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eewiz
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
eewiz   2/20/2013 1:28:45 PM
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Most new designs will have LTE modem integrated to an app processor. NVidia/Qcom/Marvel/STE/Renesas already have this. Intel/Mediatek/Samsung/BCOM will have in future. I am wondering what Apple will do since they dont have any LTE ip. Either they have to license from Qcomm/Intel and fab together with Ax CPU or buy any remaining 4G chip vendor(sequans?) and integrate with Ax chip, which I guess may not be easy. "Second, it will be interesting to see how the block count evolves going forward, with IP of the anobit or authentec acquisitions possibly showing up in future designs. " This is a real possibility. Guess they might be already on this one. "Finally, the big one: Will there be an Apple designed GPU? " Very unlikely "In fact, with the exception of Intel CPUs, it's one of the first custom laid out digital cores we’ve seen in years!" IINW QCom CPUs are partially custom designed too

eewiz
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
eewiz   2/20/2013 1:28:45 PM
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Most new designs will have LTE modem integrated to an app processor. NVidia/Qcom/Marvel/STE/Renesas already have this. Intel/Mediatek/Samsung/BCOM will have in future. I am wondering what Apple will do since they dont have any LTE ip. Either they have to license from Qcomm/Intel and fab together with Ax CPU or buy any remaining 4G chip vendor(sequans?) and integrate with Ax chip, which I guess may not be easy. "Second, it will be interesting to see how the block count evolves going forward, with IP of the anobit or authentec acquisitions possibly showing up in future designs. " This is a real possibility. Guess they might be already on this one. "Finally, the big one: Will there be an Apple designed GPU? " Very unlikely "In fact, with the exception of Intel CPUs, it's one of the first custom laid out digital cores we’ve seen in years!" IINW QCom CPUs are partially custom designed too

asic_pal
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
asic_pal   2/20/2013 6:23:29 PM
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Though it may be difficult I am sure Apple will lic the LTE Ip or work on a custom design with the IP vendor (Qualcom/Intel etc). Otherwise it can not differentiate with competition if it simply buys a chip and plugs it in the device.

asic_pal
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
asic_pal   2/20/2013 6:23:29 PM
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Though it may be difficult I am sure Apple will lic the LTE Ip or work on a custom design with the IP vendor (Qualcom/Intel etc). Otherwise it can not differentiate with competition if it simply buys a chip and plugs it in the device.

Doug_S
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Doug_S   2/22/2013 7:37:00 AM
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Rumor has it that Apple hired almost all the ex-ATI guys that left AMD last fall, so I think doing their own GPU is a foregone conclusion. I'd look for it in the summer/fall 2014 iteration of iPhone, assuming they hit the ground running late last year and have something taped out by Halloween this year.

Doug_S
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Doug_S   2/22/2013 7:37:00 AM
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Rumor has it that Apple hired almost all the ex-ATI guys that left AMD last fall, so I think doing their own GPU is a foregone conclusion. I'd look for it in the summer/fall 2014 iteration of iPhone, assuming they hit the ground running late last year and have something taped out by Halloween this year.

Katalog Stron
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Katalog Stron   2/24/2013 8:02:24 PM
Finally, the big one: Will there be an Apple http://www.katalogstron-seo.pl/ designed GPU? Very unlikely

Katalog Stron
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Katalog Stron   2/24/2013 8:02:24 PM
Finally, the big one: Will there be an Apple http://www.katalogstron-seo.pl/ designed GPU? Very unlikely

Doug_S
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Doug_S   2/22/2013 7:51:02 AM
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BTW, I agree that Apple will probably want to add LTE to the device in the long run, though buying Qualcomm's and attaching it to their SoC using TSVs would be a way to do it without actually integrating the IP. You're wrong in saying they don't have any LTE IP. They actually own 5% of the LTE patent pool through their purchase of Nortel's patents. Of course, owning IP and having the expertise to design an LTE block for their SoC are two very different things. As you say, they'd need to acquire someone for that. The question is, is there really any differentiation or improvement to be derived from doing LTE yourself versus buying a standard part. If ZTE sells a phone with a buggy LTE chip and has to recall a million of them, that's expensive. If Apple did that and had to recall 50 million of them, it'd be really expensive (not counting the publicity damage, which would make the maps thing seem like nothing) Having a better LTE chip doesn't make the phone go any faster, the only thing you can improve upon is power usage. That's more about the process used to make it than the way it is designed. Get an LTE chip from Intel made on a superior process, and you have more of an advantage than you could ever get from a superior design using a TSMC/Samsung/GF process everyone else uses that's a generation behind Intel.

Doug_S
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Doug_S   2/22/2013 7:51:02 AM
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BTW, I agree that Apple will probably want to add LTE to the device in the long run, though buying Qualcomm's and attaching it to their SoC using TSVs would be a way to do it without actually integrating the IP. You're wrong in saying they don't have any LTE IP. They actually own 5% of the LTE patent pool through their purchase of Nortel's patents. Of course, owning IP and having the expertise to design an LTE block for their SoC are two very different things. As you say, they'd need to acquire someone for that. The question is, is there really any differentiation or improvement to be derived from doing LTE yourself versus buying a standard part. If ZTE sells a phone with a buggy LTE chip and has to recall a million of them, that's expensive. If Apple did that and had to recall 50 million of them, it'd be really expensive (not counting the publicity damage, which would make the maps thing seem like nothing) Having a better LTE chip doesn't make the phone go any faster, the only thing you can improve upon is power usage. That's more about the process used to make it than the way it is designed. Get an LTE chip from Intel made on a superior process, and you have more of an advantage than you could ever get from a superior design using a TSMC/Samsung/GF process everyone else uses that's a generation behind Intel.

chipmonk0
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
chipmonk0   2/22/2013 6:38:29 PM
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great comments, especially since keeping all those LTE bands running increases the RF power consumption by up to 20 % and forces you to charge your 4G phone before you can get to the Happy Hour after a hard day's work. 20 nm FinFET would certainly make a diff. over TSMC's 28 nm LP and at this point Intel would probably be happy to just become THE Foundry for A7,8,.. designed by Apple rather than keep insisting on Fab-ing only their own x86 designs. Perhaps they would be happy making their own Merrifield ( x 86, 20 nm FinFET ) for high volume low priced / mid range Smartphone brands like Lenovo for emerging markets and gain new markets on the basis of price and power efficiency thanks to smaller and less leaky transistors ( the FinFETs ).

chipmonk0
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
chipmonk0   2/22/2013 6:38:29 PM
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great comments, especially since keeping all those LTE bands running increases the RF power consumption by up to 20 % and forces you to charge your 4G phone before you can get to the Happy Hour after a hard day's work. 20 nm FinFET would certainly make a diff. over TSMC's 28 nm LP and at this point Intel would probably be happy to just become THE Foundry for A7,8,.. designed by Apple rather than keep insisting on Fab-ing only their own x86 designs. Perhaps they would be happy making their own Merrifield ( x 86, 20 nm FinFET ) for high volume low priced / mid range Smartphone brands like Lenovo for emerging markets and gain new markets on the basis of price and power efficiency thanks to smaller and less leaky transistors ( the FinFETs ).

Dave1010101
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Dave1010101   2/20/2013 5:54:56 PM
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I imagine Apple would need to consider what Intel could offer in terms of process technology and power consumption in the lower nanometer technology.

Dave1010101
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Dave1010101   2/20/2013 5:54:56 PM
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I imagine Apple would need to consider what Intel could offer in terms of process technology and power consumption in the lower nanometer technology.

kjdsfkjdshfkdshfvc
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
kjdsfkjdshfkdshfvc   2/20/2013 6:52:19 PM
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Um, who are you kidding? Apple is clearly on it's way out. They lost the "cool factor" which is all they had going for them. It's over. http://bit.ly/dI3hcF

kjdsfkjdshfkdshfvc
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
kjdsfkjdshfkdshfvc   2/20/2013 6:52:19 PM
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Um, who are you kidding? Apple is clearly on it's way out. They lost the "cool factor" which is all they had going for them. It's over. http://bit.ly/dI3hcF

linuxlowdown
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
linuxlowdown   2/22/2013 11:55:29 AM
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Apple needs to try to erase the memory of history and have large screen billboards erected in every important city location on the planet with the face of big brother Steve telling everyone how awesome Apple products are and that Google is the enemy.

linuxlowdown
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
linuxlowdown   2/22/2013 11:55:29 AM
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Apple needs to try to erase the memory of history and have large screen billboards erected in every important city location on the planet with the face of big brother Steve telling everyone how awesome Apple products are and that Google is the enemy.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
old account Frank Eory   2/20/2013 8:10:28 PM
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Speculation that the A-series apps processors are stopgaps until the right Intel chip arrives seems ludicrous. Why would Apple abandon it's customized ARM cores, which are already successfully integrated with the GPUs, memory controller, etc. in the A-series devices? It would require a huge savings in die size, power or both, coupled with a substantial performance boost, to justify such a radical change in AP strategy -- not to mention additional costs & risks like reoptimizing iOS for a new instruction set & new CPU architecture, and moving to an AP that Apple's competitors can also buy. It's hard to imagine the potential rewards will be so great as to justify the costs & risks. On another subject, I'm curious what exactly Chipworks means by "custom design" and "manual layout." Certainly there must've been some custom cell designs, maybe even for some logic. We can also see from the photos that some of the blocks have irregular shapes, so a lot of manual effort must've been put into floorplanning and megacell placement & boundary definition of the megacells. But I suspect that within most of the megacells, automatic P&R was used -- especially the GPUs, which are simple rectangles that look like they could have simply been synthesized from RTL and auto P&Rd by ICC or Encounter or whatever digital P&R tool Apple uses. As for routing -- whether within a megacell or at the top level -- it is doubtful a team of human beings made all or even a significant percentage of those billion+ connections manually in a layout tool. A few critical nets maybe, but not much more than that. Custom design of some cells & manually-assisted floorplanning, yes. Full custom chip design and manual chip routing, no, I don't think so.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
old account Frank Eory   2/20/2013 8:10:28 PM
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Speculation that the A-series apps processors are stopgaps until the right Intel chip arrives seems ludicrous. Why would Apple abandon it's customized ARM cores, which are already successfully integrated with the GPUs, memory controller, etc. in the A-series devices? It would require a huge savings in die size, power or both, coupled with a substantial performance boost, to justify such a radical change in AP strategy -- not to mention additional costs & risks like reoptimizing iOS for a new instruction set & new CPU architecture, and moving to an AP that Apple's competitors can also buy. It's hard to imagine the potential rewards will be so great as to justify the costs & risks. On another subject, I'm curious what exactly Chipworks means by "custom design" and "manual layout." Certainly there must've been some custom cell designs, maybe even for some logic. We can also see from the photos that some of the blocks have irregular shapes, so a lot of manual effort must've been put into floorplanning and megacell placement & boundary definition of the megacells. But I suspect that within most of the megacells, automatic P&R was used -- especially the GPUs, which are simple rectangles that look like they could have simply been synthesized from RTL and auto P&Rd by ICC or Encounter or whatever digital P&R tool Apple uses. As for routing -- whether within a megacell or at the top level -- it is doubtful a team of human beings made all or even a significant percentage of those billion+ connections manually in a layout tool. A few critical nets maybe, but not much more than that. Custom design of some cells & manually-assisted floorplanning, yes. Full custom chip design and manual chip routing, no, I don't think so.

the_floating_ gate
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
the_floating_ gate   2/20/2013 9:59:19 PM
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On another subject, I'm curious what exactly Chipworks means by "custom design" and "manual layout." Actually Otellini was referring to "manual" layout (don't recall at what occasion) but the way I recall he said Intel and Apple are two companies that still use significant "manual" layout. BTW Dick James (chipworks) has a great blog and you can ask him directly http://www.electroiq.com/blogs/chipworks_real_chips_blog/2013/01/intel-foundries-mems-for-fuel-cell-start-up-nectar.html DICK JAMES is a 40-year veteran of the semiconductor industry and the senior technology analyst for Chipworks, an Ottawa, Canada-based specialty reverse engineering company. Chipworks analyses a broad range of devices, giving Dick a unique overview of what technologies make it into the real world of semiconductor production.

the_floating_ gate
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
the_floating_ gate   2/20/2013 9:59:19 PM
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On another subject, I'm curious what exactly Chipworks means by "custom design" and "manual layout." Actually Otellini was referring to "manual" layout (don't recall at what occasion) but the way I recall he said Intel and Apple are two companies that still use significant "manual" layout. BTW Dick James (chipworks) has a great blog and you can ask him directly http://www.electroiq.com/blogs/chipworks_real_chips_blog/2013/01/intel-foundries-mems-for-fuel-cell-start-up-nectar.html DICK JAMES is a 40-year veteran of the semiconductor industry and the senior technology analyst for Chipworks, an Ottawa, Canada-based specialty reverse engineering company. Chipworks analyses a broad range of devices, giving Dick a unique overview of what technologies make it into the real world of semiconductor production.

the_floating_ gate
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
the_floating_ gate   2/20/2013 10:49:31 PM
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Actually all you have to do is to click on the link provided in the article.... http://www.chipworks.com/blog/recentteardowns/2012/09/21/apple-iphone-5-the-a6-application-processor/

the_floating_ gate
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
the_floating_ gate   2/20/2013 10:49:31 PM
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Actually all you have to do is to click on the link provided in the article.... http://www.chipworks.com/blog/recentteardowns/2012/09/21/apple-iphone-5-the-a6-application-processor/

Don Scansen
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Don Scansen   2/20/2013 9:29:57 PM
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Frank, Thanks for you comments. As always, you provide your own insightful analysis. We agree wholeheartedly about a sudden and unlikely switch to new CPU architecture and instruction set. But there are analysts out there who are selling that as a real possibility. It's all business, of course, but investment analysts would be wise to consider more of the technology side and how it works before giving an opinion on corporate strategies. But we're techies, so what else would we say? Thanks again, Don

Don Scansen
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Don Scansen   2/20/2013 9:29:57 PM
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Frank, Thanks for you comments. As always, you provide your own insightful analysis. We agree wholeheartedly about a sudden and unlikely switch to new CPU architecture and instruction set. But there are analysts out there who are selling that as a real possibility. It's all business, of course, but investment analysts would be wise to consider more of the technology side and how it works before giving an opinion on corporate strategies. But we're techies, so what else would we say? Thanks again, Don

old account Frank Eory
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
old account Frank Eory   2/21/2013 2:22:37 AM
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Thanks floating_gate, I see that Chipworks believes the ARM CPU was laid out by hand, and I would at least agree that there was a lot of manual intervention there. As for the other blocks, who knows? The GPUs still look to me like netlists were dumped into ICC and autorouted until timing converged.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
old account Frank Eory   2/21/2013 2:22:37 AM
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Thanks floating_gate, I see that Chipworks believes the ARM CPU was laid out by hand, and I would at least agree that there was a lot of manual intervention there. As for the other blocks, who knows? The GPUs still look to me like netlists were dumped into ICC and autorouted until timing converged.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
old account Frank Eory   2/21/2013 2:32:18 AM
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Lest I sound like a newbie, I fully appreciate that P&R tools do a lot of great incremental synthesis, so I probably should've said "physically optimized until timing converged" rather than "autorouted." The back end is way more than just P&R these days, and has been for some years.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
old account Frank Eory   2/21/2013 2:32:18 AM
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Lest I sound like a newbie, I fully appreciate that P&R tools do a lot of great incremental synthesis, so I probably should've said "physically optimized until timing converged" rather than "autorouted." The back end is way more than just P&R these days, and has been for some years.

bobbytsai
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
bobbytsai   2/21/2013 4:29:52 AM
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Any chance apple changes GPU vendor. ARM, Vivante, DMP ? Apple has shift Si/IP vendors quickly in the past.

bobbytsai
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
bobbytsai   2/21/2013 4:29:52 AM
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Any chance apple changes GPU vendor. ARM, Vivante, DMP ? Apple has shift Si/IP vendors quickly in the past.

asic_pal
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
asic_pal   2/21/2013 6:53:32 AM
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I wonder if they don't. I saw couple of instances of bankruptcies or sell-off when Apple pulled plug on the suppliers.

asic_pal
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
asic_pal   2/21/2013 6:53:32 AM
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I wonder if they don't. I saw couple of instances of bankruptcies or sell-off when Apple pulled plug on the suppliers.

Peter Clarke
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Peter Clarke   2/22/2013 1:05:07 PM
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Always a chance but last time I heard both Intel and Apple owned a significant piece of Imagination. Apple had about 10 percent and Intel about 15 percent back in 2009. http://eetimes.com/electronics-news/4195660/Apple-follows-Intel-tops-up-stake-in-U-K-graphics-provider Of course, those holdings could have drifted down with gradual sell offs since then. But they showed a clear commitment to keeping Imagination alive at the time.

Peter Clarke
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Peter Clarke   2/22/2013 1:05:07 PM
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Always a chance but last time I heard both Intel and Apple owned a significant piece of Imagination. Apple had about 10 percent and Intel about 15 percent back in 2009. http://eetimes.com/electronics-news/4195660/Apple-follows-Intel-tops-up-stake-in-U-K-graphics-provider Of course, those holdings could have drifted down with gradual sell offs since then. But they showed a clear commitment to keeping Imagination alive at the time.

trm1945
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
trm1945   2/21/2013 5:09:53 PM
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Aaaaarrrrrgggg. Get a life! I bought my first Mac in 1984 and have kept up ever since. What we have all seen is two things: Change and lumpy innovation are the norm and yet every "new" feature or CPU or whatever is treated like Custer's Last Stand. There will be an A7 and an A8 and an A9 in one form or another. Try to imagine a weather forecaster with this limited view of the future: "There's a new cloud coming in and that should be it for today. Oh, wait! there's another one behind that one but it's a bit unclear at the moment if it's bigger or not. WOW! there's a third one. All hell's broken loose. Back to you, Bob."

trm1945
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
trm1945   2/21/2013 5:09:53 PM
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Aaaaarrrrrgggg. Get a life! I bought my first Mac in 1984 and have kept up ever since. What we have all seen is two things: Change and lumpy innovation are the norm and yet every "new" feature or CPU or whatever is treated like Custer's Last Stand. There will be an A7 and an A8 and an A9 in one form or another. Try to imagine a weather forecaster with this limited view of the future: "There's a new cloud coming in and that should be it for today. Oh, wait! there's another one behind that one but it's a bit unclear at the moment if it's bigger or not. WOW! there's a third one. All hell's broken loose. Back to you, Bob."

ChipConnoisseur
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
ChipConnoisseur   2/21/2013 6:33:08 PM
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Switching iOS to Intel is the dumbest proposal I've ever heard. Apple would first switch Macs to their own ARM chips before they switch iOS to Intel. Why the hell would they ever want to do that, even if you discard all the trouble it could cause for the apps? It's not like iOS apps or the OS itself NEEDS Core chips to work well. iOS is not Windows.

ChipConnoisseur
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
ChipConnoisseur   2/21/2013 6:33:08 PM
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Switching iOS to Intel is the dumbest proposal I've ever heard. Apple would first switch Macs to their own ARM chips before they switch iOS to Intel. Why the hell would they ever want to do that, even if you discard all the trouble it could cause for the apps? It's not like iOS apps or the OS itself NEEDS Core chips to work well. iOS is not Windows.

hazydave
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
hazydave   2/21/2013 7:20:19 PM
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The GPUs are PowerVR cores, same basic thing so many other mobile devices use. They're certainly autorouted. It's just Apple's "Swift" processor core that's different. They did spend all this money, acquiring both PA Semiconductor and Intrinsity... I don't believe that's any kind of "stop gap" measure. Apple was shopping for a non-Samsung fab. Intel's already said they see fab work as a growing thing. No shock if they talked. Another rumor suggested Apple had offered TSMC a billion-dollar bounty for all of their 28nm output, but were turned down. Doesn't mean they have any interest in another company's products, they just want to get their stuff made.

hazydave
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
hazydave   2/21/2013 7:20:19 PM
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The GPUs are PowerVR cores, same basic thing so many other mobile devices use. They're certainly autorouted. It's just Apple's "Swift" processor core that's different. They did spend all this money, acquiring both PA Semiconductor and Intrinsity... I don't believe that's any kind of "stop gap" measure. Apple was shopping for a non-Samsung fab. Intel's already said they see fab work as a growing thing. No shock if they talked. Another rumor suggested Apple had offered TSMC a billion-dollar bounty for all of their 28nm output, but were turned down. Doesn't mean they have any interest in another company's products, they just want to get their stuff made.

hazydave
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
hazydave   2/21/2013 7:22:16 PM
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Funny thing, these rumors. The previous one suggested that Apple was likely to take all CPU development in-house, switching the Macintosh over to a more desktopy new ARM processor. Given that Apple only uses mid-range x86 chips, and that the Mac is only about 10% of Apple's business these days, some kind of convergence is not hard to imagine.

hazydave
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
hazydave   2/21/2013 7:22:16 PM
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Funny thing, these rumors. The previous one suggested that Apple was likely to take all CPU development in-house, switching the Macintosh over to a more desktopy new ARM processor. Given that Apple only uses mid-range x86 chips, and that the Mac is only about 10% of Apple's business these days, some kind of convergence is not hard to imagine.

markhahn0
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
markhahn0   2/21/2013 7:32:28 PM
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who really cares about how Apple lays out the gunk that glues together the off-the-shelf ARM and PowerVM cores they buy. OTOH, it would be interesting to know what Apple thinks of big-little. or whether/how they're stacking dram-on-cpu for better bw/power. of course, it's not hard to get a mobile device to the point where the backlight is the single largest power consumer - and that is what they'd call a "mandatory expenditure" in DC...

markhahn0
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
markhahn0   2/21/2013 7:32:28 PM
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who really cares about how Apple lays out the gunk that glues together the off-the-shelf ARM and PowerVM cores they buy. OTOH, it would be interesting to know what Apple thinks of big-little. or whether/how they're stacking dram-on-cpu for better bw/power. of course, it's not hard to get a mobile device to the point where the backlight is the single largest power consumer - and that is what they'd call a "mandatory expenditure" in DC...

dynamited77
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
dynamited77   2/21/2013 7:34:16 PM
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Ahhh, what's the point of this article other than to talk about about APPLE, like there is nothing else going on in engineering, sheezzz.

dynamited77
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
dynamited77   2/21/2013 7:34:16 PM
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Ahhh, what's the point of this article other than to talk about about APPLE, like there is nothing else going on in engineering, sheezzz.

DMcCunney
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
DMcCunney   2/21/2013 8:58:39 PM
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I expect financial analysts to follow the money. The whole "OMG! Apple is considering moving to Intel for mobile devices!" brouhaha that seems to surface periodically raises the question "What's in it for Apple?" Switching architectures is a non-trivial process, as an entire eco-system is affected. I can see why it would be good for Intel, but don't see what Apple would gain that would make it worth the while. Part of me suspects the unnamed investment analysts work for outfits that have placed bets on Intel. A vaguely credible rumor that Apple was contemplating such a switch would produce a pop in Intel's stock price, and they could unload at a profit. Cynical? Me? Why, yes.

DMcCunney
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
DMcCunney   2/21/2013 8:58:39 PM
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I expect financial analysts to follow the money. The whole "OMG! Apple is considering moving to Intel for mobile devices!" brouhaha that seems to surface periodically raises the question "What's in it for Apple?" Switching architectures is a non-trivial process, as an entire eco-system is affected. I can see why it would be good for Intel, but don't see what Apple would gain that would make it worth the while. Part of me suspects the unnamed investment analysts work for outfits that have placed bets on Intel. A vaguely credible rumor that Apple was contemplating such a switch would produce a pop in Intel's stock price, and they could unload at a profit. Cynical? Me? Why, yes.

TarraTarra!
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
TarraTarra!   2/21/2013 10:31:57 PM
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Apple is battling Samsung and others in this market and margins are crucial. Apple cannot affort to write a royalty check to Intel for each iPhone sold especially when Samsung is using it's own processor. Rumour has it that Apple is also working on developing its own 64b ARM CPU which is higher performance than the A6. I wonder if the plan there is to replace the intel processors in the low end macbooks or macbook air. If they can pull that off that would be a real coup.

TarraTarra!
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
TarraTarra!   2/21/2013 10:31:57 PM
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Apple is battling Samsung and others in this market and margins are crucial. Apple cannot affort to write a royalty check to Intel for each iPhone sold especially when Samsung is using it's own processor. Rumour has it that Apple is also working on developing its own 64b ARM CPU which is higher performance than the A6. I wonder if the plan there is to replace the intel processors in the low end macbooks or macbook air. If they can pull that off that would be a real coup.

eewiz
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
eewiz   2/22/2013 4:27:40 AM
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ARM has Cotex A57 which is the 64b version of Cortex A15s.. IMO Apple, would want use that instead of developing there own.

eewiz
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re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
eewiz   2/22/2013 4:27:40 AM
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ARM has Cotex A57 which is the 64b version of Cortex A15s.. IMO Apple, would want use that instead of developing there own.

Doug_S
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CEO
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Doug_S   2/22/2013 7:41:35 AM
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Why would Apple want to use the A57 versus designing their own? They designed the A6 for a reason, and it beats dual core A15 which is not bad for their first effort. It isn't much of a stretch to think that Apple could beat A57. Their design target for a 64 bit ARM SoC would probably be different than the Android vendors. Those guys will mostly sell 64 bits as a checklist spec item, like how a quad core CPU is a checklist item for any high end Android phone now, despite little reason for having four cores in a phone. Apple would be more likely to want a 64 bit ARM for Macbook Air (or the rumored TV) Get the 64 bit ARM OS X API out there on Macs, and then a year later stick it in a phone that can connect to a monitor and a bluetooth keyboard/mouse and viola, a full OS X desktop is available when used that way and mobile devices start to eat into PC sales in a big way.

Doug_S
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CEO
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Doug_S   2/22/2013 7:41:35 AM
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Why would Apple want to use the A57 versus designing their own? They designed the A6 for a reason, and it beats dual core A15 which is not bad for their first effort. It isn't much of a stretch to think that Apple could beat A57. Their design target for a 64 bit ARM SoC would probably be different than the Android vendors. Those guys will mostly sell 64 bits as a checklist spec item, like how a quad core CPU is a checklist item for any high end Android phone now, despite little reason for having four cores in a phone. Apple would be more likely to want a 64 bit ARM for Macbook Air (or the rumored TV) Get the 64 bit ARM OS X API out there on Macs, and then a year later stick it in a phone that can connect to a monitor and a bluetooth keyboard/mouse and viola, a full OS X desktop is available when used that way and mobile devices start to eat into PC sales in a big way.

TarraTarra!
User Rank
CEO
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
TarraTarra!   2/26/2013 10:12:46 PM
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Apple probably feels that they can do better. The most succesful ARM processors come from Qualcomm and the CPUs are Qualcomm's own and not ARMs. I would also guess that the royalty associated with ARM architecture license is lower than that of an ARM CPU design.

TarraTarra!
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CEO
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
TarraTarra!   2/26/2013 10:12:46 PM
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Apple probably feels that they can do better. The most succesful ARM processors come from Qualcomm and the CPUs are Qualcomm's own and not ARMs. I would also guess that the royalty associated with ARM architecture license is lower than that of an ARM CPU design.

chipmonk0
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CEO
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
chipmonk0   2/22/2013 6:17:15 PM
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For me the only useful takeaway from this rather long article is that so far as top line Phones & Tablets are concerned, GPUs have become more important than CPUs. This sort of falls in line with Samsung's strategy as well. This means that in the foreseeable future the importance of CPUs from ARM will diminish and top OEMs like Apple and Samsung will spend more effort in tweaking their store bought GPU IPs, adding better algorithms, perhaps even hardwiring them in micro-code. That might be the game Apple would have better chance to stay ahead of Samsung - till of course the next Killer App comes along that does not need higher res. / faster Video !

chipmonk0
User Rank
CEO
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
chipmonk0   2/22/2013 6:17:15 PM
NO RATINGS
For me the only useful takeaway from this rather long article is that so far as top line Phones & Tablets are concerned, GPUs have become more important than CPUs. This sort of falls in line with Samsung's strategy as well. This means that in the foreseeable future the importance of CPUs from ARM will diminish and top OEMs like Apple and Samsung will spend more effort in tweaking their store bought GPU IPs, adding better algorithms, perhaps even hardwiring them in micro-code. That might be the game Apple would have better chance to stay ahead of Samsung - till of course the next Killer App comes along that does not need higher res. / faster Video !

Katalog Stron
User Rank
Apprentice
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Katalog Stron   2/24/2013 8:03:31 PM
Apple is battling Samsung and others in this market and margins are crucial. Apple cannot affort to write a royalty check to Intel for each iPhone sold especially when Samsung is using it's own processor. http://www.katalogstron-seo.pl/

Katalog Stron
User Rank
Apprentice
re: Apple processors: Designed differently but here to stay
Katalog Stron   2/24/2013 8:03:31 PM
Apple is battling Samsung and others in this market and margins are crucial. Apple cannot affort to write a royalty check to Intel for each iPhone sold especially when Samsung is using it's own processor. http://www.katalogstron-seo.pl/



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