An image of the motherboard in Apple’s next tablet, presumably to be called the iPad 3, has leaked. The image (see above) shows the tablet’s A5X central processor, as well as a pair of flash memory chips. Unfortunately, nothing in the picture gives any hint about what the processor’s capabilities are. Rumors have suggested that both the iPad 3 and the next generation iPhone would be getting a quad-core A6 processor, which would represent a significant upgrade in speed over the current-generation A5 model.
It remains to be seen (assuming this picture is genuine) whether the A5X is the rumored quad-core chip, or whether it is an incremental upgrade, and the quad-core A6 will begin appearing in later devices. It’s worth noting, though, that the original rumors (see the second linked article above) about the quad-core A6 came from information found in the code of the current beta version of iOS 5.1, which will almost certainly launch with the iPad 3. That suggests that this A5X is the quad-core chip in question, and that Apple simply chose to give it another name. Keep an eye on the iPhone rumor mill, which is sure to start ramping up as soon as Tim Cook walks off the stage from the iPad 3 event, for more information on that front.
As the rumored March 7 unveiling of the iPad 3 draws near, more details about the tablet are making their way to the light of day. On Friday we brought you news that an iPad 3 display - apparently a 2048x1536 retina display - had leaked. Before that, images of the iPad’s back panel and several internal components also leaked, suggesting that the iPad 3 would have the same basic form factor as the iPad 2, but with several internal upgrades, including a better camera.