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Apple to expand CPU design group beyond iPad A4 - Page 2

post #41 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Not sure which universe you're in, but in this universe there were several Windows emulators for PowerPC Macs. Google "windows emulator powerpc mac" for some examples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

MS Windows is made to run on any PC and Macs are PCs. Even when Macs used PowerPC you could have Windows installed through Virtual PC. Right now we have Parallels, VMWare, and Sandbox VM. This is not an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

I get more use out of Fusion than I ever did of Bootcamp. Just saying that it might not be the doom and gloom you are trying to put out there.

I apologize, I apologize. I meant only for native installation, not virtualization. That's always possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsadler View Post

Um, ok so basically you're saying you won't be able to install Mac OS on unsupported devices. Who, besides a fraction of a percentage, gives a damn?

"I don't care about it, so it's obviously not worth caring about."

Quote:
Have you ever owned a Mac? Do you know what Bootcamp is? Get educated.

I'd like to get educated as to what the frick this has to do with anything.

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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So are we talking about all this cost and effort to prevent a few Hackintoshes? And I cant see how allow Windows as dual-boot or VM has increased Mac sales. So the reason for Apple working on its own chip designs tells me that its something considerably more profound that what you seem to be inferring.

I'm inferring that they'd create their own architecture separate from ARM, X86, or PowerPC. It's either that or making very, VERY low-power X86 chips, but Intel seems to have a hegemony on that sort of thing.

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Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I fail to see any mention in the article that would suggest this ARM design will be use in Mac's. Its for mobile iOS devices...

Nor did I say anything about ARM.

In the late 90s, I thought to myself, "you know, if Apple made all of their own hardware for computers, they'd be able to write whatever software they want without any hardware restrictions, as they'd just be able to build the restrictions out of the hardware itself." This is contemplations on an LC 575, so take that with a mound of salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The whole reason Macs have been so successful as of late is that they have no restrictions on what can run on the machines. Why would Apple screw with that?

No software restrictions, perhaps. Hardware? They've always had restrictions.

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Even though I tire of dilger writing style he was pretty clear that this was about mobile device.

"And now we're bringing what we've learned on the iPad back to the Mac." \

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I think you missed something here, no one has indicated that they are getting rid of i86 hardware in Macs.

Not yet, anyway.

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post #42 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Exactly what I'm thinking. $278 million for PA Semi plus $121 for Intrinsity is too much to spend on a slightly warmed-over single-CPU ARM design. The purchases prevent competitors from acquiring that IP and engineering talent, but that's only a small bonus.

Yep. In the case of PA the rumor is that they where already at work on an Apple chip.
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I think Apple's long-term goal is to create their own proprietary SoC for not just their iDevices but for Macs as well.

Well this is BS!!!!!

Seriously one big selling point for Macs is that the user can run just about anything in a VM.
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This would help lower their hardware costs since they won't be paying off-the-shelf prices for one of the most expensive components in their products. And lower hardware costs will help Apple maintain their margins.

Apple simply isn't big enough to do its own processor to match the i86 families. Not even close.
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But there are two more gigantic benefits. First, Apple could conceivably transition Mac OS back from Intel to their custom multi-core ARM. They have already transitioned Mac OS through several CPU changes: 68k to PowerPC, then PowerPC to Intel. Been there, done that, got the developers to come along too. And that could enormously benefit iDevices in the next decade. Eventually mobile device CPU power will exceed that of today's desktop computers, and Apple could prepare for that future by transitioning Mac OS to run on their ARM-based mobile CPUs.

I see zero chance of this happening.
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Second, and this is perhaps the most important benefit for Apple, using a custom ARM chip on all their computing products would free them from dependence on an outside chip designers. For decades, from the 6502 to Intel Core i7, Apple has been at the mercy of the Motorolas, IBMs, and Intels of the world. Each of which have different goals than Apple. Motorola and IBM were more concerned with the embedded versions of their PowerPC chips than efficient and speedy desktop and laptop computer versions. Intel is more concerned with optimizing Windows performance than anything else. (And the CISC design of their CPUs uses vast areas of silicon for the execution of obscure backward-compatible x86 instructions generated only by Microsoft's compilers.)

It is one thing to run a program that uses ARM IP it is a totally different thing to build a processor that is functionally more impressive than the i86 hardware on the market.
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None of those chip makers really wants to build a bespoke chip just for Apple. Intel, just after Apple completed the PowerPC-to-Intel transition, gave Apple their newest chips first. The original MacBook Air had an avant-garde chip that eventually was used in other laptops. But that was presumably because Apple paid them for that privilege, an unsustainable tactic, and the honeymoon ended.

I don't know about that, if I was AMD I'd be all over Apple and very willing to build whatever SoC they wanted. Imagine if one of AMD's Bobcat based Fusion products was tweaked for Apple, with Apple IP on board.
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Apple could eliminate their co-dependence on other chip designers now that they have acquired PA Semi's and Intrinsity's intellectual property. And that will set them up for their next decade or two of innovation. No other tech company in the world will be as well prepared.

Well yeah in mobile devices, I suspect this is their goal. The problem is when you go beyond that, the issues are massively non trivial. More importantly the spark that got Macs to selling was i86 more than anything else.
post #43 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I used some colloquial language, but the meaning was clear. There's no need to be so dismissive.

More so you where right. The A4 is only a minor tweak.
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The last I heard, Apple has a license to customise the Cortex A8 and A9 and so far, all they have done is do some very minor tweaks on the A8, put it in an SoC and called it the A4. My argument was only that given the IP they have, the acquisitions they have made, and the talent they acquired thereby, it makes sense that the A5 or whatever the next chip is called might be a more customised version of the actual core silicon.

If what you are saying here is accurate:


Then I'm off by a year or two and it might take until the A6 to see some real differences between Apple's silicon and the competition.

Apple absolutely needs at least dual core hardware in iPad 2. If they don't have new hardware to go into that machine then they will have trouble.
post #44 of 170
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Originally Posted by Morky View Post

Does anyone know whether it's possible that Apple could hard wire in silicon certain functions from their core libraries for huge performance gains? That could serve as one of the reasons they are pushing developers to use only Apple's tools.

If you look at some of Apples patents you would have to say yes to that question. What they will do in reality is another thing.
post #45 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Lets face it they need to deliver far better hardware on iPad simply due to the competition. It would be pretty pathetic if iPad 2 arrived with a single core processor.

You keep saying the iPad is slow and that it cant keep up with the competition, yet everything coming from the iPad introduction stated was how surprisingly fast it felt for an ARM-based system and no other tablet OS competitor on the market has anything comparable, only minimal changes to Android 2.x.

If you honestly think that the iPad 2 (which is likely to ship months before PlayBook) has to use a much faster CPU than other tablets using ARM processors despite power management, drivers, apps, software and other aspects that can affect usability then youre in for a shock.
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post #46 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Seriously?! Youre now arguing that you cant have gradation in how much something has been optimized or customized?

Maybe he's been running overclocked and is suffering stability issues
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post #47 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You keep saying the iPad is slow and that it cant keep up with the competition, yet everything coming from the iPad introduction stated was how surprisingly fast it felt for an ARM-based system and no other tablet OS competitor on the market has anything comparable, only minimal changes to Android 2.x.

IPad is slow as it is. The competition is a problem because many of the coming tablets will have either dual core ARM processors or ATOM processors in them. However it is not that competition that makes iPad seem slow, rather it does that on its own when anything non trivial is attempted on the platform. The problem is when these tablets are our it will become very evident as to how slow iPad is.
Quote:

If you honestly think that the iPad 2 (which is likely to ship months before PlayBook) has to use a much faster CPU than other tablets using ARM processors despite power management, drivers, apps, software and other aspects that can affect usability then youre in for a shock.

Actually I think it needs a much faster processor just so it can begin to reach some of the goals Apple envisions for iPad. Yes I believe Apple, (Steveo and company) have a vision as to what iPad can be. iPad 1 isn't even close to what they have planned long term.
post #48 of 170
The smart way to run a company is to have the ability to create something from raw materials to the finished product and have the production capabilities to do it. By doing that there would be nothing that could stop it from creating products it wants.

Some business models have all of their design and manufacturing done by others. The people in the office just do the marketing and billing. Apple is half way between the two. They design things but don't manufacture anything.

Apple needs to take the next step with its chips and create their own. They're starting out with the A4 and perhaps with their new team will get good enough at it to design chips from scratch. They've got to start somewhere.

I wish Apple would actually manufacture things. They could start off by letting Americans assemble iPods and iPhones. Then they could have Americans manufacture the cases to their computers and idevices in the USA. In time Apple could manufacture their own circuit boards and chips in the USA. With the premium prices of Apple products the company could afford to do these things within the USA. Just the good public relations alone would get them more sales from Americans who want to support US manufacturers.

If Foxcon employs one million people in China then Apple could eventually move that production to the USA and create at least that many jobs.
post #49 of 170
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Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

We're all hopeful that the A4 isn't the end-of-the-line for Apple's processing interests. A family of A4s with varying clock speeds and then a family of A5s with new architecture that allows mulitple cores would be ideal.

It would be most telling if the Lion OSX version supports the use of ARM processors. That would solidfy the idea that Apple will take the processor into their Mac lines. With the XServe gone (why???) there's not as much need for high-powered processors. The ARM architecture will eventually catch-up in performance with Intel server offerings (read 3 years time).

An ARM server may be a done deal! There were all these rumors -- multiple cores, 64-bit...

Then it all stopped.

Silence doesn't necessarily mean that nothing is going on!

Supposedly the ARM A15 will be available in 2012:

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Last month TI announced it was the first to license ARMs next-generation Eagle core. Today, ARM is announcing the official name of that core: its the ARM Cortex A15.

Architectural details are light, and ARM is stating that first silicon will ship in 2012 at 32/28nm. Heres what we do know. The Cortex A15 will be a multi-core CPU, designs can have as few as a single core but most will have 2 - 4 cores depending on their target market.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3905/a...ks-and-servers


Here's an interesting comment -- reminds me of "one more thing" or "boom":

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ARM's latest processor core announcement was the Cortex-A15, previously codenamed Eagle. The A15 complies with the ARMv7 instruction architecture but with support for 40-bit virtualization. The next ARM processor to be announced will support 64-bit and could be unveiled as soon as next week, the report said.

One possibility - which would be very reminiscent of Intel's marketing style - would be if the basic Cortex-A15 design already supports 64-bit processing and ARM has quietly kept that detail back from the original announcement to give it more publicity. As ARM is licensor of IP it might be possible to allow chip partners to choose whether to opt for full 64-bit processing or opt for 32-bit depending on application and as they are designing their implementation of the chip.

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-n...n--says-report
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post #50 of 170
You do realize that you are arguing that what is available right now is inferior compared to something that is imaginary and exists in the future?

I don't see a general consensus out in the market that the iPad is slow. Yes indeed it will be slower than the newer technology that is not here yet. But that is the true for any technology that exists right now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

IPad is slow as it is. The competition is a problem because many of the coming tablets will have either dual core ARM processors or ATOM processors in them.
post #51 of 170
Again this is the state of evolution of all technology.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

.Actually I think it needs a much faster processor just so it can begin to reach some of the goals Apple envisions for iPad. Yes I believe Apple, (Steveo and company) have a vision as to what iPad can be. iPad 1 isn't even close to what they have planned long term.
post #52 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It looks like their intentions are to supplement the ARM instruction set with instructions that accelerate the execution of Objective C.

Dave


Can you amplify on that?

I can't remember where (my mind is long past overflowing) but I read that Apple was planning on using some technique or construct that allowed direct execution of Objective C code (without compilation or linking?).


TIA Dick

BTW, how goes the battle?
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post #53 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Maybe he's been running overclocked and is suffering stability issues

Maybe he just needs better cooling. I think that goes for many of us here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

IPad is slow as it is. The competition is a problem because many of the coming tablets will have either dual core ARM processors or ATOM processors in them.

Coming tablets… so tablets that aren’t yet available, most of which won’t be shown until next week and likely not shipping until after the iPad 2 you’re comparing a year old iPad. You honestly think that makes sense?

Does Android run on Atom or are talking about Windows. If you really think that booting, launching apps, and doing all the other general purpose consumer tasks done on tablets will be faster with Windows over Atom than with a mobile OS designed from the HW and every part of SW to be idealized for the device then I’m scratching my head even more. I guess that means you want to do heavy data crunching with a satellite computer, but why you’d think this is any way common or a sales driver is ridiculous.

Quote:
However it is not that competition that makes iPad seem slow, rather it does that on its own when anything non trivial is attempted on the platform. The problem is when these tablets are [out] it will become very evident as to how slow iPad is.

But they’re not out, so any comparison you make really comes across as trolling… but I know you well enough to know that can’t be the case. \

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iPad 1 isn't even close to what they have planned long term.

Completely fraking stumped by this comment. What first generation product that is to be updated yearly the “long term” plan specs for a product. If you think about it, you’re the only one who is considering the iPad current state as a “long term” anything by not expecting the HW to be at least comparable to what the competition can get ahold of in the future.
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post #54 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Here we go. What better way to completely shut the user out of the computer than making the whole thing proprietary? Mac OS will only work on Apple's architecture (read: Apple computers), and Windows, et. al. won't ever be installable because they'll have no need to build Apple versions.

It'd take forever, but it may happen.

Hardware is quickly moving back towards proprietary and software is becoming much more platform flexible. It's because software is finally advancing to a point to allow this & its the best option if you want hardware that truly works great.
post #55 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Actually I think it needs a much faster processor just so it can begin to reach some of the goals Apple envisions for iPad. Yes I believe Apple, (Steveo and company) have a vision as to what iPad can be. iPad 1 isn't even close to what they have planned long term.

Totally agreed. The A4 was a good first to the dance CPU working within a well developed software ecosystem. The follow on designs will go for hardware advances and start to show the real potential of the form factor.
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post #56 of 170
It seems to me they're dreaming if they think they can do better than a dedicated CPU manufacturer. Their current approach of tweaking existing designs seems like the best of both worlds. But I guess Apple can afford to try these kind of experiments and if they lose a few hundred million it's not too life threatening.
post #57 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It seems to me they're dreaming if they think they can do better than a dedicated CPU manufacturer. Their current approach of tweaking existing designs seems like the best of both worlds. But I guess Apple can afford to try these kind of experiments and if they lose a few hundred million it's not too life threatening.

Maybe, but remember that Apple has both the money and the time to put toward long-term R&D.

To put into perspective Apple has about 9x as much cash as AMDs market cap ($6B) and about 40% of Intels market cap ($117B).

If we consider a five or even a ten year time frame for Apple making an x86-compatible chips that leverages their OS and we use the average YoY average growth rate for the last five years how would that compare to the number of CPUs AMD currently sells? I couldnt find how many CPUs they sell but they noted in October that they sold 25M DirectX11-capable GPUs over the past year, a number that Apple may match n 2011 in the number of Macs sold, so why couldnt Apple also make a CPU?

Its not like AMD or Intel are dedicated to just making CPUs. Frankly, this is the kind of innovation Id expect to see, even if its only to scare AMD and Intel into bending to Apple in negotiations.
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post #58 of 170
Kind of wonder why you are so concerned.

Are you one of those who just because you bought something which means you owned everything and you need to do whatever you want with it.

You can always use a PC then you can do whatever you want.

Btw this article is more on mobile chip architecture design which is the future.
post #59 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If we consider a five or even a ten year time frame for Apple making an x86-compatible chips that leverages their OS and we use the average YoY average growth rate for the last five years how would that compare to the number of CPUs AMD currently sells? I couldnt find how many CPUs they sell but they noted in October that they sold 25M DirectX11-capable GPUs over the past year, a number that Apple may match n 2011 in the number of Macs sold, so why couldnt Apple also make a CPU?

Maybe they can do it, and those numbers really put it in perspective. I just think that Apple's strengths traditionally lie in GUI and industrial design. And Intel sets an aggressive pace with their innovations, either a new architecture or finer lithography every year. AMD have not been able to keep up with them, seemingly resigning themselves to the lower end market.

If Apple are indeed moving this way it will have to be (as you say) a long term project.
post #60 of 170
I think that multi-core ARM chips will one day make it to the Mac. It is more work on the software side to make applications use multiple cores effectively, but Apple has made progress in this and I'm sure there is a lot more coming. I'm very interested to see if there will be more multi-core programming techniques coming out with Lion. They already have Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL. When you look at the execution unit density of ARM vs Intel or AMD, the ARM chip is capable of a lot more operations per second in the same size die. It just can't perform a single stream of operations as fast, so things need to operate more in parallel on the software side. I think that Apple sees this as the future. Intel is already going multi-core because they hit the ceiling. If you are going multi-core, it makes more sense in the long run (when you don't have legacy software) to have chips with denser execution units like the ARM. The other way things can go in the future is more execution units customized for a particular task. The ARM design still makes sense as part of the stack in that case.
post #61 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It seems to me they're dreaming if they think they can do better than a dedicated CPU manufacturer. Their current approach of tweaking existing designs seems like the best of both worlds. But I guess Apple can afford to try these kind of experiments and if they lose a few hundred million it's not too life threatening.

Well the only other dedicated mobile CPU maker with it's own IP is intel, and Atom has been anything but miserly on power.

I guess that means everyone that licenses mobile class IP from ARM is doing better than the dedicated CPU manufacturer. So that leaves us with the manufacturer than can deliver the lowest power ARM core will be in the significant lead. Apple certainly seems to be trying to do that.
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post #62 of 170
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Originally Posted by esummers View Post

I think that multi-core ARM chips will one day make it to the Mac. It is more work on the software side to make applications use multiple cores effectively, but Apple has made progress in this and I'm sure there is a lot more coming. I'm very interested to see if there will be more multi-core programming techniques coming out with Lion. They already have Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL. When you look at the execution unit density of ARM vs Intel or AMD, the ARM chip is capable of a lot more operations per second in the same size die. It just can't perform a single stream of operations as fast, so things need to operate more in parallel on the software side. I think that Apple sees this as the future. Intel is already going multi-core because they hit the ceiling. If you are going multi-core, it makes more sense in the long run (when you don't have legacy software) to have chips with denser execution units like the ARM. The other way things can go in the future is more execution units customized for a particular task. The ARM design still makes sense as part of the stack in that case.

I think the main reason this may just happen is I believe you phone will be your only computer in the future. Set it down next to a keyboard and monitor and an you have a full desktop machine. I think we'll see this from Apple in the next five years: an iPhone capable of running iOS and desktop OS X. Microsoft is talking about porting Win 7 to ARM as well (probably for tablets, but it would give them similar capabilities.)
post #63 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

You do realize that you are arguing that what is available right now is inferior compared to something that is imaginary and exists in the future?

No I said the current iPad is slow and that future machines will make it look significantly worst. This becomes readily apparent when iPad attempts to do anything non trivial or for that matter do Javascript heavy web sites.
Quote:

I don't see a general consensus out in the market that the iPad is slow. Yes indeed it will be slower than the newer technology that is not here yet. But that is the true for any technology that exists right now.

Well maybe because for many users the processor performance is not the primary indicator of good performance. Look at it this way the iPad processor can be best seen as a 486 class performance.
post #64 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Again this is the state of evolution of all technology.

That is Apple has to significantly increase performance just to realize its goals. IPad 1 can barely deliver on current needs so it should be obvious that a much faster SoC is coming.
post #65 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Dave


Can you amplify on that?

I can't remember where (my mind is long past overflowing) but I read that Apple was planning on using some technique or construct that allowed direct execution of Objective C code (without compilation or linking?).


TIA Dick

BTW, how goes the battle?

You have to dig through the various patents but for some reason Apple has been patenting techniques for enhancing microprocessors over the recent years. I don't have any links handy but I believe the patents came around 2008 or 2009.

What I find interesting here is that Apple has been doing any research at all into this level of CPU architecture.
post #66 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

...

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Tetris...talk about not taking advantage of the whole screen an washed out colors! Certainly not using the Retina Display to its advantage...very disappointed!

You're darn right about Tetris. I bought it when the price went down but the game design is seriously lacking to the point where I don't feel I got my money's worth.

I downloaded Ponon! (free version @ http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ponon...409576993?mt=8, Deluxe version @ http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ponon...402642577?mt=8) and this is way, way, way better than Tetris in gameplay and design. My wife can't stop playing this.
post #67 of 170
A natural move. Apple is in control of their own destiny these days. They can go as proprietary and as in-house as they like, with the assurance that consumers will buy.

Further control = further strengthening of the elements that make for a superior User Experience.
post #68 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

A natural move. Apple is in control of their own destiny these days. They can go as proprietary and as in-house as they like, with the assurance that consumers will buy.

Mmm. No.

They can only go as proprietary and in-house as their developers will allow. If no one makes applications for OS X, no consumers will buy Macs.

Though, I think it would be interesting to see if Apple could just go all out and make a first-party replacement for absolutely everything available.

Originally Posted by Marvin

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The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #69 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It looks like their intentions are to supplement the ARM instruction set with instructions that accelerate the execution of Objective C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Dave
Can you amplify on that?

I can't remember where (my mind is long past overflowing) but I read that Apple was planning on using some technique or construct that allowed direct execution of Objective C code (without compilation or linking?).


TIA Dick

BTW, how goes the battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You have to dig through the various patents but for some reason Apple has been patenting techniques for enhancing microprocessors over the recent years. I don't have any links handy but I believe the patents came around 2008 or 2009.

What I find interesting here is that Apple has been doing any research at all into this level of CPU architecture.

I just woke up -- missed my first Rose Bowl Parade in 60 years.

The best source fore Apple Patent information is Patently Apple:

http://www.patentlyapple.com/


The site has a search capability. I did a couple of quick searches for "ARM" and "Objective C" and nothing (in the hit summaries) jumped out at me.

If you can think of additional search terms or want to peruse some of Apple's Patents, this is the site.

Jack Purcher owns the site and his wife is a patent attorney. They do a great job of finding Apple patents, and translating legalese/patentese into a language mortals can understand.

Later, I'll do a more exhaustive search -- or email Jack to see if he recalls anything along those lines.


Sigh! Coffee finished! For now, I have to go unclog the dishwasher -- our traditional New Years dinner of Nawlins' Red Beans and Rice depends on it!
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post #70 of 170
This might turn out to be a really good year...

The dishwasher AirGap on top of the sink was clogged -- easy fix.

I got back to the Patently Apple site and found this:

Quote:
Apple is Working on Multi-Core Processor Snoop Filtering for Macs

One common cache coherence technique involves bus snooping, in which processors broadcast memory references to each other on a dedicated bus so that data can be transferred between caches rather than accessing main memory. While bus snooping may enable cache coherence, bus snooping may also consume resources, such as power and time, and thus may reduce processor efficiency. Moreover, as the number of processors in a multi-core or multiprocessor system increases, the amount of snooping and broadcasting may increase exponentially, reducing the efficiency of such systems accordingly.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...33f454bf0b970b

Of special interest is a comment (and link) by mdriftmeyer that the presentation of this patent as Intel-based solution may be a ruse -- he maintains that the patent could easily apply to an ARM Cortex A9.

Quote:
We'll agree to disagree on Sandy-Bridge as it's design doesn't remotely resemble the ARM schematic that Apple has lifted in this patent for presentational intentions, not to mention Apple won't be designing custom controllers and patenting them to use within the Intel IP vicinity, nor with AMD for that matter.

This is a mirror of the ARM Cortex-A9 Multicore 4CPU design.



Apple has access to this Hardware IP, because they paid heavily to license it [Intel did as well which probably explains why their Atom is trying to match the ARM] and it's reasonable this patent is w/ regards to Darwin leveraging this design for the iOS Platform and their future numbered revisions of the A# Processor that includes their own GPU integrated via IMGTech.

I like how they've generalized the patent for future desktop, laptop or other general purpose systems, but it seems rather clear it's immediate impact is for the A# [A5, A6 or whatever they call it] Apple Processor of the future with 4 Cores; hence the ARM A-9 Cortex as baseline to draw upon.

Posted by: Marc J. Driftmeyer | September 17, 2010 at 07:06 PM[/IMG]
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post #71 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It looks like their intentions are to supplement the ARM instruction set with instructions that accelerate the execution of Objective C.

I would turn this around a little. Changing and adding instructions can be a huge undertaking on the order of having to redesign an entire core because of the domino effect the new transistor placements would drive.

A very limited version of changing instructions could be a combination of a compiler and decode stage change. There you can break up a new "native" instruction into it's core native components for issue. That's still a hard task, but at least the domino effect is limited to a small portion of the CPU footprint. And in the end I don't know if the extra speed you would get from the decoder change would be fast enough to justify the resources spent compared to just a compiler driven change. It would take some serious low level analysis and simulation to answer a question like that with any certainty.

So I think the turnaround is that Apple has the ability on an instruction-by-instruction basis to determine if it is necessary to do a decoder+compiler change or just a compiler change, but even more profitably Apple can make adjustments in the SoC (low risk compared to messing with the core) to optimize I/O and graphics based on the same kind of iinstruction-by-instruction analysis. It is an advantage none of the other producers have or in the short to medium term could hope to match. The other guys are all producing and selling silicon to many clients, so a laser focused optimization just doesn't make sense for them.
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post #72 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

I would turn this around a little. Changing and adding instructions can be a huge undertaking on the order of having to redesign an entire core because of the domino effect the new transistor placements would drive.

A very limited version of changing instructions could be a combination of a compiler and decode stage change. There you can break up a new "native" instruction into it's core native components for issue. That's still a hard task, but at least the domino effect is limited to a small portion of the CPU footprint. And in the end I don't know if the extra speed you would get from the decoder change would be fast enough to justify the resources spent compared to just a compiler driven change. It would take some serious low level analysis and simulation to answer a question like that with any certainty.

So I think the turnaround is that Apple has the ability on an instruction-by-instruction basis to determine if it is necessary to do a decoder+compiler change or just a compiler change, but even more profitably Apple can make adjustments in the SoC (low risk compared to messing with the core) to optimize I/O and graphics based on the same kind of iinstruction-by-instruction analysis. It is an advantage none of the other producers have or in the short to medium term could hope to match. The other guys are all producing and selling silicon to many clients, so a laser focused optimization just doesn't make sense for them.

You seem to be very knowledgeable and up to speed on this!

I have a question that's been bothering me.

AFAICT, Both Apple and Samsung are licensed to Design and Manufacture (two separate licenses) ARM CPUs.

If Apple has Samsung manufacture the A4 (and follow-on) chips) -- does that mean that Samsung could use the same design in their competitive CPUs?
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post #73 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

The smart way to run a company is to have the ability to create something from raw materials to the finished product and have the production capabilities to do it. By doing that there would be nothing that could stop it from creating products it wants.

Some business models have all of their design and manufacturing done by others. The people in the office just do the marketing and billing. Apple is half way between the two. They design things but don't manufacture anything.

Apple needs to take the next step with its chips and create their own. They're starting out with the A4 and perhaps with their new team will get good enough at it to design chips from scratch. They've got to start somewhere.

I wish Apple would actually manufacture things. They could start off by letting Americans assemble iPods and iPhones. Then they could have Americans manufacture the cases to their computers and idevices in the USA. In time Apple could manufacture their own circuit boards and chips in the USA. With the premium prices of Apple products the company could afford to do these things within the USA. Just the good public relations alone would get them more sales from Americans who want to support US manufacturers.

If Foxcon employs one million people in China then Apple could eventually move that production to the USA and create at least that many jobs.

Until the cost to manufacture and assemble in the US falls below that of China this will never happen. Getting rid of the minimum wage and giving US manufacturers a tax holiday could be one way to increase US-based production, but in the age of taxation without representation I don't see this happening.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #74 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

The smart way to run a company is to have the ability to create something from raw materials to the finished product and have the production capabilities to do it. By doing that there would be nothing that could stop it from creating products it wants.

Some business models have all of their design and manufacturing done by others. The people in the office just do the marketing and billing. Apple is half way between the two. They design things but don't manufacture anything.

Apple needs to take the next step with its chips and create their own. They're starting out with the A4 and perhaps with their new team will get good enough at it to design chips from scratch. They've got to start somewhere.

I wish Apple would actually manufacture things. They could start off by letting Americans assemble iPods and iPhones. Then they could have Americans manufacture the cases to their computers and idevices in the USA. In time Apple could manufacture their own circuit boards and chips in the USA. With the premium prices of Apple products the company could afford to do these things within the USA. Just the good public relations alone would get them more sales from Americans who want to support US manufacturers.

If Foxcon employs one million people in China then Apple could eventually move that production to the USA and create at least that many jobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Until the cost to manufacture and assemble in the US falls below that of China this will never happen. Getting rid of the minimum wage and giving US manufacturers a tax holiday could be one way to increase US-based production, but in the age of taxation without representation I don't see this happening.

It isn't just wages and taxes -- there are a whole slew of regulations that are unfriendly to manufacturing.

While semiconductor manufacturing is relatively "clean" it still involves hazardous chemicals usage and disposal.

Sadly, because of Federal and State wage, tax and regulation -- there is very little "silicon" manufactured in Silicon Valley.
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post #75 of 170
Designing a the CPU architecture from scratch is pointless and futile. Licensing the IP to improve upon the officially designed and released architecture specs from ARM is a wise investment.
post #76 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're blindly missing the point.

OS X may not be available for installation on non-Apple computers, but it's possible.
Windows may not be made for installation on Macs, but it's possible.

If Apple makes its own architecture, it will be physically impossible within the fundamental laws of the universe for it to work.

First of all, who cares, second of all, have you ever heard of boot camp? Sure you have, you just pretend it won't exist in the future.

Again, who cares. I'd go for a much better Mac, rather than a good Mac that also "does windoze". Who cares. If you need it that bad, buy a $99 windows box and call it a day.

Your posts are just whack.
post #77 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Designing a the CPU architecture from scratch is pointless and futile. Licensing the IP to improve upon the officially designed and released architecture specs from ARM is a wise investment.

I wonder if that applies to servers as well as mobile devices.
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post #78 of 170
I don't get the Objective C optimizations in hardware. Objective c is pre-processed down to C so any improvements would work for all. The place to do this is in the compiler.

The API is far too big to make any application specific tweaks.
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post #79 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

A natural move. Apple is in control of their own destiny these days. They can go as proprietary and as in-house as they like, with the assurance that consumers will buy.

Further control = further strengthening of the elements that make for a superior User Experience.

When it comes to Macs they need, very badly, i86 compatibility. Do not underestimate this. There is just to much software out there that has to run under Windows or another environment. When you have to run such software a VM and the right OS makes the Mac a very versatile machine.
post #80 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

I would turn this around a little. Changing and adding instructions can be a huge undertaking on the order of having to redesign an entire core because of the domino effect the new transistor placements would drive.

There are all sorts of possibilities including the possibility of using reserved co processor instructions. For the most part ARM has already used up most of the possible instructions so I'm not sure what approach Apple would take.
Quote:
A very limited version of changing instructions could be a combination of a compiler and decode stage change. There you can break up a new "native" instruction into it's core native components for issue. That's still a hard task, but at least the domino effect is limited to a small portion of the CPU footprint. And in the end I don't know if the extra speed you would get from the decoder change would be fast enough to justify the resources spent compared to just a compiler driven change. It would take some serious low level analysis and simulation to answer a question like that with any certainty.

I'm not sure this is a problem at all for Apple. Apparently they had a significant hand in Alt-
Vec back in the PPC days.
Quote:
So I think the turnaround is that Apple has the ability on an instruction-by-instruction basis to determine if it is necessary to do a decoder+compiler change or just a compiler change, but even more profitably Apple can make adjustments in the SoC (low risk compared to messing with the core) to optimize I/O and graphics based on the same kind of iinstruction-by-instruction analysis.

Apple actually has a lot of IP related to GPU and or graphics processing. They bought a whole company a few years back. Beyond that Apple has a collection of patents related to flash memory so yeah they can do much outside of the CPU also.
Quote:
It is an advantage none of the other producers have or in the short to medium term could hope to match. The other guys are all producing and selling silicon to many clients, so a laser focused optimization just doesn't make sense for them.

I just see Apple patenting a lot of technology that frankly isn't of much use unless you are doing a lot of heavy design in and around the CPU core. Unfortunately I can't remember where I saw the patents. As to patentlyapple i've ben to the site a couple of times and frankly the search mechanism sucks.
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