Apple’s new A5X dual-core processor might not be the quad-core processor which was rumored, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. Promising better graphics performance through its quad-core GPU, the real benefit is derived from the power efficiency of its system-on-chip design. A system-on-chip processor such as the A5X essentially integrates key parts such as the CPU and GPU into a single component. Compared to a device with multiple components drawing power from the batter, the system-on-chip design lessens the load on the iPad’s battery, while making for less complex design overall, as well as saving space. The less space wasted on unnecessary hardware, the more space can be allocated towards a larger battery, or even to trim the gadget down to a much smaller and thinner package.
Moreover, Apple chose to license the ARM architecture and build its own A5X chip, in a bid to optimize the processor for its iOS operating system. The in-house design not only improves power consumption, but also optimized how the processor handles instructions from iOS.