Teardown of iPad 2 WiFi shows recently-minted Apple A5 SoC, 512 MB RAM

“We got our hands on Apple’s newest tablet, the iPad 2 [WiFi] on March 11, 2011,” iFixit reports.

Tech Specs:
• Apple 1GHz A5 dual-core processor with a 200MHz bus
• 512 MB of Samsung manufactured LPDDR2 RAM
• 16/32/64 GB internal storage capacity
• 9.7″ LED-backlit glossy Multi-Touch display with IPS technology (1024 x 768)
• HD (720p) Rear-facing camera + VGA Front-facing camera

iFixit reports, “iPad 2’s battery [is] a 3.8V, 25 Watt-hour unit. That’s just a hair more than the original iPad’s 24.8 Watt-hours, so any improved battery performance can be attributed to software and other hardware improvements… The A5 processor has manufacture dates of late January and mid-February 2011. Production was clearly ramping up through the last minute. It looks like the A5 processor is the APL0498, replacing the A4/APL0398 seen in the iPad 1 and iPhones.”

Much more, including all of the teardown photos, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Here’s a note that we haven’t had to do since the PowerPC days: You cannot compare chip speeds strictly on a numerical basic between differing chip architectures. For example, a 2GHz PowerPC G4 is faster than a 2GHz Pentium 4. Note also, that the amount of RAM required by operating systems differs greatly. For example, Mac OS X can operate on an amount of RAM that would cripple Windows 7ista even further than normal.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dev” for the heads up.]

24 Comments

    1. Apple does not hide the “amount of ram”, as it is easy enough for geek sites to figure it out, they just don’t publicize all the specs, because specs tend to obscure the true utility of the product. They’ve always done it that way.

      1. Not true. Apple lists ram on all their non-iOS products, even on their CPU chips. This is just Apple being Apple: huge greedy profit margins to sustain survivability. They are historically thrifty and also well-known doing this incremental kind of upgrade nonsense to promote upsell for next-gen models. You can argue they have to do this if you want based on the qualitative long product life.

        Me? It’s just greed.

        1. Apple’s chip and OS software does not need the RAM that Android and those netbook size chips need. Apple does not want to get into a RAM pissing contest with Android tablets and their inefficient software and power hogging chips. The iPad 2 does not need more RAM, Mr. Shit disturber.

        2. How could it be greedy just by not mentioning detail spec? Do you really think Apple (could) hide it? and at the end of the day the price is lower than the competitor! be real!

        3. Really?
          Greed??

          I find that laughable. When the first iPad came out, all technical analysts and the like figured it would be $700, $800, $900 or more to produce a tablet like that.

          Then Apple blew them away with the $499 price. Obviously they are squeezing the price as low as possible because the Xoom can’t touch it on price.

          Plus, where are all the other tablets with similar specs that are priced below the iPad??

  1. @Petey,

    Perhaps Apple thinks you don’t “nee” to know. In another words, what’s built into the iPad is perfect combination of performance/price ratio. Some people (not talking about you but in general) have the tendency to get emotional about these things for really no reason.

  2. I really don’t care what’s inside. All I want to know is that it works as intended. There’s such a strong fixation about the details, especially cars and computers. Either it’s fast or it’s not. That’s enough for me.

    Besides I’d rather focus on the ladies in the car commercials. Now that’s the kind of detail I can put my hands around. 😉

  3. All this is very cool, neat and geeky to the max… I bet the average iPad2 owner couldn’t care less. GB, Mhz, watts and such are all but meaningless if the software and UI aren’t top notch. If it starts in a flash, runs all the apps quick and smooth, stays powered up for a long time, has video chat, then that’s what matters to the normal iPad 2 user (non geek). It sounds like some of the techtalk the auto companies use to impress car buyers.. does it start, drive good, get reasonable gas mileage ? Then forget about the DOHC, SOHC, MFI, etc, etc… just give me the leather package.. Apple doesn’t stress tech specs and that is fine with me… I love my G4 iBook, MacBookPro, iPhone 3GS, iPod photo and iPod video, Airport express and wireless keyboard and I can barely tell you the specs of any of them… I’m not out to enrage the geeks who live and die for the specs and visit this site regularly.. just that all these numbers and abbreviations don’t figure in the minds of many iPad 2 owners, most of whom will never get near their iPad with a screwdriver or a heat gun.

  4. For comparison, my 2nd gen iPod touch shows a CPU frequency (single core) of 532 Mhz and 64 MB of RAM. So going to an iPad 2 (soon) will be a major upgrade.

    Just as a historic frame of reference, I once paid $600 for a TWO MB memory card for a PC with a ‘286 processor. That sum today would get me a 32 GB iPad w/Wi-Fi!

  5. @MDN note about processor speed comparisons: I make this note all the time when my windows using acquantences point out that they have better specs. I have constantly had to tell them, specifications are NOT the only variable, and that comparing specs is only significant when/if the software is the same. Without the same software, there is a HUGE difference in the performance of each machine. To those that continued to argue, I proved it to them (multiple times after they insisted it was a fluke the first time) and turned them into Mac Users 🙂

  6. definitely agree with the mdn take, except arm based chips are even faster then ppc, so that’s one righteous computer….
    *sigh* if only it ran xcode :/

  7. The only important criterion that most users judge a product by is, does it do what I want within the speed limits that I expect out of it. If the answer is yes, you get queues round the block like you get for the iPad 2.

    Tech specs are only relevant for geeks and Xoom users. What good is 1GB of RAM when the only software available for it runs like crap even with 2GB of RAM. Software optimization is an art that Apple has perfected and followers like Google & Microsoft are sucking wind.

    1. Most likely the speed would not be much affected in general. Instead, you would be able to have a lot more apps running at the same time. But major multitasking is not what the iPad is about anyway, so no big deal.

      Now, if Apple moved up to a Retina display for the iPad, THEN you’d want more RAM to handle the added pixel density.

  8. Having been working with Macs for 20 years, all I can say is what an incredibly elegant and tiny design. Those little circuit boards are doing things unheard of 20 years ago on motherboards and circuit elements that were over 10X their size.

    The tech future is beautiful. <3 <3 <3

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