A5X on iPad 3

Apple is expected to introduce an upgraded processor and graphics package for the iPad 3, with the assumption being that it would be called the A6 after the A4 initially appeared in the original iPad and iPhone 4 and was succeeded by the A5 in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. But if this photo is to be believed, that assumption appears to have been incorrect, with Apple instead having branded the upgraded package with the A5X name.

A5X on iPad 3

A date code of “1146” on the A5X indicates that it was manufactured in the 46th week of 2011, which would have corresponded to November 14-20.

An “A5X” as a step-wise upgrade to the A5 corresponds with progression of processor part numbers as revealed by BGR in February. At the time the A4 was known to be the S5L8930X, the A5 as the S5L8940X and the new iPad processor as S5L8945X.

Several other features are also visible on the logic board, including a pair of 16 GB flash memory chips from Hynix and a rectangular Apple-branded chip. That chip appears to correspond to power management chips found in previous iPad teardowns but which carries a higher part number, suggesting an upgraded part.

Apple is expected to introduce the iPad 3 at a media event on March 7, with the device also receiving an ultra high-resolution display and LTE capabilities. Other claims have suggested that it will carry a slightly more tapered case design and perhaps offer an 8-megapixel rear camera.

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