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Revealed: iPhone 6S uses 1.8GHz dual-core A9 chip



Apple didn’t offer up much in the way of detail about the new A9 chip that features in the iPhone 6S at launch.

New information has emerged about the chip, coming courtesy of certification listings on China’s TENAA.

According to those listings, the A9 chip has a dual-core processor configuration. It also revealed that the A9 chip is clocked at 1.8GHz.

By comparison, last year’s A8 chip – featured in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – was also dual-core, although clocked at a slower 1.4GHz.

There was some speculation that Apple would utilise a tri-core configuration with the A9, just like last year’s A8X, the chip built for the iPad Air 2.

However, it appears Apple has retained a dual-core set-up, mainly because less processing heft is required for a smartphone compared to a tablet.

The Cupertino-based company claims the A9 chip offers 70% faster CPU performance and 90% more powerful GPU performance compared to the A8, so we wouldn’t worry too much.

Related: iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6: What's new?

Apple typically avoids detailing the exact specifications of its mobile chipset at product launches.

That’s likely because Apple chips have a comparatively low clock-rate and number of processor cores compared to Android rivals.

For instance, the upcoming Snapdragon 820 by Qualcomm has a maximum clock speed of 3.0GHz. Then there's MediaTek's new Helio X20 chip, which has 10 processor cores.

To the average consumer, that might make Apple's A9 look worse. However, software and hardware optimisations by Apple mean that the chips perform very well when compared to octa-core rivals used on Android devices.

Are you surprised by these new details about the Apple A9 chip? Let us know in the comments.

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September 18, 2015, 11:13 am

I'm amazed with Apple's bang per GHz ratio - 1.8 dual core is yester-decade's specs and yet with the tight hardware and software intergration they constantly out-perform the Android gang's multi-multi-core, mega-GHz offerings. It's a bit like the difference between European and US engines a few years ago, 5L V8 with <200 HP versus a 2.0L NA engine with >200hp! Battery life is still poor on both.

Dead Words

September 18, 2015, 11:16 am

Android isn't efficient enough. Especially with all the different manufacturer skins, it's just nearly impossible to optimize it sufficiently enough to run on lower hardware. iOS is impressive in its simplicity.
Windows Phone is somewhere in between the two. Far more efficient and optimized than Android, but not quite as good as iOS.


September 18, 2015, 5:10 pm

Set up is the key not chip power as well as software optimisation unlike droid, apple has a massive advantage in this area due to the nature of its os. That said it is interesting how less cost so much more!


September 19, 2015, 9:24 am

I wold say: it's very interesting how much less cost so much more! :)


September 19, 2015, 1:23 pm

Another lustful apple victory anyone?


Davorin Jurisic

July 22, 2016, 11:50 am

Imagine what performance would iphone have if it had snapdragon 820 in it!

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