$399 iPad 2 With 32-nm A5 Chip Comes With Significantly Improved Battery Life

The teardown of the $399 iPad 2 had revealed that it is powered by a tweaked A5 (SoC) chip, which is manufactured using 32-nm process instead of the older A5 chip’s 45-nm process.

The 32-nm chip technology make chips more efficient, which in turn is supposed to improve battery life.

Anand Shimpi at AnandTech managed to get his hands on the $399 iPad 2 and has carried out a series of battery tests. He reports that the 32nm A5 (SoC) chip indeed offers significant improvement in battery life.

Assuming Apple didn’t change any fundamentals of its microarchitecture, the iPad 2,4’s gains in battery life can be attributed directly to the process. The gains themselves are significant. We measured a 15% increase in our web browsing battery life, a nearly 30% increase in gaming battery life and an 18% increase in video playback battery life. Although Apple hasn’t revised its battery life specs, the iPad 2,4 definitely lasts longer on a single charge than the original iPad 2. 

So if you’re planning to buy an iPad 2, you definitely want to get the revised iPad 2 (iPad 2,4), but as AnandTech points out, there is no easy way to find out the difference unless you open the box and turn on the iPad.

Apple TV 3 is also powered by the tweaked A5 (SoC) chip. Let’s hope that Apple uses the 32-nm chip technology for the next generation iPhone, as the faster processor and 4G LTE radios will definitely put strain on the new iPhone’s battery and any improvements in battery life are always more than welcome.

It’s a smart move by Apple to start using the 32-nm production process with lower volume products, so that it has enough time to prepare for the next generation iPhone.