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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