The 64-bit iPhone 5S boasts a quad-core graphics processing unit -- a first for an iPhone.
Semiconductor analysis company Chipworks has supplied the best evidence yet of the layout of the A7 processor in Apple's iPhone 5S, showing a quad-core GPU. (See image above.)
The A6 chip in the iPhone 5 had a three-core GPU.
While core counts aren't necessarily the deciding factor in making a chip fast, there is a trend toward adding more cores to boost performance. Samsung and Qualcomm, for instance, have had quad-core graphics for a while now. As have Apple's higher-performance A5X and A6X chips that are used in the iPad 3 and iPad 4.
And getting quad-core graphics into a phone undoubtedly helps games like Infinity Blade 3 run faster.
Now we come to the central processing unit, or CPU. In this case, Apple is bucking a trend. The Chipworks layout confirms earlier reports that the A7 has a dual-core CPU.
Quad-core CPUs are increasingly common now, if not standard.
That said, the proof is in the pudding: Apple's A7 has impressive benchmarks.
"The quad-core card was kind of forced," Anand Shimpi of Anandtech told CNET last week. "It's definitely not the only way to arrive at the ideal performance-power for a phone."