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  (Source: MacRumors.com)
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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By psonice on 1/18/2011 5:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
If you read the article carefully (it's not very clear on this), the new GPU core has 2x the performance of the old one. But it's a multi-core capable chip that scales fairly linearly, and apple are rumoured to be including 2 GPU cores. This would make it 4x faster, for 4x the pixel count, so existing apps will run at the same speed at the new resolution.

Kind of makes it easy for devs - not much work needed to use the new display, so long as your graphics can scale you can just tell it to run at full res and forget about it.


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