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Apple's next iPhone rumored to feature quad-core processor

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Apple's next-generation iPhone will be powered by a quad-core ARM processor based on Samsung's Exynos 4 architecture, according to a new report.

The claim comes from the sometimes-reliable DigiTimes, which cited its usual industry sources from the Far East in a report issued on Thursday. Other details on the rumored processor, including clock speed or graphics processing capabilities, were not presented.

Last year's iPhone 4S features a custom dual-core processor clocked at 800 megahertz, dubbed by Apple the "A5." That chip was first introduced months earlier in the iPad 2, where it ran slightly faster at 1 gigahertz thanks to a larger form factor with a bigger battery.

With the third-generation iPad launched this year, Apple didn't unveil a true next-generation chip, choosing instead to name the processor the "A5X," suggesting an evolutionary upgrade over its predecessor. That CPU is based around Samsung's 45-nanometer low-power architecture, also found in the A5 CPU in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

The main change with the A5X was an updated integrated graphics processor. While the CPU remained dual core, the GPU was upgraded to quad core in order to push the 3.1 million pixels found on the tablet's high-resolution Retina display.

A5 1


If Apple does build a quad-core ARM CPU for its next iPhone, the upgrade could presumably be significant enough to earn the chip the "A6" distinction. DigiTimes said Apple's expected introduction of a quad-core iPhone will help "heat up" competition with other quad-core smartphones.

Samsung, HTC, LG and Meizu all launched quad-core smartphones in the second quarter of 2012, most notably Samsung's Galaxy S III, the latest flagship handset for Google's Android mobile operating system. However, the quad-core Galaxy S III has thus far only been available in international markets, while the 4G LTE-capable model released in the U.S. features a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Next week, Samsung will launch a quad-core LTE Galaxy S III, but only in Korea.

More quad-core smartphones are expected to be introduced in the second half of 2012, thanks to volume production of chips from Qualcomm.
post #2 of 69
ūüí©

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #3 of 69

WTF "sometimes-reliable"? More like "never-reliable".

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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post #4 of 69

Wow... this is just... bad. 100% fake. Honestly, someone else will explain why, but it's just 100% fake.

post #5 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

WTF "sometimes-reliable"? More like "never-reliable".

That's not entirely true. They're ALMOST as reliable as throwing a dart at a dart board.

In any event, this rumor is one of those "anyone can guess something if it's obvious enough" situations. It's quite likely that Apple will introduce a quad core iPhone at some point in the not too distant future. I think it's reasonable to believe that it will be this fall's version or the 2013 model.
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post #6 of 69

We all laugh at Digitimes, but their name makes its way into damn near every Apple blog almost every day.  No such thing as bad publicity, right?

post #7 of 69
First off, Digitimes immediately disqualifies this article.

Second, while Samsung could conceivably provide the fab services to make the chip, I doubt Apple would even let Samsung in the door unless absolutely necessary considering the hostility towards each other right now.

Lastly, Apple's philosophy is great hardware/software integration. Unlike the crap design that android is and the overpowered hardware needed just to make simple scrolling less jittery, why would any iPhone user even care whether the chip is dual or quad core anymore? If everything is smooth and has great battery life, does anyone except those that just care about specs and nothing else even care?
post #8 of 69
Chances of Apple being able to get enough manufacturing for 32nm chips? This is key to quad-corein the next iPhone.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #9 of 69

Buying this will surely burn a hole in your pocket. Does angry birds actually need this power?

post #10 of 69

As long as the battery life is the same or better life is good.

 

Better performance at the cost of battery life is a bad deal.  They gotta strike that perfect balance.

 

Time will tell.

post #11 of 69

I'm very curious to see what chip Apple ends up using. I'm sure it will be 32 nm (they are already using some 32nm A5s now). 

 

The big question for me is whether it will just be a die-shrunk, and higher clocked A5 or if it will be an A6. And if A6, does that necessarily mean quad cores? Or could it mean two beefier cores? Or could it be something radically new? 

 

My guess is that it will be a 32nm quad core chip that they call the A6, and that the next iPad will be a 32 nm quad core chip that they call the A6X (beefier graphics to support the larger number of pixels in an iPad). If not that, then I'd guess the die shrunk A5. 

 

I'm also guessing that the iPad Mini will get a 32 nm A5. 

post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Chances of Apple being able to get enough manufacturing for 32nm chips? This is key to quad-corein the next iPhone.

 

It shouldn't be especially difficult.  Foundries have been buying heavily from the equipment vendors over the past 12 months to make capacity at the smaller geometries.

 

Indeed there is probably over capacity now.  A downturn for the equipment vendors is looming.......

post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The claim comes from the sometimes-reliable DigiTimes

550
post #14 of 69

Maybe they'll contract Intel's foundries and churn out 22nm silicon FTW!  ;)

post #15 of 69

Setting the veracity aside, I'd not be troubled to see quad core in iPhone 5. A certain app I have to use for work *cough* Good *cough* uses up all the resources in my current iPhone. Bad developers but I can't make them fix their code so I need a faster phone.

post #16 of 69

Digitimes is a joke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Chances of Apple being able to get enough manufacturing for 32nm chips? This is key to quad-corein the next iPhone.

 

This is a big part of it. I don't see it happening until 2013.

 

The bigger obstacle is quad core ARM and integrated LTE is in its infancy for one. If all other rumors are to be combined, the new iPhone is darn near final and hitting production very soon. If Apple was going to rigorously test this new platform, they'd use more time. I'd fathom quad core would hit the iPad first anyway. You also have the A9 vs A15 power to performance arguments. 

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #17 of 69

Apple is joking all of us !

take a example... A5X

they make it 45 nm we think they can`t make 32 nm or 28 nm...

they not even make "rouge" GPU architecture intro A5X...

they rather introduce hyper battery technology in iPad that can squeeze 2400 mAh into same space that curet iPhone batteries and that can power that A5X

they make most inefficient apple chip ever !

 

Only because they are hiding A6 behind...

 

I think this is another statement that is made by apple so we now all expect not as big upgrade from new A6

post #18 of 69

A trained marmoset pulling random scraps of paper out of a top hat is, like DigiTimes, occasionally accurate; which is the same as ‚Äúsometimes reliable‚ÄĚ depending on your definition of ‚Äúreliable."

 

DigiTimes is USUALLY, by far, wrong. It’s not credible to mention their name without noting that.

 

In other words, if you take anything from the fact that DigitTimes said this, you should consider it a small strike against the likelihood of quad cores. (But better just to ignore DigitTimes. Stop feeding them! They’ll say anything.)

post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

ūüí©

 

LOL, when an AI forum moderator posts the very first comment which bashes the rumor source, you know you have a credibility problem.

 

Ahahahahahaha!!!!

 

Really, AI, it's Digitimes, throw this one in the circular file.

post #20 of 69

People were hopping for the Cortex-A15 on the iPad 3, but we had to settle for the A5x. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see it in the new iPhone, but if someone knows more about this, please share.

post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

First off, Digitimes immediately disqualifies this article.
Second, while Samsung could conceivably provide the fab services to make the chip, I doubt Apple would even let Samsung in the door unless absolutely necessary considering the hostility towards each other right now.
Lastly, Apple's philosophy is great hardware/software integration. Unlike the crap design that android is and the overpowered hardware needed just to make simple scrolling less jittery, why would any iPhone user even care whether the chip is dual or quad core anymore? If everything is smooth and has great battery life, does anyone except those that just care about specs and nothing else even care?

Samsung makes ALL of Apple's iOS SoC's. They are made in Samsung's sprawling plant in Texas. Apple helped pay for that plant and the equipment. In return, they get additional discounts. What is happening in there now, we can only guess. But the new 28nm chip used in the iPad 2 today, and the new aTv are made there as well.

There is no reliable reason to believe Apple is planning a move soon.

As for Digitimes... they used to have a 50% average, but the past year that's moved down to under 40%.

Still, that's about as good as anyone else. I would be surprised if Apple didn't have a 4 core chip running. Why would they wait until next year, and a new iPad to use it? That would just put them behind a large number of competitors, and when it comes to chips, they don't like that happening.

Also, Apple is proud of their SoC's. They always mention the number of cores in the CPU, the number of cores, and the version of the gpu, and the speed. They don't tell what the RAM is, or discuss details about the chip. Though last year they did mention that the have their own processing module for the camera built into the chip.
post #22 of 69

Slightly off topic... why did Apple start with the name A4? It always throws me off because their naming is skewed from the ARM naming. It would make sense if they started with A1 (i.e. Apple chip 1). As it is, I have to remember A4=A8, A5=A9, (A6=A15?). I know the average user doesn't care, but as a techie and a bit neurotic, it just messes with my head. :)

 

Not complaining, just wondering why.
 

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply
post #23 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndoe98 View Post

People were hopping for the Cortex-A15 on the iPad 3, but we had to settle for the A5x. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see it in the new iPhone, but if someone knows more about this, please share.

The 15 didn't come out for months AFTER the new iPad came out, so it was known that we wouldn't see that.
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarquisMark View Post

Slightly off topic... why did Apple start with the name A4? It always throws me off because their naming is skewed from the ARM naming. It would make sense if they started with A1 (i.e. Apple chip 1). As it is, I have to remember A4=A8, A5=A9, (A6=A15?). I know the average user doesn't care, but as a techie and a bit neurotic, it just messes with my head. 1smile.gif

Not complaining, just wondering why.

 

Very often, the first prototype is number 1. The next is number 2. The final release version is whatever number it is. So that could have been the 4th version of the chip, and the one to go to manufacturing.

Numbering doesn't always seem to make sense. It's whatever the manufacturer wants it to be. Who knows, maybe they didn't name it the A1 because they didn't want people to think they were using steak sauce in their devices. That would have been a juicy bit of information, and bloody hard to swallow.

In fact, both ATI and Nvidia are reusing numbers from years ago in their new boards. And have been for some time.
post #25 of 69

simply put... is there a need for CPU cores?  is there anything in iOS6 that would be 'unlocked' by doubling the cores (concurrent processing)?  

 

Games, maybe?  

Turn by Turn Directions?

Fly over Mapping?

passbook?

Facetime over broadband?

 

But for the most part, I don't see the need.  I'd rather have engineering putting in NFC/passbook and LTE together in a compelling manner, and/or better phone call quality, and definitely better battery life on the iPhone.   more speed?  not so much.

post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

simply put... is there a need for CPU cores?  is there anything in iOS6 that would be 'unlocked' by doubling the cores (concurrent processing)?  

Hmm. It would be tough for a CPU to work without any cores, so yes, it does need them. Oh wait, you mean; more than one core. Ah, well, in theory it doesn't, but with today's OS's and the newest apps, it does need more than one. Most apps don't need more than two, but some will benefit, such as photo editiing, video editing, 3D, CAD, etc.
Quote:
Games, maybe?  
Turn by Turn Directions?
Fly over Mapping?
passbook?
Facetime over broadband?

But for the most part, I don't see the need.  I'd rather have engineering putting in NFC/passbook and LTE together in a compelling manner, and/or better phone call quality, and definitely better battery life on the iPhone.   more speed?  not so much.

Anything that needs more processing power. Remember that they were denying the need for Multicore desktop computers as well. But for multitasking, it's really required. For that, the more cores the better. If Apple is ever going to expand on the methods by which they implement multitasking, 4 cores could be necessary. These new designs use about as much battery power, and in some circumstances less, than the older dual core designs.
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Chances of Apple being able to get enough manufacturing for 32nm chips? This is key to quad-corein the next iPhone.

I was thinking the same thing.

A 2.0 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A15 and PowerVR Series6 G6400 GPU (Apple A6) using a 32 nm process would be amazing!

If I understand correctly, the high-end PowerVR Series6 GPUs (1) are capable of almost triple* half the floating point operations per second of the RSX 'Reality Synthesizer' (2) GPU in the Playstation 3!

According to some fact checking by Techland, DigiTimes has a 20% accuracy rate. (3)


1. Unattributed. 10 January 2012. Imagination announces first PowerVR Series6 GPU cores. Imagination. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
2. Unattributed. 16 May 2005. SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. TO LAUNCH ITS NEXT GENERATION COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM,IN SPRING 2006 Unrivaled Performance with the Introduction of Cell Processor and Many Advanced Technologies, andBackwards compatible with PlayStation¬ģ and PlayStation¬ģ2. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
3. Harry McCraken. Published 14 May, 2012. Fact-Checking Digitimes, the Taiwanese Apple Rumor Source That Keeps Crying ‚ÄėWolf!‚Äô. Techland. Retrieved 5 July, 2012.

* The floating point performance of the Playstation 3 is miscalculated on the RSX 'Reality Synthesizer' Wikipedia entry.
Edited by MacBook Pro - 7/5/12 at 1:53pm
post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

simply put... is there a need for CPU cores?  is there anything in iOS6 that would be 'unlocked' by doubling the cores (concurrent processing)?  

 

Games, maybe?  

Turn by Turn Directions?

Fly over Mapping?

passbook?

Facetime over broadband?

 

But for the most part, I don't see the need.  I'd rather have engineering putting in NFC/passbook and LTE together in a compelling manner, and/or better phone call quality, and definitely better battery life on the iPhone.   more speed?  not so much.

 

Yeah... unless Apple is holding back some great new feature that requires more CPU cores, I can't see a need.   'Course if it has faster ringtones...

 

I can see them targeting more CPU cores for the next iPad -- and using rejects in the other iDevices!

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post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Samsung makes ALL of Apple's iOS SoC's. They are made in Samsung's sprawling plant in Texas. Apple helped pay for that plant and the equipment. In return, they get additional discounts. What is happening in there now, we can only guess. But the new 28nm chip used in the iPad 2 today, and the new aTv are made there as well.
There is no reliable reason to believe Apple is planning a move soon.
As for Digitimes... they used to have a 50% average, but the past year that's moved down to under 40%.
Still, that's about as good as anyone else. I would be surprised if Apple didn't have a 4 core chip running. Why would they wait until next year, and a new iPad to use it? That would just put them behind a large number of competitors, and when it comes to chips, they don't like that happening.
Also, Apple is proud of their SoC's. They always mention the number of cores in the CPU, the number of cores, and the version of the gpu, and the speed. They don't tell what the RAM is, or discuss details about the chip. Though last year they did mention that the have their own processing module for the camera built into the chip.

 

oh boy..  sounds like a typical Apple reality distortion batshit..  Where is your proof that Apple helped paid for the Texas plant? Samsung has $20+ billions in cash, though they often issue bonds to cover the cost of building / upgrading plants. So what part of Samsung's annual $10+ billion capital investment comes from Apple - or $40+ billion for 2012 alone?  Apple's up-front capital investment in the past was largely to secure volume supply & discount. 

post #30 of 69

Saying the next iPhone will use a quad core CPU is like saying the sun will rise tomorrow or the sky is blue.  It's practically a given.  Since other phones already have them, Apple is all but guaranteed to have its own by the fall.

 

Without any technical specs like clock speed or ram, it's not a rumor at all, but just musings.  They are right without being specific and irrelevant at the same time.

 

And does it matter what Apple calls it?  A6 or A5XX or A7 (let's just skip A6, why not?).  It's all marketing BS to make you think it's better than the previous chip, which it obviously will be.  At least with code names people don't argue about a X.0 upgrade versus a 0.X upgrade.  

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yeah... unless Apple is holding back some great new feature that requires more CPU cores, I can't see a need.   'Course if it has faster ringtones...

I can see them targeting more CPU cores for the next iPad -- and using rejects in the other iDevices!

I would guess that the following could be improved with an improved chipset:

Battery Life (smaller process leads to lower power consumption which leads to longer life per charge)
Battery Life (faster processor leads to lower power consumption which leads to longer life per charge)
Photorealistic Games
Maps Flyover (not sure if current performance constraints are network or CPU-based)
iPhoto effects
iMovie effects
Encryption/Decryption
Encoding and/or Transcoding
Live Effects such as "Live Apps" or Live Wallpaper
Native Speech Recognition (Dictation)
Native Natural Language Processing (Siri)
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Since other phones already have them, Apple is all but guaranteed to have its own by the fall.

Just like LTE.
Quote:
It's all marketing BS to make you think it's better than the previous chip, which it obviously will be.

So then it's… not BS…

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Hmm. It would be tough for a CPU to work without any cores, so yes, it does need them. Oh wait, you mean; more than one core. Ah, well, in theory it doesn't, but with today's OS's and the newest apps, it does need more than one. Most apps don't need more than two, but some will benefit, such as photo editiing, video editing, 3D, CAD, etc.
Anything that needs more processing power. Remember that they were denying the need for Multicore desktop computers as well. But for multitasking, it's really required. For that, the more cores the better. If Apple is ever going to expand on the methods by which they implement multitasking, 4 cores could be necessary. These new designs use about as much battery power, and in some circumstances less, than the older dual core designs.

 

Ahh... expanded multitasking...  I forgot about that!  I have two uses that would benefit from persistent background tasks:

 

1) Instant live stock market quotes -- Interactive Brokers, Scottrade

 

2) Find my iPhone, Find  Friends -- people (iDevice) tracking.  My grandkids are up in Canada with their Dad.  They drove from the Bay Area to Victoria BC.  Their mother and I were able to track them all the way... but it was a PITA to keep logging into Find My iPhone.   BTW, iOS 6  Apple maps performed well all the way!

 

These timeout if not frequently used and require a new login.  It would be great if a minimal bg task could maintain the connection then awake when:

-- the app is switched active

-- a significant notification is received

 

I am sure that there other apps that could use this for collaboration, crowd-sourcing, etc.

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post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So then it's… not BS…

Of course it is BS... Just like "Retina Displays" which is just a meaningless marketing term ... for a display that has four times the resolution of the average consumer display with 99% accuracy against the Color Gamut Standard ... BS ... If you are reading the competition's talking points.
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

oh boy..  sounds like a typical Apple reality distortion batshit..  Where is your proof that Apple helped paid for the Texas plant? Samsung has $20+ billions in cash, though they often issue bonds to cover the cost of building / upgrading plants. So what part of Samsung's annual $10+ billion capital investment comes from Apple - or $40+ billion for 2012 alone?  Apple's up-front capital investment in the past was largely to secure volume supply & discount. 

 

@melgross you skin this one, and I'll go catch another lol.gif

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post #36 of 69

TSMC is making 28nm along with GlobalFoundries and Samsung. They have technology partnerships and have been certified by ARM for nearly a quarter.

post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I would guess that the following could be improved with an improved chipset:
....
Native Speech Recognition (Dictation)
Native Natural Language Processing (Siri)

Siri may be the only thing. Release 1.0 is coming, right? Would apple really keep Siri in beta for over a year?

Pushing more of Siri onto the handset has to be major a goal. Apple has some reputation to restore around Siri, and i suspect that local processing would at least help with some of that annoying lag, if not other functions.

And Siri is very processor and memory intensive, right? So quad core with 1GB of ram might be it.

Macintosh 512Ke.......

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Macintosh 512Ke.......

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post #38 of 69
Wow what a asian version of national equirer for tech. I honestly have never once seen a digitimes rumor to be right not once. Why does any website listen to this rag anymore? The fact is Apple has and always will develop its own version of the arm processor and will never base theres on a design from there bitter enemy and rival samsung and put more of there design in someones hands that Apple believes is ripping off there intellectual property. In fact all industry accounts prove just the opposite. Apple is slowly moving away from samsung oem manufacturing any of there parts.
post #39 of 69
Also the A5X is already a quad core graphics processor with dual core arm cpu's so its really not a stretch that the A6 will be quad core on both cpus and graphics
post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

And Siri is very processor and memory intensive, right? So quad core with 1GB of ram might be it.

I seriously doubt that encoding your speech and sending the file to a remote server -which is the one doing all the processing- is processor and memory intensive in any way.

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