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Apple's 'iPhone 5S' to use 31% faster 'A7' chip, feature motion tracking - report

post #1 of 49
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In a tweet on Sunday, a Fox News reporter said Apple's upcoming next-generation iPhone will sport a significantly faster "A7" processor, while a separate chip will be dedicated to motion tracking.

Flash
Artist's conception of a possible iPhone 5S. Source: AppleInsider


Citing inside sources, Clayton Morris claims the so-called "iPhone 5S" will be powered by an Apple-designed "A7" system on a chip that is some 31 percent faster than the current A6 silicon used in the iPhone 5. In addition, mention of a totally new chip dedicated to "motion tracking" will be used to bring another layer of user interactivity to Apple's flagship handset.

A 31 percent bump should be noticeable to future iPhone 5S owners in day-to-day use. It is unknown what metrics were being used as a basis, an important question given an applications processor's architecture includes both the number-crunching CPUs and graphics driving GPUs.

It is largely unknown how Apple is managing to squeeze out the extra horsepower, though analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities noted in a recent report that a move to the ARMv8 architecture could yield a 20 percent increase in efficiency. In that same note to investors, Kuo speculates that Apple could offer 64-bit support in the A7, which would theoretically allow for greater speeds.

As for the motion tracking feature, Morris said in a follow-up tweet, "I?ve also heard there?s a separate chip devoted to motion tracking. Should be an interesting camera upgrade." It would appear from the tweet's wording that the unknown chip would be part of the iPhone's camera package, perhaps as a special post processor.

Apple owns a number of patents regarding post processing techniques, including a few that interpolate camera sensor data for tasks other than outputting an image such as "gaze detection." Some of these patents include a separate chip, usually disposed on the sensor module's circuit board, to handle processing duties.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5S at a special event on Sept. 10, possibly alongside a lower cost plastic handset dubbed the "iPhone 5C."
post #2 of 49

I dunno. I'll believe it when I see it. The A6 is wickedly fast.

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post #3 of 49
Simple Calcuations based on previous iterations. Nothing to see here.
post #4 of 49
It'll most certainly be faster, especially combining the OpenGL ES 3.x compliant ImgTec GPGPU and more cores than the A6, using OpenCL throughout for the first time.
post #5 of 49
A7 in 2014's iPhone. Don't see it in 2013. iOS 7 had so many changes that I doubt they'd also do a toolchain upgrade at the same time.
post #6 of 49

I don't buy it. From the A4-A5 and A5-A6 we saw increase in CPU of around 2X. For the GPU the A4-A5 was almost 5X (Apple stated up to 9X but averaged out it was around 5X) and the A5-A6 was again 2X.

 

The A6 is already very fast so the only way I could see the A7 being only 31% faster is if it came with some other benefit. Perhaps they'll have greatly reduced power consumption (not the suggested 20% but something significant like 50%). Or maybe the CPU is only 31% faster but the GPU is again 2X as fast. Or maybe they get 31% more CPU speed while reducing the clock back down to 1GHz.

 

I just don't see an A7 having such a small increase in capabilities based on Apples history. They usually knock it out of the park with each new processor.

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post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post

A7 in 2014's iPhone. Don't see it in 2013. iOS 7 had so many changes that I doubt they'd also do a toolchain upgrade at the same time.

 

Nobody expected an A6 last year either and Apple surprised everyone. Then they surprised us again with the A6X in the iPad 4.

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post #8 of 49
I think the extra chip to take on camera and motion detection, would be more likely than A7 this year. Bring on the tri-core. A6 is super snappy now and we are only waiting on 5S not iPhone 6. 64bit and A7 I think will come 2014.
Edited by togan - 8/25/13 at 7:42pm
post #9 of 49

The is interesting part is the 64 bit iOS running on the A7.

 

This tells me that Apple has plans for much more capable iOS devices needing to address vast amount of RAM and process huge amount of data.

 

The existing iOS devices don't really need a 64 bit OS and we all know Apple did turn on the 64 bit switch for nothing.  

 

Time will tell.

post #10 of 49
Has the September 10th date actually been announced or is it still speculation?
post #11 of 49
Originally Posted by togan View Post
I think the extra processor to take on camera and motion sounds more believable than A7.

 

How does it make any sense in the first place?


64bit and A7 I think will come 2014.

 

Neither of those make any sense, either. Have you been following the iPhone for very long? Obviously the next chip is the A7.

 

Originally Posted by G-Note View Post
Has the September 10th date actually been announced or is it still speculation?
 

Speculation.

 

Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post
A7 in 2014's iPhone. Don't see it in 2013. iOS 7 had so many changes that I doubt they'd also do a toolchain upgrade at the same time.
 

Total nonsense. When has Apple not done a number up on the iPhone?

 

Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post
Nobody expected an A6 last year either

 

Who the heck didn't expect it?

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post #12 of 49
I can almost hear the groans of disappointment from the tech-pundits, claiming how the 5S is such a tiny upgrade from the iPhone 5. No large display, no NFC, no 12 MP camera and no warp drive capabilities. The iHaters will claim how it didn't make any sense for Apple to wait a year for such a minor upgrade and how almost nobody will bother to purchase the iPhone 5S because it's barely faster than the iPhone 5. The pundits will say the iPhone 5 doesn't have nearly the speed or capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which the smartphone industry loves so much or it doesn't have the beautiful aluminum finish of the HTC One.

The doubters will find many faults or missing features they feel should have been included. The iPhone 5S will undoubtedly cause another round of "meh" on Wall Street and a reiteration of how Apple has fallen behind and is surely doomed. It's always the same old, same old about new iPhones. They never seem to equal the high-end Android smartphones which come with everything that can possibly fit under those huge, huge displays that can be read from across the room.
post #13 of 49
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
The iHaters will claim how it didn't make any sense for Apple to wait a year for such a minor upgrade and how almost nobody will bother to purchase the iPhone 5S because it's barely faster than the iPhone 5. 

 

You'd think by now we would have taken precautions to prevent the idiocy that happens every single year, either by rendering it instantly bannable or at least delete-on-sight for the inevitable newbies signing up… 

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post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Nobody expected an A6 last year either and Apple surprised everyone. Then they surprised us again with the A6X in the iPad 4.

Keep in mind that Apple is thinking out several years and they like this years release to run 2017 apps. For this reason, it's wise to be buying an iDevice with a bit more memory than you did last time...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I can almost hear the groans of disappointment from the tech-pundits, claiming how the 5S is such a tiny upgrade from the iPhone 5. No large display, no NFC, no 12 MP camera and no warp drive capabilities. The iHaters will claim how it didn't make any sense for Apple to wait a year for such a minor upgrade and how almost nobody will bother to purchase the iPhone 5S because it's barely faster than the iPhone 5. The pundits will say the iPhone 5 doesn't have nearly the speed or capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which the smartphone industry loves so much or it doesn't have the beautiful aluminum finish of the HTC One.

The doubters will find many faults or missing features they feel should have been included. The iPhone 5S will undoubtedly cause another round of "meh" on Wall Street and a reiteration of how Apple has fallen behind and is surely doomed. It's always the same old, same old about new iPhones. They never seem to equal the high-end Android smartphones which come with everything that can possibly fit under those huge, huge displays that can be read from across the room.
... And yet customers will nearly riot to buy the new iDevices on day one, and Apple will announce new record sales numbers while pundits will gnaw their thumbnails in frustration...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I don't buy it. From the A4-A5 and A5-A6 we saw increase in CPU of around 2X. For the GPU the A4-A5 was almost 5X (Apple stated up to 9X but averaged out it was around 5X) and the A5-A6 was again 2X.

 

The A6 is already very fast so the only way I could see the A7 being only 31% faster is if it came with some other benefit. Perhaps they'll have greatly reduced power consumption (not the suggested 20% but something significant like 50%). Or maybe the CPU is only 31% faster but the GPU is again 2X as fast. Or maybe they get 31% more CPU speed while reducing the clock back down to 1GHz.

 

I just don't see an A7 having such a small increase in capabilities based on Apples history. They usually knock it out of the park with each new processor.

There's no way Apple can indefinitely keep releasing phones that are twice as fast as the phone they released the previous year...it would be literally impossible, so this can't be a realistic expectation. Also, in terms of CPU clock speed, the A6 was only a 30% improvement over the A5. We haven't heard anything GPU improvements, but the same applies 5x's – 9x's improvements (can't be maintained indefinitely).

post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post

A7 in 2014's iPhone. Don't see it in 2013. iOS 7 had so many changes that I doubt they'd also do a toolchain upgrade at the same time.

Considering the only iPhone generation change not to feature a new processor was between the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G, it's almost inconceivable that they won't release a new SoC with whatever they release this year.

post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I can almost hear the groans of disappointment from the tech-pundits, claiming how the 5S is such a tiny upgrade from the iPhone 5. No large display, no NFC, no 12 MP camera and no warp drive capabilities. The iHaters will claim how it didn't make any sense for Apple to wait a year for such a minor upgrade and how almost nobody will bother to purchase the iPhone 5S because it's barely faster than the iPhone 5. The pundits will say the iPhone 5 doesn't have nearly the speed or capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which the smartphone industry loves so much or it doesn't have the beautiful aluminum finish of the HTC One.

The doubters will find many faults or missing features they feel should have been included. The iPhone 5S will undoubtedly cause another round of "meh" on Wall Street and a reiteration of how Apple has fallen behind and is surely doomed. It's always the same old, same old about new iPhones. They never seem to equal the high-end Android smartphones which come with everything that can possibly fit under those huge, huge displays that can be read from across the room.

 

And yet, it will become one of the best, if not the best selling phone on the planet, and will outsell every other phone before it, while having great critical reviews and fantastic user satisfaction ratings. You know, all the stuff that actually matters. Funny how that works. 

post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I can almost hear the groans of disappointment from the tech-pundits

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

And yet, it will become one of the best, if not the best selling phone on the planet, and will outsell every other phone before it

 

Your points are not mutually exclusive. I'm betting you're BOTH right.

post #20 of 49
This would make sense too with them keeping the 5, the 5C, and the 5S, some were saying that the hardware between the 5S and the 5 would be almost exactly the same so they would get rid of of the 5 and offer the 5C as a mid range and the 4S as the low end. This never made sense with the screen sizes and the lightning connectors. You'd think apple would want to keep the line the same. But if there really is going to be an A7 or even the camera movement detection that would differentiate much more between the 5S and the 5.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Note View Post

Has the September 10th date actually been announced or is it still speculation?

 

Spec.

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post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post

A7 in 2014's iPhone. Don't see it in 2013. iOS 7 had so many changes that I doubt they'd also do a toolchain upgrade at the same time.

Some of us running iOS 7 in beta can speak of a significant increase in overall speed of the software itself.. Running super smooth and very fast as it is...
post #23 of 49
Any performance numbers need to have power efficiency factored in when talking about iOS devices. Is it 31% faster with the same battery drain? It could just be an A6X produced on TSMC's 20nm fab processes instead of Samsung's 32nm. That would be a good way to get started with a new fab partner - give them an existing established design and focus on working out the kinks in production not rolling out a totally new design. A totally new design with 64-bit, more CPU cores and improved graphics would be better rolled out on the iPad.

Taking the current A6X and producing it at 20nm would probably give Apple enough gain in power efficiency that they could increase the clocks speed to get the 31% increase in processing power without impacting battery life.
post #24 of 49
Dude! This like Toe-tally contradicts the plausible rumor that th camera will use the same silicon and have a better lens. A separate chip for motion detectin', HOW COOL IS THAT!!!

Once again Fox News is just makin' it up! (My conclusion).
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoeinla View Post

Some of us running iOS 7 in beta can speak of a significant increase in overall speed of the software itself.. Running super smooth and very fast as it is...

It is sure is and even on a 4s!
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post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post

A7 in 2014's iPhone. Don't see it in 2013. iOS 7 had so many changes that I doubt they'd also do a toolchain upgrade at the same time.
Why else have iPhone 5s(besides the gold color)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I don't buy it. From the A4-A5 and A5-A6 we saw increase in CPU of around 2X. For the GPU the A4-A5 was almost 5X (Apple stated up to 9X but averaged out it was around 5X) and the A5-A6 was again 2X.

The A6 is already very fast so the only way I could see the A7 being only 31% faster is if it came with some other benefit. Perhaps they'll have greatly reduced power consumption (not the suggested 20% but something significant like 50%). Or maybe the CPU is only 31% faster but the GPU is again 2X as fast. Or maybe they get 31% more CPU speed while reducing the clock back down to 1GHz.

I just don't see an A7 having such a small increase in capabilities based on Apples history. They usually knock it out of the park with each new processor.
more like A7 this year hitting 2/20 times power upgrade (if it 4 cores it can go 20)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How does it make any sense in the first place?

Neither of those make any sense, either. Have you been following the iPhone for very long? Obviously the next chip is the A7.

Speculation.

Total nonsense. When has Apple not done a number up on the iPhone?




Who the heck didn't expect it?
The people who did not expect we're the ones with the IPad did not get it, so why iPhone, then they weren't expecting the IPad to be upgrading twice.
post #27 of 49
A 31% increase in processor speed isn't really that much for a completely new SoC. They could achieve a similar performance boost by reducing dye-size to a 28nm process from a 32nm one,and bump up the clock speed slightly without increasing power consumption. As its supposed to be a brand new A7 rather than an A6 I was hoping for twice the processor speed. I still suspect that it might just end up being an upgraded A6 rather than a completely new SoC design - anyway we'll see, not long to go now.
post #28 of 49
If the S stands for speed they have to have faster chips.
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post #29 of 49
If they release two new models of the 5, certainly the 5s will be A7 and the 5c will be A6. They need that for differentiation.
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

If they release two new models of the 5, certainly the 5s will be A7 and the 5c will be A6. They need that for differentiation.

This is pretty straightforward.  and 31% seems reasonable.

 

But no on Quad Cores for the phone and no on 64bit registers.  One or both of those make sense for next year, and no sense in the iPhone.  Maybe Quad Core in a "one more thing" on a new iPad, but given it's compute profile, more/better GPUs make more sense.    64 bit... makes no sense until you build an OS and a development set to take advantage of it, and retiring HW that doesn't support it*, and a reference application or 3 to amaze people to want the device.  That's WWDC sort of announcement.**

 

Even with Motion Detection.... especially with Motion detection (a lot of calculations that need to recreate 3D activity to verify 'what you did').  Motion Detection HW will tell 'what you did', but the GPUs will need to determine 'What you _Meant_'  (I see it moving... at this speed at this spin starting at this release point and at travelling along this vector[all motion detection]... is it a fastball or a curve?" sort of recognition (which for humans is a bit of calculation, and a lot of 'mental memory'... sort of a FFT then a hash lookup).

 

In the long term, keeping the 'c' at a dual core and the flagships at quad core is a nice differentiator.   One could see the 'Mini' being the 'c' of the iPad series... fewer pixels (even at retina), and a smaller volume would drive a slightly lower performance profile.

 

*  That makes more sense about reasoning to release a 5c and a 5s... and some sense about both having an A7 chip (see below**)

**Although I like the thought of an 'off cycle' announcement.  Or a hidden set of paths in the A7 that can be 'activated'  as pseudo 64bit by iOS8. 

   NOTE: this is pure fantasy in my mind.   However, this is what old CISC chips did in the old days in preparation for future work (VAX/Alpha architectures)

post #31 of 49
I expect the CPU in the new A# chip to be at least TWICE as fast and the GPU to be about FIVE TIMES as fast. This is what people have come to expect from Apple...
post #32 of 49
31% faster will not impress. iPhone has already lost lots of market share to the bigger screens androids. I want to believe apple got to throw in something significant and ahead of time like 64 bit inside the 5S.

But then what about the ios7 ? Is it secretly ready for 64 bit hardware ?

If not, demo time is June2014, 64 bit October 2014. By then Android camp will do it almost the same time.
post #33 of 49
If Apple does include a motion sensor in a new iPhone, I hope the direction the company takes is related to the recently awarded 3D gesture patent...
http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/08/20/apple-patents-3d-gesture-ui-for-ios-based-on-proximity-sensor-input.

With Elon Musk tweeting this weekend about showing a video one day this week of rocket parts being designed and developed using similar technology, Apple would have great company to showcase it's innovative prowess!

I was surprised to read about Elon's new technology a few days after Apple's patent was published. The timing was incredible since Elon had not gotten more mileage from the Hyperloop technology he recently published.

Several commentors, including myself, referenced the Iron Man movie as an example of where Apple could go with this technology. Elon apparently has gotten there already.

It would be awesome if Elon is using Apple's technology on the new Mac Pro. Thanks to Apple showcasing companies at this year's WWDC using the new Mac Pro to test the machine, it is possible Elon had access to the machines and software.

I am looking forward to seeing what Apple and Elon release to the public!!
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I don't buy it. From the A4-A5 and A5-A6 we saw increase in CPU of around 2X. For the GPU the A4-A5 was almost 5X (Apple stated up to 9X but averaged out it was around 5X) and the A5-A6 was again 2X.

The A6 is already very fast so the only way I could see the A7 being only 31% faster is if it came with some other benefit. Perhaps they'll have greatly reduced power consumption (not the suggested 20% but something significant like 50%). Or maybe the CPU is only 31% faster but the GPU is again 2X as fast. Or maybe they get 31% more CPU speed while reducing the clock back down to 1GHz.

I just don't see an A7 having such a small increase in capabilities based on Apples history. They usually knock it out of the park with each new processor.

I agree. 31% is too little unless there's some other major benefit. However, the people expecting another 5-9X GPU gains and 2X CPU are probably going to be disappointed, as well. You can't maintain that kind of performance gains indefinitely and the A6X is already a mature processor.
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post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I agree. 31% is too little unless there's some other major benefit. However, the people expecting another 5-9X GPU gains and 2X CPU are probably going to be disappointed, as well. You can't maintain that kind of performance gains indefinitely and the A6X is already a mature processor.

 

I honestly see no reason why Apple shouldn't include a Quad Core A7 SoC inside the next iPhone/iPad.

post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

If the S stands for speed they have to have faster chips.

Impart more wisdom on us, Nostradamus...

post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Who the heck didn't expect it?

 

I sure didn't. What we knew back then is Apple had already been working on die-shrunk A5's (as found in the Apple TV and "new" iPad 2). A shrunk A5 could be clocked higher and give a boost to performance without killing battery life. The A6 was a shock not because Apple named their new chip "A6" (which we all expected) but because it was a completely custom-designed processor.

 

Anandtech had a great write-up on the A6 showing just how big of an update it was. A lot of it was even hand-laid which is very expensive, but offers some key benefits.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I agree. 31% is too little unless there's some other major benefit. However, the people expecting another 5-9X GPU gains and 2X CPU are probably going to be disappointed, as well. You can't maintain that kind of performance gains indefinitely and the A6X is already a mature processor.

 

We won't see 5-9X GPU anymore - that was simply because the A4 had a terrible GPU compared to the A5. But another 2X is not unreasonable if they switch to the 600 Series PowerVR.

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post #38 of 49

I wonder what the competition is doing, its been a long time since we heard anything about Nvidia and they're overly hype Tegra processor. 

post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by architecton View Post

I honestly see no reason why Apple shouldn't include a Quad Core A7 SoC inside the next iPhone/iPad.

Who cares how limited your imagination is?

There are lots of reasons Apple might not include a quad core A7. Cost. Size. Energy Usage. Availability.

They might include one, but you have absolutely no way of knowing that, nor does your lack of imagination lend any credibility to your pontifications.
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post #40 of 49
Your expectations are unreasonable. If intel and AMD can't do it every year why should Apple?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

A 31% increase in processor speed isn't really that much for a completely new SoC. They could achieve a similar performance boost by reducing dye-size to a 28nm process from a 32nm one,and bump up the clock speed slightly without increasing power consumption. As its supposed to be a brand new A7 rather than an A6 I was hoping for twice the processor speed. I still suspect that it might just end up being an upgraded A6 rather than a completely new SoC design - anyway we'll see, not long to go now.
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