AnandTech reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: In a completely different league

“When I reviewed the iPhone 5s I didn’t have much time to go in and do the sort of in-depth investigation into Cyclone (Apple’s 64-bit custom ARMv8 core) as I did with Swift (Apple’s custom ARMv7 core from A6) the year before. I had heard rumors that Cyclone was substantially wider than its predecessor but I didn’t really have any proof other than hearsay so I left it out of the article,” Anand Lal Shimpi reports for AnandTech. “Instead I surmised in the 5s review that the A7 was likely an evolved Swift core rather than a brand new design, after all – what sense would it make to design a new CPU core and then do it all over again for the next one? It turns out I was quite wrong.”

“With Cyclone, Apple is in a completely different league. As far as I can tell, peak issue width of Cyclone is 6 instructions. That’s at least 2x the width of Swift and Krait, and at best more than 3x the width depending on instruction mix. Limitations on co-issuing FP and integer math have also been lifted as you can run up to four integer adds and two FP adds in parallel. You can also perform up to two loads or stores per clock,” Lal Shimpi reports. “I don’t yet have a good understanding of the number of execution ports and how they’re mapped, but Cyclone appears to be the widest ARM architecture we’ve ever seen at this point. I’m talking wider than Qualcomm’s Krait 400 and even ARM’s Cortex A15… I’m still vetting other SoCs, but so far I haven’t come across anyone in the ARM camp that can compete with what Apple has built here.”

“The iPad Air is the most significant upgrade to the 9.7-inch iPad in its history. It’s lighter, more portable, more usable and faster than any previous iPad,” Lal Shimpi reports. “It doesn’t fundamentally change what you can do with a tablet, but if you’re in the market for one, the iPad Air really is the best iPad to date.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Best of breed, superior to each and every rival – October 30, 2013
Mossberg reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: ‘The best tablet I’ve ever reviewed’ – October 29, 2013
Fox News reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Best in class – October 29, 2013
The Independent reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air: Super-light and most powerful – October 29, 2013

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