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iPad Air 2 may feature enhanced A8X processor

A leaked component suggests that Apple’s next full-sized tablet will run on an enhanced version of the A8 chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

One of our stated wishes for the iPad Air 2 was that it would see Apple returning to using a souped up version of its current iPhone processor for the subsequent iPad refresh.

It seems as if we’ll be getting our wish, according to a leaked iPad Air 2 logic board reported over on the blog.

Both the iPad 3 and the iPad 4 ran on ‘X’ versions of the A5 and A6 chips found in the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 respectively. This accompanied the introduction of Retina display resolutions to the iPad range, which meant that the tablets were pushing around  far more pixels than their iPhone equivalents, thus necessitating more processing power.

However, last year’s iPad Air – while a major advance in most ways – ditched the X trend and went with the exact same A7 chips as powered the iPhone 5S.

This supposedly leaked logic board points to a return to previous ways, with a visibly enhanced version of the A8 chip. It could represent improved memory and GPU performance, as in previous X iterations, as well as a boosted clock speed.

It’s been suggested previously that Apple will fit the iPad Air 2 with 2GB of RAM, which is double that of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

These internal spec boosts might reflect reports that iOS 8.1 will add new iPad-specific features. A split-screen multitasking mode has been spotted in previous beta versions of iOS 8, and such a mode would place additional demands on Apple’s hardware.

We’ll find out for sure on Thursday, when Apple has an event planned to launch its new iPad(s).

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