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iPad's custom Apple A4 processor includes ARM-based CPU, GPU - Page 5

post #161 of 198
Apple are the experts here, they define the user experience, they create the software, the hardware. If you don't like the way they do it, then don't buy the device. If you want to create content on a portable device that allows multi tasking, spend a couple of hundred dollars more and buy a macbook.

My parents (now happily divorced) are finally excited about a piece of technology. Can I listen to music while reading a book? "yes" Will it be difficult to use? "no" Can i keep it in a cupboard when i'm not using it? "Yes - but you could also use it as a digital picture frame".

Sold.

That's the target audience. There are plenty of them. They don't care about "multi-tasking", they might care about flash - but that particular ball is in Adobe's court, it's proprietary software and apple can't do anything about it.
post #162 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1)

3) Making any and all apps run in the background and require a Task Manager to shut off is not "the right way".

There are more elegant ways.

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post #163 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

How can you state that as a fact and have nothing to back it up? If it's "needed" then how has the iPhone and Touch been able to sell so well? While desirable for several reasons it's obviously not needed.


Fanboyism at it's best.

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post #164 of 198
I believe there is a transition occurring. It is without a doubt that these iPads/slates will take over mobile computing. They will be fully capable of multi tasking and holding battery life. Think about it. Apple has one of the largest R&D departments in the world. You don't think they have a tablet hidden somewhere running OSX. 100% chance they do. The only problem is that its probably to thick and costs over $1500. I like the route Apple has gone. In 2-3 years everyone will see the big picture
post #165 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree, but I have a feeling that the KIndle prices are going to drop within the next 2 months. That's not to say the Kindle was overpriced for the market or still without merit. There wasn't much viable competition when introduced and eInk still has its benefits for a certain type of customer.

I think the iPad's biggest customer may be those forgoing a netbook of bargain basement notebook for a $500 Apple tablet with option for physical keyboard, if needed, for their basic email and Interneting needs .

Agreed, the kindle will have to half in price at the very least. That doesn't negate the price comparison of these devices at launch - kindle DX - $489 [eReader with 3G for downloading new books only], iPad - $499 [e-reader, video, music, video, internet, email, photo presentation, App Store, N+ wireless networking]. This direct comparison negates all the stupid comments about what this product can't do. It can do what Apple intended it to do. If people don't like that, then don't buy it - it's really that simple.

This isn't for anything more than basic email and internet needs. Most of the target market will use this an eReader and music device cause the iPod touch is too small for them. That they can check email and browse the web is just the icing on the cake (professionals at home who don't wanna work at home, the older generation who are confused by computers etc. will love this thing].

iWork on this thing is pretty, but professionals aren't going to use this (or iWork) for serious output, that's an attempt at productivity which, frankly, dilutes the very clear purpose this device should have. (I think demo-ing it was a mistake, and it should have been left out to retain clarity of message in the keynote). For work - a laptop or desktop, for play - the iPad. Simples.

One final thing - this has more pixels on it than my 12" samsung netbook. The netbook is slow, fugly and can't do anything well in it's 2 hour batter life, it's a constant compromise, and it was a bad purchase. The iPad is not a netbook replacement, it is something new, something better.
post #166 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

The major flaw with you logic is that you think you know what everage user want instead of asking you make assumptions. Apple is in denial mode and that means multitasking is coming. iPad is perfect for my father and his is not tech guy, but even he said that this is BS.

Except you are the one making assumptions about the average user's wants, not me, which you further demonstrate by using your father as an example as the average user.
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post #167 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Fanboyism at it's best.

Nope, it's a statement of fact. The biggest selling smartphone on the planet is the iPhone, the biggest selling portable audio player the iPod. So when people state that this device is simply an enlarged iPod Touch, then why on earth would that be seen as something bad? It's got more power and better features than the iPod touch, so where's the issue?
post #168 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by illimiter View Post

How many people use Spotify or Pandora to stream music on their iTouch/iPhone? Not many. Most people just sync in music from iTunes.

Spotify isn't available for most markets, and not for large markets such as the US, Japan and Germany. Spotify have 250k paying customers that can use Spotify in iPhone (and Android which supports multitasking) and I think that they'd get a lot more if Spotify could multitask on the iPhone. Spotify is really popular here in Sweden with probably approaching or even exceeding a million users. It's pretty well known that Spotify on iPhone isn't all what it could be, and that it's Apple's fault.

Apple should provide some functinality for apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Skype to run in the background, preferably via some API/service/daemon of their own design so they can keep control over resource management. Why not use the same facilities as iTunes and the Phone applications use? Essentially making Spotify a plugin to iTunes (I wouldn't mind that on OSX either..).

Just a thought.
post #169 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

There are more elegant ways.

You have stated not one hypothesis to that regard. You've just bellyached and blathered that it needs it and using music streaming and your father as your only arguments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Fanboyism at it's best.

...and you just lost any credibility you might have in a healthy debate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by azzurri View Post

You don't think they have a tablet hidden somewhere running [Mac] OSX. 100% chance they do. The only problem is that its probably to thick and costs over $1500. I like the route Apple has gone. In 2-3 years everyone will see the big picture

I don't think so. Mac OS X's UI doesn't work well at all on a netbook. A 10" display of my MSI WInd was simply to small for prolonged computing. If it had a 4:3 display like the iPadwhich allows for more screen area and heightthan a 16:10 display it would have been better, but I think only marginally, at best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

One final thing - this has more pixels on it than my 12" samsung netbook. The netbook is slow, fugly and can't do anything well in it's 2 hour batter life, it's a constant compromise, and it was a bad purchase. The iPad is not a netbook replacement, it is something new, something better.

Netbooks in general have exceptionally poor display panels and backlighting. Surely it brings down the cost, but it almost seems like a requirement for the device category. The exception to this rule, while still being in the price category is Asus Eee PC 1005HA. I haven't seen it up close and personal, but I trust AnandTech's reviews of these things.
http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=3693&p=7
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post #170 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

I would've thought A4 was referring to a sheet of paper, and Apple meant it for the iPad, so it fits perfectly. But I could be wrong...

Seems to me that Steve must likes Audis. He's probably got a customized R8 5.2 just for driving to the office. A steal at around $165k.
post #171 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by azzurri View Post

What exactly do you need to multitask? People keep saying that but take a moment and think about it in a practical sense. Are you going to play a game while listening to music... editing a document and watching porn.... all on a 9.3" touch screen. From what I've watched... I see all the Apps open instantly on tap. Within a micro second you are doing whatever you want to. If you need to multitask in the true sense you use a laptop or a desktop. I'd rather have 10 hours of battery life than multitasking on the iPad. I'm sure eventually true multi-tasking will arrive on such a mobile device but defiantly not to sacrifice battery and performance.

It's always the same lame answer... Pandora.
post #172 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

In the USA paper isn't A4 it's US Letter. the A B etc. paper sizes are European and not used here, we still have inches and F° Temp and no decent Health care

If you substitute the word 'Global' instead of 'European' you are even closer to the mark.

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post #173 of 198
Back on the subject of the A4 SoC, which is more interesting and certainly more significant than the preceding several pages of flaming, I see no reason to assume that its processor section is necessarily multicore, much less 4-core. The ARM A9, which of course may or may not be the actual microprocessor in the A4, exists in both single and multicore versions. Even the single core version is multi-threaded, although even that isn't strictly necessary for multitasking—but it helps. A multicore processor isn't strictly needed for what the iPhone OS does at present. AI has for some reason chosen to show the block diagram of a 4-core A9 in this article, but there's been no evidence at all presented so far to support that. Apple, of course, isn't saying...

Regarding ARM, it's a British company in which Apple has long been an investor. Apple already licenses ARM processor designs for Samsung to build into SoCs for the iPhone. Here's ARM's (rather junky looking) web site: http://www.arm.com/. As far as I know ARM is a fabless design house only, as is Apple's PA semi.

Apple's decision not to allow third party multitasking in the iPhone OS is enforced by keeping the required APIs private and not available to developers. To enable multitasking they'd also have to provide some kind of UI to control app switching. All this is of course possible, but it's not without consequences for responsiveness and battery life. It seems reasonable to imagine that Apple will offer a greater degree of multitasking in future, but predicting what Apple wants to do is an uncertain business.
post #174 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Crazy people.

No, more like a stupid reply from you.
post #175 of 198
yeah all this multitasking talk is SO DAMN BORING, and moronic. Sure some minimal extra app running in the background would be nice if not essential. But launch speed is more important. And all you guys blathering on about IM and facebook and all that crap. I got two word for you: push notification. Set the damn push for your facebook and im, and as soon as you get that message/notification etc. go there and chat, why would you need to chat whilst watching a video or doing work in pages is beyond me. Like others have set both the iphone and the ipads will be quick to save states in the apps they are and instant switching between them will be better than draining your battery and leaving 4 apps open at the same time and then coming here and whining how apple hasn't managed to power a 10 inch ips led screen, with ipod playing in the background, and videos, and all for more than at least 48 hours non stop.

More interesting by far is to see what pa semi has brought to the table and if they implemented on of their custom chips like the powervr, or they ditched them altogether to customise an arm cpu for os x focused tec like open cl and grand central, and optimised the cpu core in general. So far we know almost nothing about all this, apple is (understandable tight lipped), so everyone is speculating. I am speculating too that this might be a modified arm and not a powervr, since despite their low thermal envelopes they were not that low, plus a lot of it was propriety to the the military, so we might not see some of these designed licensed to apple.
post #176 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by illimiter View Post

And I have received texts while playing geoDefense. You get a nice alert that allows you to reply or ignore. If you choose to reply, then you are taken to the SMS app. When you're done you can just launch geoDefense again and continue your game. What's the problem??

There are actually several problems with this.
1. You can't truly ignore an alert. It pops up in front of the running application, requiring you to acknowledge it. This is bad UI design. There should be a notification tray, maybe in the status bar, that allows you to react to an alert whenever you want to.

2. Startup time. To get back to where you left off, you first need to find the app you were using again (either by scrolling through pages of apps or by typing the name of the app in search). Then you need to wait until the app has fully loaded. This may not be a big deal for many apps, but some take more than 10s to start. It's a bad experience, especially for a device that is often used for short periods of time, and therefore should be quick at what it does.

3. Some apps don't continue exactly where you left off. You could argue that it's bad programming, but that's simply the way it is.
post #177 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Back on the subject of the A4 SoC, which is more interesting and certainly more significant than the preceding several pages of flaming, I see no reason to assume that its processor section is necessarily multicore, much less 4-core.

Well, the source that AI is quoting is stating that its a Cortex-A9 MPCore-based SoC, and those are at least dual core. And Bright Side of News is the only one really claiming to know stuff. All others are just speculation. But the fact that they got the GPU completely wrong, their claim of CPU must be put in that context. For what it's worth, Bright Side of News, have now corrected some stuff in their article so it doesn't include factual errors, like that the iPad would use Mali-50. But it still contains other errors, like that Snapdragon and Tegra is using Cortex-A9 (they are using Cortex-A8). It might be right that A4 use Cortex-A9 MPCore... It's likely but we don't know.

Before this event, I would have put my money on a core with a pipeline that P.A. Semi had built from scratch. Just like what they did with their PWRFicient PowerPC processors. this being their first product, they might have opted for an existing core though, That makes sense too.
post #178 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treefoot View Post

There are actually several problems with this.
1. You can't truly ignore an alert. It pops up in front of the running application, requiring you to acknowledge it. This is bad UI design. There should be a notification tray, maybe in the status bar, that allows you to react to an alert whenever you want to.

Agreed, the notification system on the iPhone is due for the biggest overhaul.
The system needs a way of aggregating such notifications and presenting a summary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treefoot View Post

2. Startup time. To get back to where you left off, you first need to find the app you were using again (either by scrolling through pages of apps or by typing the name of the app in search). Then you need to wait until the app has fully loaded. This may not be a big deal for many apps, but some take more than 10s to start. It's a bad experience, especially for a device that is often used for short periods of time, and therefore should be quick at what it does.

3. Some apps don't continue exactly where you left off. You could argue that it's bad programming, but that's simply the way it is.

Instant resumption of tasks is really desirable.

But as I explained earlier, this does not need multi-tasking. Specifically it does not need apps to run in background. It would be entirely the *wrong* behavior if games continued to run while you answered a text.

It just needs the OS to be able to suspend and resume applications.

C.
post #179 of 198
Let's clarify some things here, folks.

The OS is OS X underneath, which is a certified UNIX. So saying it "doesn't multitask" is ridiculous. As a developer, I can tell you that it obviously does - the OS has probably 50+ tasks bobbing in and out of execution at all times, just as in the desktop version.

As far as not allowing 3rd-party apps to be switched out of the foreground, that's been explained here. You absolutely do not want 20 apps launched and not quit, which are then all downloading RSS feeds or photos or pinging servers or even continuing to run their graphics loops in the background.

I can tell you that even ONE busy background task is enough to slow down the main thread on an iPod touch.

Now as far as multi-core, it's true that threads don't care how many cores there are. But if a single-core chip doesn't have the performance to do two intensive tasks without one affecting the other, then separate cores solves the problem. An example:

- You have a word game app that needs to load a 9 MB dictionary or word list at startup. There is no way to load part of it, because you don't know what part will be used first. And loading it lazily (depending on what is asked for) destroys the "instant response" feature of your game.

- So, on launch you don't want to make the user wait 10 seconds looking at a "loading.. please wait..." screen before he can enter some text to look up. So you want the GUI to let him type into a text field WHILE the word list is being loaded in another thread.

- This turns out to be easy using NSOperationQueue, especially since the threads don't rely on each other except that the word list has to be loaded before you let the user hit "Lookup" - the word list isn't needed WHILE the user is just typing the text in.

- Now doing this on a gen 1 touch significantly delays the appearance of the keyboard when the user taps it - thus showing that the processor in the touch isn't up to the task.

- But if the touch had TWO cores, it could easily dedicate one to the GUI and the other to loading the file off the disk and the user responsiveness would be fine.

- I imagine with the performance of this new A4 chip, a single core would do fine compared to the ARM chip in the touch.

- Given that Snow Leopard has Grand Central in it, and that high-level multitasking APIs such as NSOperationQueue already use GC, multi-core has to be in the cards, if it's not already on the chip.

So anyone who says the OS doesn't multitask has no idea what the word means.
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post #180 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

But uses little resources according to who?
Perhaps the app we are talking about, is not a music player, but a videogame. It uses all the resources available and then some. It wants to continue to play music and render graphics in background. Should it be allowed to do so? Who decides?

You are talking about things that already has been solved. The OS manages foreground and background processes. If the system need more memory, it sends notification to background process to close. E.g. look at the Android application life cycle
Also the OS decreases priority for background threads - it saves more processor time for foreground threads. It prevents the devices from locking up by background application
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post #181 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henriok View Post

Well, the source that AI is quoting is stating that its a Cortex-A9 MPCore-based SoC, and those are at least dual core.

That's actually not true, you could use a single Cortex-A9 MPCore in a SoC. Similarly, Nvidia used a single ARM11 MPCore in Tegra 1.

Quote:
But it still contains other errors, like that Snapdragon and Tegra is using Cortex-A9 (they are using Cortex-A8).

Actually, Snapdragon uses Qualcomm's own ARMv7 CPU, Scorpion. Tegra1 uses an ARM11 MPCore, Tegra2 is dual Cortex-A9.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

But as I explained earlier, this does not need multi-tasking. Specifically it does not need apps to run in background. It would be entirely the *wrong* behavior if games continued to run while you answered a text.

There are indeed many apps which don't need to run in the background, as they simply don't have anything meaningful to do without user input. However, most such apps are driven by input events and would not take any CPU time if put in the background anyway. They take up memory, but keeping data around is a necessity for fast task switching. Some memory allocations could probably be released, though.

Games should pause and disable their render loop while in the background (like well-behaved games on the desktop do), but multiplayer games may have to keep up a connection to the server (or continue acting as server).
post #182 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by gin_tonic View Post

You are talking about things that already has been solved. The OS manages foreground and background processes. If the system need more memory, it sends notification to background process to close.

Run in the background until you get squeezed out? You think that is intelligent process managment? That is a default system before making it "good", which the original iPhone OS used. Those of us who used the original iPhones remember leaving the Safari app for a second just to have to wait for it to reload the page again when we went back into it. Saving the content when you exit, not sucking resources which result in poorer battery life and having an intelligent background managment system are much much better. Background apps will likely come soon, but they'll be done with the averge user in mind.
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post #183 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Multitasking is necessary.

For example you cant listen to a iTunes U lecture and follow along reading your e-Textbook.

Waiting for a important email? Well you can't listen to music or watch a TV show in the meanwhile.

Want to copy a great passage from a e-book and email it to your friend? oh no can't do that.

Sometimes I think Apple has lost it's fscking mind.

So many have so capably answered your rant previous to this I graciously withdraw my comment!
post #184 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henriok View Post

Well, the source that AI is quoting is stating that its a Cortex-A9 MPCore-based SoC, and those are at least dual core. And Bright Side of News is the only one really claiming to know stuff. All others are just speculation. But the fact that they got the GPU completely wrong, their claim of CPU must be put in that context. For what it's worth, Bright Side of News, have now corrected some stuff in their article so it doesn't include factual errors, like that the iPad would use Mali-50. But it still contains other errors.

Exactly. Furthermore, BSN has now backed off their original claim, with this update:

"Update #1, January 28, 2010 22:22 GMT/UTC - Following the request for comments, we were incline to update the story. First of all, we do not have concrete information about the number of cores inside the Apple A4 "CPU that it isn't" i.e. A4 SOC. We were told that the ARM licensed its CPU and GPU technology to Apple. That's it."

So much for any credibility BSN might ever have had (none with me...) on this subject.

For everybody's benefit, this family of processor designs is available as the ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core and ARM Cortex-A9MPCore (up to 4-cores), see http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/core_selector.html.

It's pretty clear that nobody outside Apple knows what's inside that A4 package at this point — maybe not too many inside Apple either!
post #185 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

For everybody's benefit, this family of processor designs is available as the ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core and ARM Cortex-A9MPCore (up to 4-cores), see http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/core_selector.html.

It's pretty clear that nobody outside Apple knows what's inside that A4 package at this point maybe not too many inside Apple either!

If i were to put money on it I'd say that it's no more than two. Historically, Apple is more inclined to take a conservative approach with these things, either control of known hardware an/or having a place to grow to so I wouldn't be surprised if this is just well optimized A8.
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post #186 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post

It ain't going to happen because multitasking on mobile devices simply don't make sense and there is NO logical argument to support that it does.

Considering how quickly you can change apps multi tasking is just a crap idea made by people who don't understand portable devices.

The design of OS X ensures that multitasking isn't needed so there's no reason to add it. I mean how many apps do you NEED to run on a portable device at one time?

It isn't multitasking so much that people need as background processes (just like how iPod can play in background). If Apple opens up a very restricted background services API I think they might quell all this frustration over "multitasking". Multitasking is really more of a hardware term & we know already that iPhone can multitask as you can play quicktime streams in Safari in the background or listen to your iPod.

Apple also needs a suspend state API for apps so that when you exit an app it can suspend it's process where it is just like the OS on a laptop suspends when put to sleep. It already has this capability on iPhone as we see when exiting Mail & then going back to continue composing an e-mail. We need to see this feature expanded so that app developers don't have to create their own work arounds, which often are buggy & unreliable.
post #187 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by randyhyde@me.com View Post

C'mon dudes-
OSX (from the biggest Mac down to the smallest iphone) supports multitasking. This is a kernel property that *all* OS X variants (Mac OS and iPhone OS) share.

What Apple is not allowing you to do is run multiple *3rd Party Apps* concurrently. You most certainly *can* multitask on an iPhone (ever make a call and look at a map at the same time?) The kernel in the OS supports multitasking just fine.

That's what I'm getting at. The general thinking people seem to have is that multi-tasking is running more than one app at a time much like you do on a desktop. I was basing my comments on that ideology not how you're describing it as which I agree with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

At least two that I can think of off the top of my head. For instance, I can't tell you how often I would like to continue listening to Pandora while checking my e-mail or playing solitaire or a tower defense game. The iPad takes this even a step further. If I were say listening to a radio program and wanted to take some notes in Pages. These are just a couple examples of things that I would be doing on a regular basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

No, it does make sense. You know why? Because you can browse web using Safari while listening to music and running Timer in the background. It only makes sense, but it shpuld be implemented properly.

But there are already systems in place that allow you to do that. Notifications pops a message on the screen, iPod is accessible from any application that has been written with the Apple APIs, and the Timer has always been able to run in the background.

Apple has always given the APIs to allow developers to do all that and the iPad can do all of that because it's the same operating system as the iPhone. The idea that you can't listen to music while surfing the web is ludicrous because it's been done ever since OS X 3.0 so I fail to see what people are complaining about.

What Apple hasn't allowed is for more than one application to run concurrently which doesn't make logical sense. I mean on a desktop or laptop Mac you have more resources at your beck and call so running multiple apps with a dock to access those when you need to makes sense. But needing to access a web browser, a database, an e-mail, and play a game at the same time doesn't make sense on a mobile device. That's where notifications come in and let's face it the Home screen is more or less an application selector anyway it just means you load up each application and close each application when you use it.
post #188 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezekiahb View Post

Apple also needs a suspend state API for apps so that when you exit an app it can suspend it's process where it is just like the OS on a laptop suspends when put to sleep. It already has this capability on iPhone as we see when exiting Mail & then going back to continue composing an e-mail. We need to see this feature expanded so that app developers don't have to create their own work arounds, which often are buggy & unreliable.

But if Apple can do this for Mail then why can't everyone else? Bento does it. Twitterific does it. FaceBook does it.

Ultimately the issue is not that Apple is preventing it from being done but it is that some developers either don't know how to do it or don't want to do it. How is that Apple's fault? How is it Apple's fault that a developer doesn't want to play the game and instead want to try and reinvent the wheel themselves?
post #189 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If i were to put money on it I'd say that it's no more than two. Historically, Apple is more inclined to take a conservative approach with these things, either control of known hardware an/or having a place to grow to so I wouldn't be surprised if this is just well optimized A8.

It is much more likely that Apple did the exact same thing as Qualcomm --- license the armv7a architecture itself and create their own implementation. No reason to spend almost $300 million on PA Semi and their 150 engineers just to "cut and paste" a Cortex A8 core with a GPU licensed from somebody else.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon doesn't have any Cortex cores in it --- no Cortex A8 or A9. The Snapdragon core is called Scorpion and is made entirely by Qualcomm.

Why would they do that? Because that is the cheapest option when you have the expertise of a large CPU designer team. It's like AMD selling their own x86 chips --- AMD just license the x86 architecture from Intel, but the entire CPU is designed by AMD itself.
post #190 of 198
In regards to the lack of true multitasking on the iPad--don't forget the rumored iPhone OS 4.0, which may make an appearance just before WWDC 2010. It's likely that now there is enough hardware "oomph," iPhone OS 4.0 will be able to actually do multitasking. Expect Apple to offer iPhone OS 4.0 for the iPad and the next-generation iPhones, which may offer a "reduced" version of the A4 CPU designed for the tighter power requirements of the iPhone.
post #191 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by SactoMan01 View Post

In regards to the lack of true multitasking on the iPad--don't forget the rumored iPhone OS 4.0, which may make an appearance just before WWDC 2010. It's likely that now there is enough hardware "oomph," iPhone OS 4.0 will be able to actually do multitasking. Expect Apple to offer iPhone OS 4.0 for the iPad and the next-generation iPhones, which may offer a "reduced" version of the A4 CPU designed for the tighter power requirements of the iPhone.

It's demo has been coming in March with a new SDK. I'd say this is to get developer started with iPad specific apps but with a release on the update around-mid year The iPad will obviously be releasing with v3.2 but with the next major update just a few months later.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #192 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

The new A4 probably is an ARM Cortex A9 with Power VR GPU I doubt Apple is using MALI when they get great performance from the PowerVR GPU and PowerVR supports OpenCL. The article is so full of factual errors, that it is obvious that they are guessing like everyone else. As far as seeing an A4 in the iphone/itouch. You can bet on it with the next version. The upfront design cost of a modern SOC means you need to build a bunch to make it worthwhile.

Good post. Thanks.

I am guessing that the reason SDK 3.2 is iPad only is that there are special features of the A4 chip that it can address.

How does this theory sound to you all out there?
post #193 of 198
carniphage nails it here so does lundy and melgross
read them and multi anything becomes clear
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beatles
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post #194 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

Let's clarify some things here, folks.

The OS is OS X underneath, which is a certified UNIX. So saying it "doesn't multitask" is ridiculous. As a developer, I can tell you that it obviously does - the OS has probably 50+ tasks bobbing in and out of execution at all times, just as in the desktop version.

As far as not allowing 3rd-party apps to be switched out of the foreground, that's been explained here. You absolutely do not want 20 apps launched and not quit, which are then all downloading RSS feeds or photos or pinging servers or even continuing to run their graphics loops in the background.

I can tell you that even ONE busy background task is enough to slow down the main thread on an iPod touch.

Now as far as multi-core, it's true that threads don't care how many cores there are. But if a single-core chip doesn't have the performance to do two intensive tasks without one affecting the other, then separate cores solves the problem. An example:

- You have a word game app that needs to load a 9 MB dictionary or word list at startup. There is no way to load part of it, because you don't know what part will be used first. And loading it lazily (depending on what is asked for) destroys the "instant response" feature of your game.

- So, on launch you don't want to make the user wait 10 seconds looking at a "loading.. please wait..." screen before he can enter some text to look up. So you want the GUI to let him type into a text field WHILE the word list is being loaded in another thread.

- This turns out to be easy using NSOperationQueue, especially since the threads don't rely on each other except that the word list has to be loaded before you let the user hit "Lookup" - the word list isn't needed WHILE the user is just typing the text in.

- Now doing this on a gen 1 touch significantly delays the appearance of the keyboard when the user taps it - thus showing that the processor in the touch isn't up to the task.

- But if the touch had TWO cores, it could easily dedicate one to the GUI and the other to loading the file off the disk and the user responsiveness would be fine.

- I imagine with the performance of this new A4 chip, a single core would do fine compared to the ARM chip in the touch.

- Given that Snow Leopard has Grand Central in it, and that high-level multitasking APIs such as NSOperationQueue already use GC, multi-core has to be in the cards, if it's not already on the chip.

So anyone who says the OS doesn't multitask has no idea what the word means.

can we make this post required reading for all members ??

thank you admin for =the great info
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post #195 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

This is a first generation device. It does a lot. Given time it will do more.

Be patient.

Buy one, or don't buy one. When the camera makes it's appearance, people will be complaining about the lack of being able to run Photoshop CS4 on this thing while playing 1080 HD video and web conferencing with their friends.

It's not a laptop replacement. It does not need to be, nor will it ever be a powerful work tool, or a tool designed to replace a laptop or desktop. That would be the next evolution of those platforms, this is the first iteration of a new device. A 'dumbed down' device if you prefer to see it that way.

The platform for this device - its audience - are not a 'niche' market. Plenty of people have no interest in computers, or are too old, too busy or simply can't be bothered to learn how to use a full computer (I know plenty, including my parents). These people still recognise that email and the internet are now an integral part of life and will be able to pick one of these things up and just use it.

Even better, it can live in a drawer/bag/cupboard when not in use, as many people don't want a desktop computer in the corner of their living space, or a laptop to lug around. It could sit on the side as a digital photo frame if people so desired.

It's not there for you to play xbox quality games on, to edit photo's in 16bit CMYK @300dpi, or to create serious business output. That isn't the purpose of this device. It's a toy - not a tool.

Try and grasp that concept.

The only omission for the everyday user is a front facing camera (this thing is the wrong form factor to ever be used as a digital camera, so only a front facing camera is a sensible addition). I can see that video conferencing would be an ergonomic nightmare when this device is hand held, unless you want people to look up your nose. It will come though, probably at the same time as the front camera on the iPhone/iPod Touch, perhaps even sooner.

Be patient. There are no omissions or errors here, only potential additional features which will no doubt be added as the product continues to develop.

nice post
puts a pin the balloon quite well

cheers dude

peace 9
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post #196 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by b-a-r View Post

.. I'm sorry, but this thing just baffles me. I felt seriously sorry for Jobs, watching the keynote and seeing all those webpages load with the missing Flashplayer icon. I see he's totally into it, and honestly seems to believe in it, but no camera? iPhone OS? It sucks on the iPhone, why wouldn't it suck more on a 9" screen? I guess i could see this thing being kinda cool in a classroom, for rented textbooks, etc.. but, how about a little OLED clamshell, real keyboard, 16:9 screen, blu-ray support or even an internal blu-ray drive (Shoot, while their at it, how about an HD-DVD/Blu-Ray drive for all us suckers who adopted HD-DVD) Did Apple actually do any customer market research on this thing? Because i know if apple asked ANY of us about it, they'd have made something very different (or at least incorporated desired/functional features). I'd pay $900 for something like that. They've mastered overseas manufacturing for pennies on the dollar, made billions in the last few years. How about giving people a price break and offering something seriously killer??? I'm optimistic they could make up the profit loss in volume??? I love Apple, don't get me wrong, i've been fully Apple from the get-go, but this thing just seems like a rich guy's toy, about 3 years behind the times.
Ugh.. my rant is over.

Wow... Just wow.
post #197 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henriok View Post

Well, the source that AI is quoting is stating that its a Cortex-A9 MPCore-based SoC, and those are at least dual core. And Bright Side of News is the only one really claiming to know stuff. All others are just speculation. But the fact that they got the GPU completely wrong, their claim of CPU must be put in that context. For what it's worth, Bright Side of News, have now corrected some stuff in their article so it doesn't include factual errors, like that the iPad would use Mali-50. But it still contains other errors, like that Snapdragon and Tegra is using Cortex-A9 (they are using Cortex-A8). It might be right that A4 use Cortex-A9 MPCore... It's likely but we don't know.

Before this event, I would have put my money on a core with a pipeline that P.A. Semi had built from scratch. Just like what they did with their PWRFicient PowerPC processors. this being their first product, they might have opted for an existing core though, That makes sense too.

If we are all speculating, we might as well read some informed speculation. This article quotes people from well-informed sources like Microprocessor Report who admit no one really knows but the most likely thing given lead times is A4 is based on an existing ARM core with a graphics engine very similar to that in the iPhone. The most likely reason for doing their own design is cost (they also mention power but ARM designs are generally already very competitive on power management).

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #198 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

If we are all speculating, we might as well read some informed speculation. This article quotes people from well-informed sources like Microprocessor Report who admit no one really knows but the most likely thing given lead times is A4 is based on an existing ARM core with a graphics engine very similar to that in the iPhone. The most likely reason for doing their own design is cost (they also mention power but ARM designs are generally already very competitive on power management).

Perhaps some folks see no problem with powerful processors running at 1% utilization. I would like to see the A4 benchmarks and see where it falls related to other processors on the market. My sense of what is being said is that it ought to be very capable. While there may be some need for limited multi tasking of user applications; I am not interested in an unresponsive unit that wastes time bringing up an application or drags down the user interface. Lean clean virus free functionality seems to be a goals of the iPad.

I have been working in an environment where much work has been done to put medical records into web form for doctors and nurses to view and update. Windows based units have had short battery life, weigh too much and are burdened with security problems. If the A4 based iPad can do fast full page web browsing, provide a light easy to read unit with reasonable input ability and run without recharging a whole work day; all at a very reasonable cost; I think the unit will prove to answer many many needs which have not been well met to date. There simply isn't much else like it on the market.

While Microsoft is focused on putting ever larger OS's into a smaller package, they seem to be ignoring the fact that hardly anyone needs all that power running obese applications. Apple is on track in recognizing that most users do not need wasted powerful processors, and together with the foresight of seeing that in those cases, powerful applications can be run off on some other CPU(s) out on the web or private network while viewing and controlling these applications remotely. You can run demanding programs elsewhere and switch between webpages. I think that in the iPad Apple is providing a system which can take great advantage of these insights.
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