Quad-Core iPad 3We first caught a glimpse of quad-core technology via the Transformer Prime back in December, and it looks like we may see similar blazing fast, quad-core goodness in Apple’s upcoming iPad 3. Did you honestly expect anything less?

An article over at 9to5mac reveals what looks to be evidence of an A6 quad-core processor uncovered in the latest iOS 5.1 beta. References in the OS suggest a quad-core iPhone and iPad are in the works, described in a hidden panel found deep in the latest beta. Processors in previous iPad models were referred to as follows: core.0 (iPad’s single-core A4 processor) and core.1 (iPad 2‘s dual-core A5 processor). A new updated core option has been found, core.3, referencing what could potentially be iPad 3’s quad-core A6 processor.

9to5mac cites “extremely reliable and knowledgable people familiar” with iOS software, explaining that core references begin at 0, meaning there’s every reason to believe the progression to core.3 means Apple has plans to implement a quad-core chip. Keep in mind, though, that this doesn’t exactly pin down when and in what device(s). Still, with quad-core sure to become the standard used in most tablets in 2012, it’s almost a safe bet we’ll at the very least see it show up in the iPad 3.

If Apple does indeed include a better camera and Retina display in its next tablet, the Cupertino-based company will surely need all the power it can use, thus all signs point to a quad-core A6 processor. Android already has a leg up running on a quad-core tablet via the Transformer Prime. Apple will surely not want to be outdone in that respect for much longer, hopefully releasing the iPad 3 with quad-core tech come March. Only time will tell.