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Intel interested in building Apple's mobile A4, A5 chips: report - Page 2

post #41 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

This will go to ARM's Global Foundries, not Intel.

Apple would dump Intel if the ARM was as capable as the Intel because they could expand their custom SoC designs.

We've been hearing a lot about Global Foundries for many years now. Would love to see some objective data on how much and what exactly they produce compared to Intel, TSMC, etc.
post #42 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

But again not duh, because it means they have to do something they DISMISSED 10 or so years ago or so.

i see that we differ on our definitions of the word, "duh".
post #43 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I have no doubt they have builds of Snow Leopard (and Lion) running on ARM in Apple HQ. In a few years the MacBook Airs will probably be running on ARM.

please, let it be true!
post #44 of 73
I think it would be a good move on both parts. The A5 could be ported to 32nm, the A6 have access to 22nm. Intel is still king when it comes to process nodes and the mobile business could help drive the advanced processes. Apple's customized designs would benefit from the chip size reduction, power consumption reduction, etc...

The A5 and IOS are completely linked architectures which is one of the big reasons they perform so well together so Apple has built in IP protection. I for one hope Apple and Intel find a way to win together.
post #45 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

We've been hearing a lot about Global Foundries for many years now. Would love to see some objective data on how much and what exactly they produce compared to Intel, TSMC, etc.

Global foundry was spun off from AMD. Everything with AMD label on it came from Global foundry.
post #46 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

This will go to ARM's Global Foundries, not Intel.

Apple would dump Intel if the ARM was as capable as the Intel because they could expand their custom SoC designs.

Samsung is a major partner in this. Lol Samsung is everywhere

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #47 of 73
Seems to me that the more diversified Apple's supplier base is, the more insulated they are from unexpected interruptions. Let's see Foxconn in Brazil, and Intel in Cali, etc. Spread the wealth and spread the RISC. Sorry.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #48 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Intel will charge a lot more than Samsung for manufacturing the chips. Doesn't make sense to pick a higher-cost manufacturer just to stick it to Samsung.

And you know this because...?
post #49 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

This will go to ARM's Global Foundries, not Intel.

Apple would dump Intel if the ARM was as capable as the Intel because they could expand their custom SoC designs.

Oh, I hope not. Global Foundries isn't the highest quality company out there. One of the biggest reason why AMD's chips over the years have been late, or perform poorly has been because of the poor state of their foundry. I've no reason to believe it's any better now that they've sold off so much of it.

By the way, as you can tell from my post, that Global Foundries doesn't have anything to do with ARM. It's an AMD unit, or partly so today.
post #50 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

i've had the very same thoughts. i always get a little nauseated when i read his website, and it's nice to hear someone reaffirm my suspicions. they're so prolific with their stories though, i at least try to follow their RSS feed.

anyway, this story makes a lot of sense to me. there's a lot of incentives for apple to partner with intel. i think apples IP would be more protected in the states with less chance of leaking and copying. apple already has a lot of IP that they have acquired, and it doesn't matter if intel has the ability to design competitive chips, they are hindered by their lack of ARM IP (didn't they buy intrinisity though?) also, it would be great to keep some manufacturing/money in the USA. lastly, samsung doesn't seem like a great partner if they blatantly rip off IP without remorse.

Yes, they bought Intrinisity right after the A4 came out.
post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post

Intel doesn't keep its fabs in the US because of some altruistic concern for the US economy. It's just that there is more protection for IP in the US than there is in other countries, e.g. China. Intel doesn't want its IP getting ripped off in another country. That's why even though they have to pay higher salaries to do it in the US, they can at least keep an eye on the fabs to prevent someone from walking off with proprietary technology. I heard this from a friend who works for Intel.

Intel has a factory in China, and other parts of the world. Most of their fabs are here in the USA.
post #52 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

We've been hearing a lot about Global Foundries for many years now. Would love to see some objective data on how much and what exactly they produce compared to Intel, TSMC, etc.

Global Foundries is still mostly a fab for AMD, producing CPU's for them.

TSMC produces the GPU's for both ATI and Nvidia.

I'm not thrilled with them as a manufacturer, as they always have problem with their new processes. Both ATI and Nvidia have been forced to tone down their highest end designs, and to put back the introduction of a number of new products, sometimes form months, because TSMC was having problems. The latest ATI chips were supposed to be on a new process from TSMC, except that they couldn't get yields up high enough. ATI was forced to rework their chips to function on the older process. Nvidia has seen the same problems.

I would also get nervous at the prospect of them producing 150 to 200 million chips a year for Apple, as they will need by the end of this year. I have no problems in expecting that Intel would be able to do it, and on a process that's at least one generation ahead. We've seen how that's worked for them as compared to AMD. Even in a few cases with poorer designs, performance was noticeably better, and as Intel's designs moved ahead, AMD fell into the wayside again.
post #53 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Intel has a factory in China, and other parts of the world. Most of their fabs are here in the USA.

I'm not denying that at all. Intel has a fab in China and other countries in the world, but most of its fabs are in the USA. I don't doubt that.

All I'm saying is that don't think that Intel keeps its fabs in the USA out of some altruistic concern for American jobs. Intel wants to protect its IP, and it's easier to keep an eye on fabs if they're in the US.
post #54 of 73
I agree with melgross and I have done tape-in's at Global. TSMC's track record at the smaller feature size isn't all that great either.

Intel is a node ahead for sure and the time between process nodes is stretching out. I say it would be a good move for Apple and Intel if the deal is right.
post #55 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post

I'm not denying that at all. Intel has a fab in China and other countries in the world, but most of its fabs are in the USA. I don't doubt that.

All I'm saying is that don't think that Intel keeps its fabs in the USA out of some altruistic concern for American jobs. Intel wants to protect its IP, and it's easier to keep an eye on fabs if they're in the US.

But if they have a fab in China, and I believe they're building another one there, how does having fabs here protect their IP? We would have to have some idea of what it is they produce in these different fabs. And a number are in countries where foreign IP has little protection.
post #56 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Global Foundries is still mostly a fab for AMD, producing CPU's for them.

TSMC produces the GPU's for both ATI and Nvidia.

I'm not thrilled with them as a manufacturer, as they always have problem with their new processes. Both ATI and Nvidia have been forced to tone down their highest end designs, and to put back the introduction of a number of new products, sometimes form months, because TSMC was having problems. The latest ATI chips were supposed to be on a new process from TSMC, except that they couldn't get yields up high enough. ATI was forced to rework their chips to function on the older process. Nvidia has seen the same problems.

I would also get nervous at the prospect of them producing 150 to 200 million chips a year for Apple, as they will need by the end of this year. I have no problems in expecting that Intel would be able to do it, and on a process that's at least one generation ahead. We've seen how that's worked for them as compared to AMD. Even in a few cases with poorer designs, performance was noticeably better, and as Intel's designs moved ahead, AMD fell into the wayside again.

Intel consistently has problems with their fabs. You're not reading much about it due to the overall total fab capacity they have to use to compensate until they fix their issues. No fab provider is devoid of issues.

The issue isn't fab capacity, as Apple can build several fabs if it wants to see it through. The issue is actually ARM and Apple isn't abandoning that advantage for all the tea in China.
post #57 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Not actually true.

The base ARM designs are indeed open to anyone, Apple has made a lot of modifications however and the SoC they design with the same underlying ARM architecture regularly outperforms the competition in leaps and bounds. So while Hummingbird chips are based on the same architecture, the A5 runs rings around it at equivalent Megahertz.

You have a reliable source for that? Everything I've read indicates the A4 in the iPhone is very similar to the Hummingbird core in Samsungs products. The cortex-A9 cores in the A5 may change this trend, but i don't believe the nextgen dualcore cortex-A9-like Samsung chips are out yet...
post #58 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But if they have a fab in China, and I believe they're building another one there, how does having fabs here protect their IP? We would have to have some idea of what it is they produce in these different fabs. And a number are in countries where foreign IP has little protection.

Processors using older technologies are produced in fabs outside the country, such as China, since that IP is not very important. Processors based on newer technologies are fabricated in US fabs. For example, apparently, the Core 2 Duo processors are manufactured in China or other countries where it is cheaper to produce them.
post #59 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Intel consistently has problems with their fabs. You're not reading much about it due to the overall total fab capacity they have to use to compensate until they fix their issues. No fab provider is devoid of issues.

The issue isn't fab capacity, as Apple can build several fabs if it wants to see it through. The issue is actually ARM and Apple isn't abandoning that advantage for all the tea in China.

Intel's fabs are recognized as the best in the industry. This isn't a secret. Every company has problems. But they have fewer. They're also instituting a new technology using "3D" transistors in their 22nm process bode. Not only are they a year ahead in moving to 22nm, at least, but they're a year to three years ahead in this technology as well, which has great benefits.I read industry publications. EE Times is one of the vest for this as well as other industry related subjects. I've quoted them often here, and recommended that people read it.

I don't know why you mentioned that Apple won't abandon ARM. I never said they would. But, if the Atom gets the boost it might from this new tech, Apple might see a use for it as well.
post #60 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

You have a reliable source for that? Everything I've read indicates the A4 in the iPhone is very similar to the Hummingbird core in Samsungs products. The cortex-A9 cores in the A5 may change this trend, but i don't believe the nextgen dualcore cortex-A9-like Samsung chips are out yet...

The mods Apple made in the A4 were actually made by Intricisity, before Apple bought them. The changes relate to efficiency, which is what Intricisity was known for.

http://www.eetimes.com/design/signal...s-A4-processor

But that was the first "Apple"design. The A5 is acknowledged to be far more modified from the basic ARM design. For example, the die is much larger than any other ARM die. That's an indicator that the chip has extra units inside. As the design is proprietary, no o e actually knows exactly what's in there, but there are some good guesses. It's acknowledged that the A5 is much more an Apple design.

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-n...y?pageNumber=0

No doubt, newer chips will be coming out by others. But from all the reviews, the iPad2 is so far ahead in performance, that at best, these newer chips, when they do come out late this year, might just come up to the performance of the A5. a couple of articles have stated, that just going by the die size, which is a standard way of getting an idea of chip costs, the A5 cost Apple about $25, whereas the Tegra 2 (the standard chip for current high end Android and RIM tablets), costs about $15—a significant difference at that price level. Other manufacturers may not be willing to spend that much for their chips, and it's also possible that Apple's cost is mitigated by the sheer number they buy, meaning that at the much lower purchasing levels other manufacturers are making, it would cost even more. That would make the price of the Tegra lower at Apple's purchasing levels. That means that the cost and performance differential would be even greater than they seem. Other chip manufacturers may not be able to duplicate the performance this year. And of course, next year, and another new chip from Apple.

It's hard to imagine the advantage Apple could get by going with intel's 22nm process. Especially with Intel's newly announced new technology appearing on 22nm, Apple could get so far ahead of every other ARM user that it would be impossible to overcome, possible for years, possibly forever. A bold statement, but when you get that far ahead, it becomes very difficult for others to catch up because of the chip design experience.
post #61 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post

Processors using older technologies are produced in fabs outside the country, such as China, since that IP is not very important. Processors based on newer technologies are fabricated in US fabs. For example, apparently, the Core 2 Duo processors are manufactured in China or other countries where it is cheaper to produce them.

I doubt if the new plant being built there will be used to produce older tech. intel moves new tech to newer plants, while modding the newest of the older plants as upgrades for the new technology. Intel has already had some of their tech stolen by the Chinese, as have other US technology companies. If they really want it, they will get it, even from US based plants.

The only protection that can be gotten these days is the promise by governments that they will regard foreign tech as owned by the companies who developed them. With the Chinese, there are no such realistic promises.
post #62 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

You have a reliable source for that? Everything I've read indicates the A4 in the iPhone is very similar to the Hummingbird core in Samsungs products. The cortex-A9 cores in the A5 may change this trend, but i don't believe the nextgen dualcore cortex-A9-like Samsung chips are out yet...

The Dual-Core next gen A9's are already on the Exynos 4210 chip from Samsung on the Samsung Galaxy S II being sold in Europe and Asia right now.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #63 of 73
Not going to happen according to this report :

Quote:
With Apple and Samsung warring, the sticky situation of who will manufacture chips for upcoming iDevices is becoming a hot topic of speculation. Samsung has been Apple's manufacturing work horse for years, but with sour grapes between the two, Apple's foundry needs are apparently up for grabs, with three big potential players in the running to score the prestigious contract.

GlobalFoundries, TSMC and ironically even Intel could be poised to pick Apple up as a customer, should the dispute with Samsung not resolve itself soon.

The folks over at EE Times have already pointed out the irony of what would happen should Intel win, making the x86 Atom chipmaker, the largest volume ARM chip manufacturer. Intel and ARM are fiercely competitive platform rivals, making it the equivalent of the US producing weapons for North Korea.

Intel doesn't seem to mind much, however, and is said to be doing everything in its significant power to court the Cupertino fruit firm. While Intel doesn't have experience in producing ARM chips, never mind in the volumes Apple would need, EE Times claims the chip giant's advantage would be in the manufacturing process geometry of 22nm, as well as for performance and power consumption.

For Intel, the move would be a purely mercenary one, in which the firm stands to gain rather a lot of cash, manufacturing experience, manufacturing market share, and a close peek at its rival's chip architecture, while it continues to develop its own Atom platform.

Apple is also said to be distrustful of Taiwanese giant TSMC, who while having the most experience, does not have the reputation for secrecy that Apple so highly values. Indeed, one of Apple's biggest fears is said to be the fact that the Asian market – already rife with Apple iDevice rip-offs – could get a much more intimate look at their hardware innards and use the knowledge to their advantage.

Jim McGregor of In-Stat, however, told RCR he finds an Apple/Intel partnership to manufacture ARM chips highly implausible, noting that Apple would also need a fab with enough of an IP umbrella, to ensure everything on the chip is compliant. Intel, he says, just doesn't have this when it comes to ARM chips.

“Intel doesn't even have a foundry model today,” he told RCR adding that the firm was only “experimenting” in the space.

“It's not out of the question, but it would be very strange for a number of reasons, not to mention the fact that Intel plans to become a significant tablet player using its own Atom chips, which would put them in competition not only with ARM but with Apple too,” he said.

“Apple also requires a speciality approach, not a volume approach,” posited McGregor, who told RCR he believes the contract is TSMC's to lose.

“I think Apple will go with TSMC, because the firm has the most experience, though the firm could choose to go with GlobalFoundries which is a close ARM partner,” McGregor concluded.

“It's not impossible but it would be really, really weird and have some barriers to overcome to happen,” an industry insider close to a major chip manufacturer added.

"It would be an incredibly difficult thing to do, first of all, and rather a lot of money would have to change hands, seeing as Intel would need a new ARM license, having sold its own to Marvell a few years back," he went on.

Our foundry source also says he finds it hard to believe Intel would ever consider taking any fab capacity away from its own chips in order to produce enough ARM chips, especially if demand for Intel's parts starts to soar.

"Intel's not going to be doing that," our source said.

Whatever way Apple rules in this three legged race, it will be a thrilling one to watch.

http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/2...PS/110509966/0

Therefore, Apple has no choice but to stick with Samsung or risk the potential IP leaks with TSMC or risk a potential conflict of interest in the future with Intel and its ambition to make its Atom processor the de facto standard in the mobile arena.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #64 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No doubt, newer chips will be coming out by others. But from all the reviews, the iPad2 is so far ahead in performance, that at best, these newer chips, when they do come out late this year, might just come up to the performance of the A5. a couple of articles have stated, that just going by the die size, which is a standard way of getting an idea of chip costs, the A5 cost Apple about $25, whereas the Tegra 2 (the standard chip for current high end Android and RIM tablets), costs about $15a significant difference at that price level. Other manufacturers may not be willing to spend that much for their chips, and it's also possible that Apple's cost is mitigated by the sheer number they buy, meaning that at the much lower purchasing levels other manufacturers are making, it would cost even more. That would make the price of the Tegra lower at Apple's purchasing levels. That means that the cost and performance differential would be even greater than they seem. Other chip manufacturers may not be able to duplicate the performance this year. And of course, next year, and another new chip from Apple.

Tegra 2 was weak from the start --- it doesn't have NEON and the GPU is not that great. It's only saving grace was that nvidia beat TI in releasing it early --- so it got all the "design wins" at the CES, which were promptly being delayed because of Honeycomb's non-readyness.
post #65 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Not going to happen according to this report :



http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/2...PS/110509966/0

Therefore, Apple has no choice but to stick with Samsung or risk the potential IP leaks with TSMC or risk a potential conflict of interest in the future with Intel and its ambition to make its Atom processor the de facto standard in the mobile arena.

Intel did do fab business in the past. They can do so again. The quote is also incorrect in that it's Apple that's licensing the ARM, and adding its own IP. As a fab, intel need not do any of that. All it needs to do is to have the relevant people sign the required non disclosure agreements.
post #66 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Tegra 2 was weak from the start --- it doesn't have NEON and the GPU is not that great. It's only saving grace was that nvidia beat TI in releasing it early --- so it got all the "design wins" at the CES, which were promptly being delayed because of Honeycomb's non-readyness.

That's true.
post #67 of 73
Keep in mind that if Intel were to start making ARM SoCs for Apple, that would give them security for the future incase Apple does switch to ARM-based macs. If Apple went ARM in all their products the way it is today, Intel would lose one of their biggest buyers. This seems to be a win-win situation for everyone. Intel is good at making CPUs, they've just failed at ARM in the past for various reasons. I believe that if they let Apple have their way, they could easily get back into the business.

Oh yah, and Intel should totally ditch Atom. With Windows now running on ARM, even netbooks will no longer have any reason to use Atom. It's dead Intel, time to make the switch.
post #68 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by res1233 View Post

Keep in mind that if Intel were to start making ARM SoCs for Apple, that would give them security for the future incase Apple does switch to ARM-based macs. If Apple went ARM in all their products the way it is today, Intel would lose one of their biggest buyers. This seems to be a win-win situation for everyone. Intel is good at making CPUs, they've just failed at ARM in the past for various reasons. I believe that if they let Apple have their way, they could easily get back into the business.

Oh yah, and Intel should totally ditch Atom. With Windows now running on ARM, even netbooks will no longer have any reason to use Atom. It's dead Intel, time to make the switch.

I can't see Apple going to ARM for its other machines. The best I could see is them adding ARM to a machine for total, and easy, iOS compatibility
post #69 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

We've been hearing a lot about Global Foundries for many years now. Would love to see some objective data on how much and what exactly they produce compared to Intel, TSMC, etc.

This should mean some tools compatibility with Samsung. The way I understand it though is that Samsung optimized for low power where as Global was more concerned about performance. Interestingly AMDs new Llano can out perform Intels Sandy Bridge while running at a lower power level.

I think it is fair to say they are AMDs manufacturing wing first. However it wouldn't be proper for Global Foundries to talk about other customers. So you would only find out about those customers if they wanted to share their partnership with Global Foundries publically.

Given all of that last I knew there was plenty of activity at their upstate NY facility.
post #70 of 73
It is extremely common in the press to underplay issues Intel has while magnifying those that AMD has. I sense you are doing exactly the same thing. Let's look at Sandy Bridge to start, it initially went out the door with a fault SATA controller. Now mistakes happen but the press cut Intel a lot of slack for this screw up, slack I'm certain AMD would never be allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Intel's fabs are recognized as the best in the industry. This isn't a secret. Every company has problems. But they have fewer.

I don't even buy that they have fewer problems, simply by being on the bleeding edge they likely have more. One way to look at this is the number of mask revisions that take place over the course of a designs life. Obviously some of these revisions are for design errors but they also occur to try to improve yields.
Quote:
They're also instituting a new technology using "3D" transistors in their 22nm process bode. Not only are they a year ahead in moving to 22nm, at least, but they're a year to three years ahead in this technology as well, which has great benefits.

Their process tech is only of value if they put designs on it that leverage those advantages. Intel is not at all reluctant to use it's process advantage at the expense of suitable design efforts for it's processors. It is only recently that Intel has become somewhat aggressive in improving it's core designs and frankly their GPUs still suck.

AMD still has the ability to out do Intel through better design. Their Fusion line up is very impressive. For example at the low end the "Zacate" platform handily beats Intels ATOM processor. In fact one can see far mire integration and innovation in Zacate than you will ever find in Intels half hearted ATOM.
Quote:
I read industry publications. EE Times is one of the vest for this as well as other industry related subjects. I've quoted them often here, and recommended that people read it.

Like wise here, but that doesn't mean we should draw the same conclusions. I honestly believe Intels stupid efforts to protect it's high end product lines is why ATOM is so pathetic. It is also likely a factor in Apple saying screw it and going with ARM. When a company like Intel starts throwing in artificial limitations on products in an effort to rig the market one has to think hard about them as a business partner. Contrast this with ARM and their apparent desire to make the best low power processor possible. A processor that ARM puts few restrictions on.
Quote:
I don't know why you mentioned that Apple won't abandon ARM. I never said they would. But, if the Atom gets the boost it might from this new tech, Apple might see a use for it as well.

Or intel could drop ATOM altogether.

I'm just not as convinced as others in this thread that Intel would ever be a good manufacturing partner for Apples A series chips. If they couldn't work as a team to manage ATOM well why would they ever put in the effort for Apple? More so with ARM Apple doesn't need a bleeding edge tech to be competitive.

Someplace in the back of my head I kinda wish that Apple will build it's own fab. There simply isn't enough options for low power processes out there. Rationally though I know that this would cost Apple a good portion of its current cash hord. The costs are far greater than the 2-3 billion a physical plant costs. I also realize that such an adventure might never be cost effective. In the back of my mind though it has a certain appeal.
post #71 of 73
Not all of these tape outs are for production, for example one foundry (Global Foundries?) has produce working 22nm ARM chips in a lab. Also one of the gate array/programmable logic companies has an ARM core on one of their bleeding edge chips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The mods Apple made in the A4 were actually made by Intricisity, before Apple bought them. The changes relate to efficiency, which is what Intricisity was known for.

http://www.eetimes.com/design/signal...s-A4-processor

But that was the first "Apple"design. The A5 is acknowledged to be far more modified from the basic ARM design. For example, the die is much larger than any other ARM die. That's an indicator that the chip has extra units inside.

There are a lot of questions about what is inside, I would not be surprised to find a lot of ARM IP that anybody can implement.
Quote:
As the design is proprietary, no o e actually knows exactly what's in there, but there are some good guesses. It's acknowledged that the A5 is much more an Apple design.

If nobody knows what is in there then how can they acknowledge that it is Apple IP. If an article ever comes out about A5s internals I will be one of the first to read it. One way to settle this is to look at the SDK.
Quote:
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-n...y?pageNumber=0

No doubt, newer chips will be coming out by others. But from all the reviews, the iPad2 is so far ahead in performance, that at best, these newer chips, when they do come out late this year, might just come up to the performance of the A5.

The performance of the A5 has nothing to do with it. There is a tendency to compare iPad to Android machines but Android has some very serums suckage going on. To start Java is just plain stupid in a handheld device so suckage++. Then we see very poor GPU support so suckage++. Beyond tha Linux is in there, now I love Linux but it isn't a low power OS so suckage++. I could go on but the point is the comparison is pointless as Android is an alpha quality platform.
Quote:
a couple of articles have stated, that just going by the die size, which is a standard way of getting an idea of chip costs, the A5 cost Apple about $25, whereas the Tegra 2 (the standard chip for current high end Android and RIM tablets), costs about $15a significant difference at that price level. Other manufacturers may not be willing to spend that much for their chips, and it's also possible that Apple's cost is mitigated by the sheer number they buy, meaning that at the much lower purchasing levels other manufacturers are making, it would cost even more. That would make the price of the Tegra lower at Apple's purchasing levels. That means that the cost and performance differential would be even greater than they seem. Other chip manufacturers may not be able to duplicate the performance this year. And of course, next year, and another new chip from Apple.

NVidia is likely highly motivated to succeed here. Other company will look to fill different performance levels. I think the issue us so serious for NVidia that success is a requirement to simply keep the company running.
Quote:

It's hard to imagine the advantage Apple could get by going with intel's 22nm process. Especially with Intel's newly announced new technology appearing on 22nm, Apple could get so far ahead of every other ARM user that it would be impossible to overcome, possible for years, possibly forever.

Nothing lasts forever!
Quote:
A bold statement, but when you get that far ahead, it becomes very difficult for others to catch up because of the chip design experience.

Some roads are rockier than others. Also it is my understanding that this so called 3D tech isn't even Intel original. By the way I hate the use of the term 3D here as these are hardly 3D chips.
post #72 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is extremely common in the press to underplay issues Intel has while magnifying those that AMD has. I sense you are doing exactly the same thing. Let's look at Sandy Bridge to start, it initially went out the door with a fault SATA controller. Now mistakes happen but the press cut Intel a lot of slack for this screw up, slack I'm certain AMD would never be allowed.


I don't even buy that they have fewer problems, simply by being on the bleeding edge they likely have more. One way to look at this is the number of mask revisions that take place over the course of a designs life. Obviously some of these revisions are for design errors but they also occur to try to improve yields.

Their process tech is only of value if they put designs on it that leverage those advantages. Intel is not at all reluctant to use it's process advantage at the expense of suitable design efforts for it's processors. It is only recently that Intel has become somewhat aggressive in improving it's core designs and frankly their GPUs still suck.

AMD still has the ability to out do Intel through better design. Their Fusion line up is very impressive. For example at the low end the "Zacate" platform handily beats Intels ATOM processor. In fact one can see far mire integration and innovation in Zacate than you will ever find in Intels half hearted ATOM.

Like wise here, but that doesn't mean we should draw the same conclusions. I honestly believe Intels stupid efforts to protect it's high end product lines is why ATOM is so pathetic. It is also likely a factor in Apple saying screw it and going with ARM. When a company like Intel starts throwing in artificial limitations on products in an effort to rig the market one has to think hard about them as a business partner. Contrast this with ARM and their apparent desire to make the best low power processor possible. A processor that ARM puts few restrictions on.


Or intel could drop ATOM altogether.

I'm just not as convinced as others in this thread that Intel would ever be a good manufacturing partner for Apples A series chips. If they couldn't work as a team to manage ATOM well why would they ever put in the effort for Apple? More so with ARM Apple doesn't need a bleeding edge tech to be competitive.

Someplace in the back of my head I kinda wish that Apple will build it's own fab. There simply isn't enough options for low power processes out there. Rationally though I know that this would cost Apple a good portion of its current cash hord. The costs are far greater than the 2-3 billion a physical plant costs. I also realize that such an adventure might never be cost effective. In the back of my mind though it has a certain appeal.

You can have your opinions on Intel, but you're a lone wolf on that. The professional counter prevailing opinion is overwhelming. Intel's fabs are considered by pretty much all people in the industry to be the best. Say what you will.
post #73 of 73
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Not all of these tape outs are for production, for example one foundry (Global Foundries?) has produce working 22nm ARM chips in a lab. Also one of the gate array/programmable logic companies has an ARM core on one of their bleeding edge chips.

GlobalFoundries is so far behind, it's pitiful. They haven't yet begun 32nm production, and won't, until close to the end of the year. Anything they, or AMD has to say is irrelevant. Three years ago, Ruis stated when criticized at being a full year behind Intel on process size, that they had plans to catch up to no more than 6 months behind in less than two years.

Well, now they are a full TWO years behind. There's no evidence that they will ever catch up. TSMC and one other, which name I can't recall at the moment have said that they are working with 22nm in their labs. But TSMC has historically had problems when attempting to operate a new process size. No confidence there. Samsung has stated that they are looking at 32nm for next year. That's a full two generations behind.

Most other fabs are in the same boat. While memory, because of its simplicity in design and manufacturing, is on smaller die size now, but as it turns out, that has little relation to cpu and gpu production, other than for masking techniques.

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There are a lot of questions about what is inside, I would not be surprised to find a lot of ARM IP that anybody can implement.

Of course, no one is denying that. After all these come from ARM's standard licensed designs. All you have to change is 10- to 20%, and you've made a major change.

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If nobody knows what is in there then how can they acknowledge that it is Apple IP. If an article ever comes out about A5s internals I will be one of the first to read it. One way to settle this is to look at the SDK.

If you read the whole report, you would have seen that there are a lot of different areas on the chips that don't appear in the standard design. As they make the point, that shows that there is a lot of differences. You don't have to know what they are to know that.

SDK? You think that looking at Apple's software development kit is going to tell you anything about the chip design that's helpful? Good luck with that!

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The performance of the A5 has nothing to do with it. There is a tendency to compare iPad to Android machines but Android has some very serums suckage going on. To start Java is just plain stupid in a handheld device so suckage++. Then we see very poor GPU support so suckage++. Beyond tha Linux is in there, now I love Linux but it isn't a low power OS so suckage++. I could go on but the point is the comparison is pointless as Android is an alpha quality platform.

There are a lot of tests that are OS agnostic. In fact most processor tests are cpu and gpu specific. Android has some problems, but there's no doubt that the A5 is a superior chip.

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NVidia is likely highly motivated to succeed here. Other company will look to fill different performance levels. I think the issue us so serious for NVidia that success is a requirement to simply keep the company running.

Of course they are! their business will be destroyed by Intel adding a decent gpu to the cpu die, along with the memory controller. With Ivy Bridge, Intel's on die gpu will be good enough for most tasks for most people, and the fact that Nvidia can no longer mate their chips to Intel's was a major blow. By making ARM SoC's for the mobile market, they hope to keep their business alive.

But as of now, their top of the line SoC doesn't cut it, at least, not for a 10" tablet.

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Nothing lasts forever!

Not literally, of course. But for the life of this new tablet technology era, it will.

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Some roads are rockier than others. Also it is my understanding that this so called 3D tech isn't even Intel original. By the way I hate the use of the term 3D here as these are hardly 3D chips.

It doesn't matter that the new tech isn't original with Intel or not, as all these companies present papers at the various microprocessor conventions during the year. What's important, is who is able to implement these technologies first, and there, Intel has a big lead. Some other companies haven't even implemented Intel's current technology.

It doesn't matter whether you agree with the name or not, this is a big move in process technology, and as the gate does stand vertically, something never done before, 3D seems like as good a name as any.
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