99% of cheap commodity HPC clusters run Tesla. It doesn't mean it's a better solution, that is if you equate "cross platform" and "better", which sounds pretty funny btw :)

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