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iOS 5.1 Beta Suggests That Apple May Be Testing Quad Core iPhone & iPad

Whenever there is a new Apple hardware that's announced or expected, it is quite typical to expect that the upcoming device will be receiving a speed upgrade. Much like the iPad 1 with its A4 1GHz processor which is followed by the iPad 2 with its dual-core A5 chip. There have been some buzzes that Apple will be utilizing quad-core processors for its next-generation devices but there is no substantial evidence yet. However, a new report suggests that Apple may be in the process of making quad-core devices.

Apple A6 Chip
The folks of 9to5Mac have found some evidence inside the iOS 5.1 beta pointing to the possibility that Apple may be working on quad-core iOS devices. The references to the quad core iPhone and iPad chips are located in a hidden panel of the iOS. According to 9to5Mac, the management software includes an option of “/cores/core.3,” which is supposed to represent a fourth processing core.

According to the experts, core references found in the iOS usually begins at "0". So based on this, a single core device will be labeled ”/cores/core.0,” and a dual core chip device will have the ”/cores/core.1.” Now with the iOS 5.1 Beta 2, one can see that it now includes references to a core 3, which could only point to device with quad core chip. Below is a screenshot of the comparison between the pre-iOS 5.1 beta iOS core management software and the iOS 5.1 beta version.
Quad Core Reference iOS 5 BEta
These references to the quad core chip within the iOS 5.1 beta is notable because it is the firmware version which is being tested against the iPad 3. Although the references are present, this is not an absolute indication that the next generation it won't be surprising if Apple decides to move on to quad core chips.

With quad core iPhones and iPads, Apple will be able to stay at the top of their game. With quad core processing the following will become more likely: very high resolution displays (which is long rumored for the iPad 3), extra horsepower for gaming and support for advanced software such as the rumored iOS port of Final Cut Pro. [via 9to5Mac]

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