The current chip uses a 45-nanometer process. But AnandTech noted that Apple introduced a 32-nanometer chip on the latest generation Apple TV and in the iPad 2 models offered for sale after the introduction of the newest iPad. "In the case of the iPad 2,4, we saw a huge increase in battery life as a result of the move to 32nm," according to AnandTech. "Some of the gains in battery life in the iPhone are likely to be offset by higher CPU/GPU clocks, but this is still the most likely approach for Apple this generation."
The A5X chip in the newest iPad is a 45-nanometer device with four
PowerVR SGX543 cores for graphics processing, and a corresponding 4 x 32-bit memory interface, the authors note. That was needed to handle the new iPad's "Retina Display" but it's overkill for the 18% jump in pixels for a 4-inch iPhone display. AnandTech expects that something like a "20% increase in GPU clock speed, and faster DRAM would be enough to maintain current levels of performance" for the new iPhone.
AnandTech expects Apple to support LTE and, for China, the TC-SCDMA cellular standard.
Apple will likely rely on Qualcomm's second generation Gobi modems and transceivers, now commercially available. This product line has a higher degree of integration, eliminating the need for an extra chip, and draws less power. AnandTech thinks Apple will use Qualcomm's MDM9x15 platform, which supports a wide range of LTE and advanced 3G standards, and frequencies. As a part of Qualcomm's MSM8960 system on a chip product, the 9x15 has delivered "great battery life [due to a shift to 28-nanometer process] and LTE performance," according to AnandTech.
No to NFC
The authors repeat their previously reported conclusion that the short-range wireless technology called near field communications (NFC) is an unlikely feature on iPhone 5.
"Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it's highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation," they say. "In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out."
There are two reasons: if the rumors are right about the new metal body, that creates a huge obstacle to a reliable radiating NFC antenna; and the antenna itself in most current implementations consists of a lot of wires wrapped around something big, like a battery. Trying to jam the antenna into one of the top or bottom rear glass windows is problematic, because it makes trying to align the phone with NFC payment tokens, reader tags and the like a "much more confusing task, and that doesn't seem like the Apple-like level of polish everyone is waiting for to drive NFC adoption," Anandtech concludes.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.