Side view of A5 package (UBM TechInsights)
A pair of chip teardown firms this weekend stripped down the new A5 system-on-a-chip used in the Apple’s iPad 2, finding that the package is indeed being manufactured by Samsung. Several rumors in recent weeks have claimed that Apple is shifting production from Samsung to TSMC, and while that may still be the case for future production, Samsung is clearly responsible for early production runs.
Comparison of A4 and A5 packages (UBM TechInsights)
UBM Techinsights performed a complete teardown of the iPad 2, with a special focus on decapsulating the A5 package.
UBM TechInsights also discovered that the A5 packages from two iPad 2 units used DRAM from two different sources, Samsung and Elpida, indicating that Apple has tapped multiple suppliers even for portions of the complex A5 package in order to meet demand.
Scanning electron microscope cross-section of A5 (Chipworks)
Chipworks has also performed a decap of the A5, similarly revealing that the package is being manufactured by Samsung.
Also of interest, iOSnoops discovered that the while the A4 chip found in the original iPad clocked in at a consistent 1 GHz, each of the two cores in the new A5 seems to run at a variable speed between 861 MHz and 894 MHz depending on the app being run, suggesting that Apple has built in more advanced power management features for the A5.