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Sunday, March 18, 2012, 02:27 pm PT (05:27 pm ET)

Single-core A5 CPU in new 1080p Apple TV doubles RAM to 512MB

A teardown of the new 1080p-capable Apple TV has found that its single-core A5 processor features the same 8 gigabytes of memory, but doubles the RAM of its predecessor to 512 megabytes.

The new Apple TV features a custom-built A5 processor that, unlike the A5 CPU found in the iPhone 4S or iPad 2, features only a single processing core, instead of two. But while Apple removed one of the cores from the CPU, it left the RAM at 512 megabytes, according to a teardown of the device conducted by XBMC community member "aicjofs" (via MacRumors).

The RAM in the new Apple TV is built by Hynix, and is believed to be the same memory utilized in the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

While the RAM has been given an upgrade, the internal flash memory, which is used to cache video files when they are streamed, remains static at 8 gigabytes.

The updated set-top box is also said to feature a second antenna that its predecessor did not have. Its exact purpose is unknown, but it was suggested that the antenna could be to improve Wi-Fi connectivity and speed.

The previous Apple TV, which was capable of outputting 720p high-definition video, ran on the A4 processor that is found in the iPhone 4 and first-generation iPad. The previous Apple TV featured 256 megabytes of RAM.

Apple TV


Meanwhile, the new iPad features a unique A5X CPU that has even more RAM, with a gigabyte of onboard memory. The dual-core CPU also features a new quad-core embedded graphics processor that gives the new iPad even greater graphical capabilities.

Together, the new iPad can stream 1080p high-definition video over AirPlay to the new Apple TV, allowing users to watch high-quality content on their HDTV.