9to5 Mac has discovered that the latest iOS 5.1 beta contains updated processing-core management software that as well as supporting dual-core processing, as with the A5 chip used in the iPhone and iPad, also supports quad-core processing. According to 9to5 Mac, the evidence of quad-core processing support is hidden behind a secret panel that details cores that iOS device hardware supports. One of the available options is “/cores/core.3/, “ which 9to5 Mac says translates to a fourth available processing core. According to 9to5 Mac’s sources, who are very familiar with iOS, core references start at “0”, so core.3 would mean quad-core. 9to5 Mac even presents evidence comparing pre-iOS 5.1 beta iOS core management software and the most recent iOS 5.1 beta. The screenshot clearly shows the dual-core A5 chip denoted as “core.1”, and the quad-core chip marked “core.3”. 9to5 Mac goes on to explain that the significance of the quad-core chips being involved with iOS 5.1 beta is the fact that they believe that the third generation iPad and an unreleased iPhone 5.1 are both being tested with iOS 5.1, which could mean that both devices will have a quad-core processor, possibly the A6.
Source: iOS 5.1 beta reveals Apple’s plan to soon ship iPads, iPhones with quad-core chips | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence