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Reverse engineering confirms Apple iPad is 'a really big iPod Touch'

I'm sure you've heard about reverse engineering and industrial espionage -- they are the bread and butter of a competitive tech industry! -- but I had no idea there were firms, such as Chipworks, that specialize in the process. They've just released glorious, revealing details of the Apple iPad's hardware, and a complete breakdown of the new, top-secret A4 processor. For the less-technically-minded, iFixit has a walkthrough for the reverse engineering, too.

The pictures and details are juicy -- you can even order a bunch of die photos! -- but ultimately, there isn't anything exciting under the hood. The iPad is merely a large iPod Touch, with almost identical hardware in places. Chipworks calls the iPad 'a giant battery with a tiny [circuit] board attached to it' -- and looking at the picture above, you can see why!

So, no real news here I'm afraid, unless you're trying to mollify a Mac fanatic. What you're paying for is a large touch-screen and a giant battery -- you are not buying a piece of 'magic', but simply a large iPod Touch. The devil, as always, is in the software. It would not be the first time that Apple has shoehorned some fantastic software into a shiny, but otherwise lackluster hardware package.

In my opinion, the coolest part of this story is that Chipworks tears apart of bleeding-edge technology to produce full, reproducible schematics of a device's circuitry. Nothing is sacred!

Tags: a4, chipworks, die, hardware, ipad, ipod touch, IpodTouch, reverse engineering, ReverseEngineering