Since CES, tons of speculation has flown through the internet as to what Apple will do to combat the girth of impressive Android tablets shown off at the annual electronics show. To be certain, Apple has quite a number on their hands as they go to war with against fresh, tablet optimized OS and very powerful hardware running on the wicked fast Tegra 2 platform. If speculation is to be believed however, Apple is meeting them dead on.
According to Engadget’s “exclusive” sources, the next generation iPad has a whole new ARM Cortex-A9 based chip called the A5. At 1Ghz and dual core, it is was more powerful than the A4, though hardly meriting the “custom silicon” nomenclature of the A4. Unless Apple has employed more of Intrinsity’s dynamic logic (the stuff used to accelerate the A4 to 1Ghz) in the A5, it will only match the competition. However, Apple also looks to be employing a new graphics core from PowerVR called the SGX543. Not only can this mobile GPU support multiple cores, but it has OpenCL support. That’s a big win for Apple if they implement it.
Apple’s gonna need all this extra horsepower though, as it looks like they’re getting ready to drop a Retina Display on the iPad. Originally considered almost impossible because of the required resolution needed for a 300+ ppi count in a 9.7 inch display, it looks like Apple is instead going for a “near-Retina Display” level by quadrupling the resolution from 1024×768 to 2048×1536, which is a pretty obscene resolution for a mobile device. That resolution should yield around 260 ppi, not Retina Display but still remarkably high. Some may call this overkill, but if Apple provides the next iPad with enough juice and RAM, this is another differentiator that will make the iPad stand out from the competition.