Apple A5X

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Apple A5X
General information
LaunchedMarch 16, 2012
DiscontinuedOctober 23, 2012
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Product codeS5L8945X[1]
Max. CPU clock rate1 GHz 
L1 cache32 KB instruction + 32 KB data[2]
L2 cache1 MB[2]
Architecture and classification
Technology node45 nm[3][4]
MicroarchitectureARM Cortex-A9
Instruction setARMv7
Physical specifications
  • 2
GPU(s)PowerVR SGX543MP4 (quad-core)[5]
Products, models, variants
Successor(s)Apple A6X

The Apple A5X is a 32-bit system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. and manufactured by Samsung. Apple used it only in the third-generation iPad. The A5X is a high-performance variant of the Apple A5. Apple claimed during their media event on March 7, 2012 that the quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics processing unit (GPU) in the A5X is two times faster than the GPU in the A5, as the A5X GPU contains two more cores than the dual-core version GPU in the A5.[6]

The last operating system update Apple provided for a mobile device containing an A5X (third-generation iPad cellular models) was iOS 9.3.6, which was released on July 22, 2019 as it was discontinued with the release of iOS 10 in 2016.


Apple designed the A5X chip specifically for the third-generation iPad to provide the additional graphical performance it required for its new Retina display. The A5X chip features a dual-core 45 nm ARM Cortex-A9 CPU[2] with a clock rate of 1 GHz,[7] and a quad-core 32 nm PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU[5] with a clock rate of 250 MHz. Compared to the A5, the memory interface of the A5X is twice the size. The A5X memory interface subsystem utilizes four 32 bits wide LPDDR2 memory controllers.[5]

Unlike the Apple A4 and the A5, the A5X uses a metal heat spreader (along with thermal paste) to cover the flip chip underneath.[8] The die takes up 162.94 mm2 of area[9]—a 36.5% increase in area used over the 119.32 mm2 die of the S5L8940 version of the A5.[9] The A5X does not use the package on package (PoP) method of installation to support RAM—RAM is found externally from the A5X chip.[8]

Products featuring the Apple A5X[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Apple silicon, the range of ARM-based SoCs designed by Apple for their products.


  1. ^ Straker, Fred (February 22, 2012), "What is the Apple A5X Processor?", The iPad Guide, archived from the original on February 24, 2017, retrieved May 3, 2012
  2. ^ a b c Gowri, Vivek; Lal Shimpi, Anand (March 28, 2012). "The Apple iPad Review (2012): The A5X SoC". AnandTech. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "The New iPad: A Closer Look Inside". Chipworks. March 16, 2012. Archived from the original on 16 September 2013.
  4. ^ "The Apple A5X versus the A5 and A4 – Big Is Beautiful". Chipworks. March 19, 2012. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Gowri, Vivek; Lal Shimpi, Anand (March 28, 2012). "The Apple iPad Review (2012): The GPU". AnandTech. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Apple Launches New iPad". Apple. March 7, 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "iFixit 3rd generation iPad teardown". 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "iPad 3 4G Teardown". iFixit. 2012-03-15. Archived from the original on 2020-06-21. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  9. ^ a b "The New iPad: A Closer Look Inside » Recent Teardowns » Chipworks". 2012-03-19. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2020-05-22.