“What’s different with the $399 iPad 2 is that Apple used it as a vehicle to introduce a new hardware platform, or more specifically, a new SoC. The 32nm HK+MG Apple A5 SoC,” Anand Lal Shimpi reports for AnandTech. “There’s no known way to tell whether you’re getting an iPad 2,4 vs. the older iPad 2,1 without opening the box… This particular iPad 2,4 sample came from Best Buy, and several attempts to find one elsewhere came up short. All indications seem to point to the iPad 2,4 being relatively rare, which makes sense considering what’s inside it.”
“Although the iPad 2,1 and its 3G brethren all used a 45nm Apple A5 SoC, the iPad 2,4 uses a die-shrunk 32nm version. The performance remains the same, but the die is much smaller. This isn’t however just a normal die shrink, as Apple is using Samsung’s 32nm high-k + metal gate LP transistors for this new A5 die,” Lal Shimpi reports. “The combination of these two innovations results in less wasted current and more efficient current delivery, which in turn can give us a more power efficient chip. It’s a net win.”
Lal Shimpi reports, “Apple gets two benefits from the iPad 2,4: lower manufacturing costs, and experience with Samsung’s 32nm HK+MG process which it will later use in much greater volumes. What about customers who end up with an iPad 2,4? Better battery life and cooler operation, of course.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.