Apple iPad tear down reveals surprises

Californian gadget-repair company iFixit has carried out a tear down of the new iPad and found which bits are powering the shiny toy.

The iPad includes a Qualcomm LTE mobile chip as well as a Qualcomm wireless modem for 3G and 4G. Broadcom supplies a semiconductor handling wireless tasks like wi-fi and Bluetooth, according to iFixit.

The iPad’s new A5X application processor, which has juiced up graphics horsepower, is based on ARM.

However, the chip is not doing much to improve the performance of the iPad. iFixit said that there isn’t much difference between the old and new version of the A5, other than an ‘x’ in the name and an extra 0.2 GHz clock speed which most users will not notice.

It also has a screen made by legal rival Samsung. Samsung appears to be hell for leather trying to get the iPad banned for breaking its patents, so currently appears to be patent trolling against its own interests.

“While the iPad 2 housed a formidable 25 watt-hour Li-ion battery, the iPad 3 has upped the ante to the tune of 42.5 watt-hours,” iFixit said. “Its 3.7 volts and estimated 10 hours of use  are comparable to that of the iPad 2, but we assume the extra 17.5 watt-hours are put to good use powering the extra RAM and greatly improved GPU.”

The NAND flash memory chip is supplied by Toshiba. Japan’s now bankrupt Elpida provides the DRAM.

The iPad teardown also revealed chips from Avago Technologies, Triquint Semiconductor and Fairchild.

The teardown confirms that the new iPad has better graphics, but other than that and the retina display, it is pretty much the same as the previous iPad.