“Over the last week, more and more details of Apple’s custom A6 processor design have come to light, including a custom armv7s-compatible core design and its triple-core GPU,” Chris Foresman reports for Ars Technica.

“Detailed analysis by Chipworks and iFixit have revealed that Apple’s custom ARM core design appears to have been laid out by hand instead of by computer algorithms—a time-consuming process that can result in optimized high-frequency operation,” Foresman reports. “‘It looks like the ARM core blocks were laid out manually — as in, by hand,” iFixit’s Miroslav Djuric said via e-mail. ‘A manual layout will usually result in faster processing speeds, but it is much more expensive and time-consuming.'”

Foresman reports, “That time-consuming manual layout process would also certainly help explain why it took Apple over four years from its acquisition of fab-less design firm PA Semi to release its own custom silicon for its mobile devices. Based on our experience with the iPhone 5, the hard work is paying off in spades.”

Apple A6 processor

Apple A6 processor

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple A6 die reveals 3-core GPU – September 21, 2012
iPhone 5′s A6 SoC SunSpider performance fastest ever recorded on a smartphone – September 19, 2012
Apple’s custom A6 processor the result of years of effort, including a $500 million chip development program – September 18, 2012
A6 is Apple’s first with custom-designed CPU cores; iPhone 5 memory size and speed revealed – September 16, 2012