Exploring the Processor in the Latest iPod Touch: TUAW Investigates

One of the most talked-about aspects of the latest iPod touch is its lack of a camera, a feature that was anticipated by many but ultimately not included, unlike the new iPod nano. The core of the new iPod touch, however, holds some intriguing developments.

All devices operating on the iPhone OS are equipped with ARM architecture-based processors. These processors vary in speed, similar to those from Intel and PowerPC. Apple has enhanced the performance in the latest 32GB and 64GB iPod touch models, as seen previously with the iPhone 3GS, which includes support for OpenGL ES 2.0 to enhance gaming and graphics capabilities.

This enhancement is touted as a feature. The specifics of the new processor are still somewhat vague, but further details have been uncovered by our team here at TUAW.

Continue reading for more in-depth information about the processor in the new iPod touch.

Delving into the .ipsw iPod/iPhone software update files, which are essentially zip archives, reveals a file named restore.plist. This XML property list details the technical specifications for the iPhone/iPod touch model the .ipsw is designed for. Within the “Platform” string of the DeviceMap array in this list, you can find the processor model number for the specific iPhone or iPod touch model.

For instance, the original iPhone, the first-generation iPod touch, and the iPhone 3G all utilize a Samsung S5L8900X series processor, clocked at 412 MHz, which has been extensively documented. The second-generation iPod touch steps up to a S5L8720X series processor at 532 MHz, while the iPhone 3GS features a S5L8920X series processor, believed to be derived from the Samsung S5PC100 series, part of the ARM Cortex-A8 family. Apple claims the 3GS is “up to 2X faster” than the iPhone 3G, largely due to the improved performance of its 600 MHz S5L8920X processor.

The latest third-generation iPod touch is equipped with a S5L8922X series processor, a slight upgrade over the iPhone 3GS’s processor. A teardown by iFixit revealed the processor model number etched as 339S0075 ARM, slightly higher than the 339S0073 ARM found in the 3GS.

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Brian is a dedicated writer for TUAW, where he shares his insights and expertise on all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Brian covers a wide range of topics, from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the intricacies of macOS and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics accessible to all readers. Brian’s enthusiasm for Apple products shines through in every article he writes.