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Rumor: Apple lining up suppliers for next-gen 'A8' processor

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
A trio of semiconductor product packaging companies have reportedly been tapped by Apple to help supply the company's next-generation "A8" mobile processor, according to a new rumor.

A7
Apple's latest A7 SoC. | Source: Chipworks


Amkor Technology, STATS ChipPAC and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering will all handle packaging orders for the "A8" chip, according to DigiTimes. The next processor likely to power Apple's 2014 iPhone and iPad upgrades is rumored to be a package-on-package system-on-a-chip solution with processors and mobile DRAM in a single package.

Amkor and STATS are each said to have landed 40 percent of Apple's future chip packaging orders, with the remaining 20 percent being covered by ASE.

The report also claims that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is planning to ramp up production of its 20-nanometer chipmaking process to begin building Apple's rumored "A8" chip. Production is said to begin in the second quarter of 2014.

TSMC has been rumored to land Apple chip orders for years, but the alleged partnership between the two companies has never actually come to be. To date, Apple's rival Samsung has produced all of the company's mobile processors in Austin, Tex.

Once again it's rumored that TSMC will break into Apple's chip production business this year, potentially sharing some of the production capacity for "A8" processors with Samsung.

Apple's most recent mobile processor, the A7, powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display. This has marked the first time that Apple has used the same chip in all of its latest iPhones and iPads.
post #2 of 47
It would be amazing were Apple not lining up suppliers for their next processor line, whenever that might go into production. It's not like deciding which supermarket to go to this afternoon.
post #3 of 47

I thought for sure that Apple would be sticking with it's A-7 processor for its next generation iPhone and just make some minor software tweaks to improve it capability, much like they did with the camera, but I guess this rumor dispelled that. </s>

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post #4 of 47
DigiTimes... Meh.

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post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A trio of semiconductor product packaging companies have reportedly been tapped by Apple to help supply the company's next-generation "A8" mobile processor, according to a new rumor.

A7
Apple's latest A7 SoC. | Source: Chipworks


Amkor Technology, STATS ChipPAC and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering will all handle packaging orders for the "A8" chip, according to DigiTimes. The next processor likely to power Apple's 2014 iPhone and iPad upgrades is rumored to be a package-on-package system-on-a-chip solution with processors and mobile DRAM in a single package.

Amkor and STATS are each said to have landed 40 percent of Apple's future chip packaging orders, with the remaining 20 percent being covered by ASE.

The report also claims that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is planning to ramp up production of its 20-nanometer chipmaking process to begin building Apple's rumored "A8" chip. Production is said to begin in the second quarter of 2014.

TSMC has been rumored to land Apple chip orders for years, but the alleged partnership between the two companies has never actually come to be. To date, Apple's rival Samsung has produced all of the company's mobile processors in Austin, Tex.

Once again it's rumored that TSMC will break into Apple's chip production business this year, potentially sharing some of the production capacity for "A8" processors with Samsung.

Apple's most recent mobile processor, the A7, powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display. This has marked the first time that Apple has used the same chip in all of its latest iPhones and iPads.


What's of interest to me is the PoP SoC and the implications it has for minimum and maximum DRAM on the A8.

Is it possible that we could see increments from 2GB to 16GB RAM on the A8 package -- depending on the target device:  iPhone;  iPad;   iPad Pro (12");  AppleTV;  Home Server...


With iOS and A7, Apple has the only 64-bit mobile OS and 64-bit ARM hardware -- and, likely, at least a 1 year lead on the competition. An A8 with more RAM could further exploit this lead by bringing 64-bit apps, including: games, professional, healthcare, etc. -- exclusively to the Apple platform.
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 1/27/14 at 8:10am
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post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


What's of interest to me is the PoP SoC and the implications it has for minimum and maximum DRAM on the A8.

Is it possible that we could see increments from 2GB to 16GB RAM on the A8 package -- depending on the target device:  iPhone;  iPad;   iPad Pro (12");  AppleTV;  Home Server...


With iOS and A7, Apple has the only mobile 64-bit mobile OS and 64-bit ARM hardware -- likely, at least a 1 year lead on the competition. An A8 with more RAM could further exploit this lead by bringing 64-bit apps, including: games, professional, healthcare, etc. -- exclusively to the Apple platform.

I'm also interest in more RAM.  1GB is just not enough for mobile photographers who shoot and edit in TIFF with LZW compression.

 

Does anyone have an idea about how much it might cost Apple to go from 1GB of DRAM to 2GB or 4GB?

post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

What's of interest to me is the PoP SoC and the implications it has for minimum and maximum DRAM on the A8.

Is it possible that we could see increments from 2GB to 16GB RAM on the A8 package -- depending on the target device:  iPhone;  iPad;   iPad Pro (12");  AppleTV;  Home Server...


With iOS and A7, Apple has the only 64-bit mobile OS and 64-bit ARM hardware -- and, likely, at least a 1 year lead on the competition. An A8 with more RAM could further exploit this lead by bringing 64-bit apps, including: games, professional, healthcare, etc. -- exclusively to the Apple platform.

But ... But. 64 bit is just a gimmick! 1biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell W View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

What's of interest to me is the PoP SoC and the implications it has for minimum and maximum DRAM on the A8.


Is it possible that we could see increments from 2GB to 16GB RAM on the A8 package -- depending on the target device:  iPhone;  iPad;   iPad Pro (12");  AppleTV;  Home Server...



With iOS and A7, Apple has the only mobile 64-bit mobile OS and 64-bit ARM hardware -- likely, at least a 1 year lead on the competition. An A8 with more RAM could further exploit this lead by bringing 64-bit apps, including: games, professional, healthcare, etc. -- exclusively to the Apple platform.
I'm also interest in more RAM.  1GB is just not enough for mobile photographers who shoot and edit in TIFF with LZW compression.

Does anyone have an idea about how much it might cost Apple to go from 1GB of DRAM to 2GB or 4GB?


Don't know about cost, but apparently Micron and Sammy are the leaders in mobile DRAM

And, Sammy has the latest breakthrough:
Quote:
On December 30, 2013, Samsung announced that it has developed the first 20 nm-class 8 Gigabit (1GB) LPDDR4 capable of transmitting data at 3,200 Mbit/s, thus providing 50 percent higher performance than the fastest LPDDR3 and consuming around 40 percent less energy at 1.1 volts.[14]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_DDR

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_announces_4gb_ddr4_mobile_dram-news-7444.php

http://www.micron.com/products/dram/mobile-lpdram
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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Don't know about cost, but apparently Micron and Sammy are the leaders in mobile DRAM

And, Sammy has the latest breakthrough:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_DDR

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_announces_4gb_ddr4_mobile_dram-news-7444.php

http://www.micron.com/products/dram/mobile-lpdram

 

Not that I expect it to ever happen, but wouldn't it be hysterical if Apple BOUGHT Samsung's RAM & processor manufacturing divisions?

post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell W View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

What's of interest to me is the PoP SoC and the implications it has for minimum and maximum DRAM on the A8.


Is it possible that we could see increments from 2GB to 16GB RAM on the A8 package -- depending on the target device:  iPhone;  iPad;   iPad Pro (12");  AppleTV;  Home Server...



With iOS and A7, Apple has the only mobile 64-bit mobile OS and 64-bit ARM hardware -- likely, at least a 1 year lead on the competition. An A8 with more RAM could further exploit this lead by bringing 64-bit apps, including: games, professional, healthcare, etc. -- exclusively to the Apple platform.
I'm also interest in more RAM.  1GB is just not enough for mobile photographers who shoot and edit in TIFF with LZW compression.

Does anyone have an idea about how much it might cost Apple to go from 1GB of DRAM to 2GB or 4GB?


Don't know about cost, but apparently Micron and Sammy are the leaders in mobile DRAM

And, Sammy has the latest breakthrough:
Quote:
On December 30, 2013, Samsung announced that it has developed the first 20 nm-class 8 Gigabit (1GB) LPDDR4 capable of transmitting data at 3,200 Mbit/s, thus providing 50 percent higher performance than the fastest LPDDR3 and consuming around 40 percent less energy at 1.1 volts.[14]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_DDR

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_announces_4gb_ddr4_mobile_dram-news-7444.php

http://www.micron.com/products/dram/mobile-lpdram


I think you could possibly see 2K-4K RAW processing on an iPad Pro... or even a small, headless, mobile companion iDevice with lots of SSD and RAM -- an iPhone/iPad (or other Camera) could provide capture capability. The companion device could be used with an iPad for storage and editing...

My granddaughter uses an iPad 2 as a storage/editing companion device to her new Canon 60D -- very useful on a recent trip to Canada.


Light Iron has written 2 iPad apps to help Video editors with dailies and playback.

http://www.lightiron.com/products


iMovie on an iPad can do a decent job of a first cut edit in the field -- and is exportable to Final Cut for further post processing.
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


But ... But. 64 bit is just a gimmick! 1biggrin.gif


Your post got me thinking:

I have a friend who is an executive at one of the broadcast news networks. The network uses an app similar to iMovie for rapid turnaround of live events, such as sports events...

I've been watching the run-up to the super bowl -- and am interested how the "instant replay" highlight is evolving...


Just for grins, I went back and review an "instant Replay" highlight I created with a early release of FCPX on a 2011 iMac...



This is a clip of my grandson, Dish (the goalie)...

The highlight was done using a color shape mask -- and once setup it took less than 7 seconds (back then) to turn this around:

Uploaded on Sep 18, 2011
Dish's punt is highlighted with a color shape mask. Dish, inside the shape, is in full color. The background, outside the shape, is desaturated.


I think that this could be done quite handily on, say, an iPad with an A8 (yadda, yadda)!


BTW, Dish's punt went over the heads of the opposition -- to a teammate who scored a goal... Assist Dish... On a goal punt... uphill too!
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 1/27/14 at 9:28am
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post #12 of 47

At this point, Apple should be seriously considering producing its own chips. Apple is big enough and the mobile revolution is not a fad. This would be a worthwhile investment for the company and could give them access to leading edge fabrication techniques. Currently they are at the mercy of chip suppliers in other countries and are constantly playing catch up to Intel.

post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave MacLachlan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Don't know about cost, but apparently Micron and Sammy are the leaders in mobile DRAM


And, Sammy has the latest breakthrough:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_DDR

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_announces_4gb_ddr4_mobile_dram-news-7444.php

http://www.micron.com/products/dram/mobile-lpdram

Not that I expect it to ever happen, but wouldn't it be hysterical if Apple BOUGHT Samsung's RAM & processor manufacturing divisions?


I suspect that Apple does not want to get into the chip manufacturing or foundry business -- rather they might be interested in chip design!
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post #14 of 47

I'm going to go even further out on a limb by saying Apple will be lining up suppliers for the rumoured A9 chip 12 months from now.

 

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post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


I suspect that Apple does not want to get into the chip manufacturing or foundry business -- rather they might be interested in chip design!

 

Actually, last year Apple bought part of Global Foundries' New York facilities and is preparing for production based on 14nm process. 2014 is the year of 20nm, so they will stick to TSMC and Samsung for A8, but the obvious plan is to manufacture the A9 SoC in 2015.

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by capasicum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I suspect that Apple does not want to get into the chip manufacturing or foundry business -- rather they might be interested in chip design!

Actually, last year Apple bought part of Global Foundries' New York facilities and is preparing for production based on 14nm process. 2014 is the year of 20nm, so they will stick to TSMC and Samsung for A8, but the obvious plan is to manufacture the A9 SoC in 2015.

Are you sure that Apple acquired (got ownership) of those foundry facilities? AIR, Apple just contracted excess capacity for Sammy to use if/when the Sammy Texas capacity was exceeded.
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post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


I think you could possibly see 2K-4K RAW processing on an iPad Pro... or even a small, headless, mobile companion iDevice with lots of SSD and RAM -- an iPhone/iPad (or other Camera) could provide capture capability. The companion device could be used with an iPad for storage and editing...

My granddaughter uses an iPad 2 as a storage/editing companion device to her new Canon 60D -- very useful on a recent trip to Canada.


Light Iron has written 2 iPad apps to help Video editors with dailies and playback.

http://www.lightiron.com/products


iMovie on an iPad can do a decent job of a first cut edit in the field -- and is exportable to Final Cut for further post processing.

Well I sold a DSLR lens when I realized I wasn't my DSLR recently, and bought an iPhone 5s.  I'll sell the DSLR body soon.  That means that I'm all in on mobile photography for the foreseeable future.

 

iOS device RAW data is not available from Apple to developers, as far as I'm aware.  I've also read that this may be a good thing because of the corrective processing that is needed to produce acceptable images.  What is available is data that can easily be used to produce a TIFF file.  On my iPhone 5s, the typical uncompressed TIFF file is around 20-22MB.  That's a large file when you shoot on a regular basis.  If LZW lossless compression is used, the file typically comes out to 7-8MB.  As I'm sure that you can gather, for those of us working with TIFF, that compression is highly desirable.

 

Now here's the problem, from what I've read from developers.  If there is not enough memory, a program will crash.  For iOS devices with 1.0GB of DRAM, that limit is about 9MP to operate safely when is comes to LZW compression.  The 9MP limit is usually not an issue because the rear camera is 8MP on a 5s.  The limit is more than double without that compression.

 

LZW aside, there are still times when 1GB of DRAM is an issue.  If several editing programs are open at once, every edit needs to be saved because the OS' memory management is more concerned with managing memory than preserving unsaved edits.  That makes editing cumbersome.

 

Now lets say that you want to shoot in TIFF, and stitch together images.  There are currently no stitching programs that I'm aware of that will save in TIFF.  But if they did, as I understand it, LZW compression just wouldn't be feasible on an iOS device with 1GB of DRAM or less.  Even if you don't care about LZW compression, good luck editing that 40MP image that you just stitched.  There is just not enough DRAM.

 

So, for my needs, which are certainly in the minority, more DRAM would make life easier.

 

All of the above was based on my life with the 8MP sensor.

 

I don't know when, but I believe that Apple will go to 12.6 or 12.8 MP for the rear image sensors, which will increase the need for more DRAM.  Why that many pixels?  The pixel width for Digital Cinema Initiatives 4K video is 4,096 pixels.  If that sensor is also going to be used for still photography, then a 1.33 aspect ratio, like that currently used by Apple, makes sense.  That's 3,072 pixels high.  That gets you 12.6 MP.  If Apple wants to accommodate 4,096 x 3,112 for anamorphic cinema, then almost 12.8 MP is needed.

 

With 64 bit architecture, 4GB DRAM could be an option if Apple allows it to be.  For me, the sooner the better.  If the A8 chip even brings just 2GB of DRAM, I'll be content.  4 GB and I'll be thrilled! 

post #18 of 47

I think the more interesting thing about an A8 is not who makes it, but how well it performs.

 

The A7 is already so far ahead of Samsung, Qualcomm & ARM that even their newest processors likely won't be able to catch up. And if Apple again doubles up on performance for the A8 things are going to look embarrassing for everyone else making ARM chips.

 

 

Something I saw posted at another troll-infested site. But very relevant.

post #19 of 47
Quote:

Now lets say that you want to shoot in TIFF, and stitch together images.  There are currently no stitching programs that I'm aware of that will save in TIFF.  But if they did, as I understand it, LZW compression just wouldn't be feasible on an iOS device with 1GB of DRAM or less.  Even if you don't care about LZW compression, good luck editing that 40MP image that you just stitched.  There is just not enough DRAM.

 

There are ways around memory limitations in most cases if apps are designed right.

 

If someone is editing the image onscreen at full resolution, they'll only be seeing a small part of it at any given time, so apps only need to keep that small chunk of the image in memory (plus a bit extra at the edges to ensure smooth scrolling) at any given time.  If someone zooms out to view the whole image, use a scaled down version of image which is lower resolution.  If they're saving it, do it in small chunks.

 

Obviously, if a given type of image compression requires most or all of the image to be loaded in order to perform compression, then that won't be possible.  However, with most types of compression, it's possible to work with small chunks at a time.

 
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post #20 of 47
Digitimes so we know it's fake but still:

I'm in a quandary. I dislike samsung quite a bit and would rather TSMC get the earnings. But being a Texan- the A8 would be made in Austin. I think I'm still rooting for samsung here. God help me.

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post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Don't know about cost, but apparently Micron and Sammy are the leaders in mobile DRAM

And, Sammy has the latest breakthrough:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_DDR

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_announces_4gb_ddr4_mobile_dram-news-7444.php

http://www.micron.com/products/dram/mobile-lpdram

But isn't the iPhone 1 GB Ram faster (or equal) than 3 GB Ram found in Samsung Galaxy nOTE 3? JUST like its Dual Core faster than their Quad Core. I think iPhone will have 4 GB of Ram this year.. that means Samsung premium phones must have around 8 GB  to compete with iPhone

 

 

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post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Digitimes so we know it's fake but still:

I'm in a quandary. I dislike samsung quite a bit and would rather TSMC get the earnings. But being a Texan- the A8 would be made in Austin. I think I'm still rooting for samsung here. God help me.

But Samsung microprocessors are a joke just like their Exinnos or their 100$ phones, the SoC design by Apple that is what makes A8 chip a great microprocessor  

 

 

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post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell W View Post


Does anyone have an idea about how much it might cost Apple to go from 1GB of DRAM to 2GB or 4GB?

About 2 hours of battery life...minimum 1hmm.gif

Edit: they could of course buy a tech company offering advanced memory controllers....oh wait...
post #24 of 47
Originally Posted by Frac View Post
About 2 hours of battery life...minimum

 

That’s one of the big problems with throwing in a bunch of RAM. Until that new tech where only the active RAM is powered gets released, that is. End of the decade.

post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frac View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell W View Post


Does anyone have an idea about how much it might cost Apple to go from 1GB of DRAM to 2GB or 4GB?

About 2 hours of battery life...minimum 1hmm.gif

Edit: they could of course buy a tech company offering advanced memory controllers....oh wait...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
About 2 hours of battery life...minimum

That’s one of the big problems with throwing in a bunch of RAM. Until that new tech where only the active RAM is powered gets released, that is. End of the decade.

The new Sammy DRAM is faster and lower power than other DRAM...

I am not up on current RAM tech but in the early days, many computers used SRAM (Static RAM) -- SRAM used lower power... But was slower..

Be that as it may, I believe that we'll see more RAM in iPads or headless companion devices which can support a larger battery.
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

At this point, Apple should be seriously considering producing its own chips. Apple is big enough and the mobile revolution is not a fad. This would be a worthwhile investment for the company and could give them access to leading edge fabrication techniques. Currently they are at the mercy of chip suppliers in other countries and are constantly playing catch up to Intel.

No one has caught up to Intel yet. The funny thing here is that they can be two process nodes behind with ARM CPUs and still do better than Intel.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMember View Post

But isn't the iPhone 1 GB Ram faster (or equal) than 3 GB Ram found in Samsung Galaxy nOTE 3? JUST like its Dual Core faster than their Quad Core. I think iPhone will have 4 GB of Ram this year.. that means Samsung premium phones must have around 8 GB  to compete with iPhone

It isn't that simple. Android devices need room for the virtual machine (the ripoff of Java) which takes up a fixed amount of RAM, so in their base models they need more RAM simply to get the required performance due to the allocation of RAM to that VM. After the VM and other Android overhead is taken care of, RAMcan be used equally on both platforms. Well as about as equally as Java and native apps allow.

As to RAM speed that is an unknown at this time. Well unknown to me. I don't expect significant speed differences in the devices but Apple is known to use a wider data path in some of its iPad implementations. In a nut shell though more RAM is better. However that needs to be available RAM.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

At this point, Apple should be seriously considering producing its own chips. Apple is big enough and the mobile revolution is not a fad. This would be a worthwhile investment for the company and could give them access to leading edge fabrication techniques. Currently they are at the mercy of chip suppliers in other countries and are constantly playing catch up to Intel.

No one has caught up to Intel yet. The funny thing here is that they can be two process nodes behind with ARM CPUs and still do better than Intel.

What if you combined Apple's design capability with Intel or IBM's manufacturing capability?
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post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Are you sure that Apple acquired (got ownership) of those foundry facilities? AIR, Apple just contracted excess capacity for Sammy to use if/when the Sammy Texas capacity was exceeded.

 

Well, that's according to Charlie Demerjian of SemiAccurate. He has an exceptional track record in predicting Apple's future plans.

  http://semiaccurate.com/2013/07/12/apple-has-their-own-fab/

The full report requires professional membership, though.

 

Here's another interesting article from Jan 2, 2013:

 http://semiaccurate.com/2013/01/02/apples-silicon-design-capabilities-increase/

 

Now, it's obvious that Apple will not bet the whole company on that single fab right away. They will depend on TSMC and Samsung for a few more years, until they master building their own silicon.


Edited by capasicum - 1/28/14 at 3:35am
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I am not up on current RAM tech but in the early days, many computers used SRAM (Static RAM) -- SRAM used lower power... But was slower..

 

Nope, SRAM is the fastest memory available. 700GB/s peak performance in current Intel processors. And that's gigabytes, not gigabits. Unfortunately, it is way too expensive to produce, so it is used primarily in L1 cache (32KB-64KB).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


No one has caught up to Intel yet. The funny thing here is that they can be two process nodes behind with ARM CPUs and still do better than Intel.

Well, yes. Intel are the leader, but their processes are too expensive. With the 16nm FinFET and 14nm  nodes TSMC and Samsung will catch up. 

 

The decline in PC sales significantly harm Intel and their ability to invest new technologies as retooling is extremely expensive and is only feasible with large volume production. 

 

Additionally, 20nm is a borderline technology. Up until now, the prices for producing a single Integrated Circuit were falling down with each new shrink. 16/14nm will actually increase the cost per die compared to 20nm and the price increase will continue with 10nm and below.

 

That is one reason for Intel wanted to push the development of the 450mm wafers (300mm currently used). But, that's on pause for now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


It isn't that simple. Android devices need room for the virtual machine (the ripoff of Java) which takes up a fixed amount of RAM, so in their base models they need more RAM simply to get the required performance due to the allocation of RAM to that VM. After the VM and other Android overhead is taken care of, RAMcan be used equally on both platforms. Well as about as equally as Java and native apps allow.

As to RAM speed that is an unknown at this time. Well unknown to me. I don't expect significant speed differences in the devices but Apple is known to use a wider data path in some of its iPad implementations. In a nut shell though more RAM is better. However that needs to be available RAM.

 

It would be perfect if only for the JVM overhead. What's worse is the automatic memory management based on garbage collection. That process is so ineffective, that applications easily consume 3-5 times the memory actually required, even when compared to unoptimised code C / Obj-C. That ratio increases significantly (10-15 times) when compared to well architectured and well crafted application. Those are my personal experiences with both Java and .NET. The one-size-fits-them-all memory management approach is idiotic.

 

Now, most Android libraries are native (written in C/C++), so the JVM overhead (CPU and memory) is not as bad as described above, where I compare pure Java/.NET vs pure C + Obj-C.

 

Nevertheless, 3GB in Android phone is a requirement to  fairly compare to iPhone, as you already stated :)

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by capasicum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Are you sure that Apple acquired (got ownership) of those foundry facilities? AIR, Apple just contracted excess capacity for Sammy to use if/when the Sammy Texas capacity was exceeded.

Well, that's according to Charlie Demerjian of SemiWiki. He has an exceptional track record in predicting Apple's future plans.
  http://semiaccurate.com/2013/07/12/apple-has-their-own-fab/
The full report requires professional membership, though.

Here's another interesting article from Jan 2, 2013:
 http://semiaccurate.com/2013/01/02/apples-silicon-design-capabilities-increase/

Now, it's obvious that Apple will not bet the whole company on that single fab right away. They will depend on TSMC and Samsung for a few more years, until they master building their own silicon.

Hmm...

Interesting reads!

Where did/does Papermaster fit in to all of this?

Seems like Apple has executed a 3-card monte.
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post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by capasicum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I am not up on current RAM tech but in the early days, many computers used SRAM (Static RAM) -- SRAM used lower power... But was slower..

Nope, SRAM is the fastest memory available. 700GB/s peak performance in current Intel processors. And that's gigabytes, not gigabits. Unfortunately, it is way too expensive to produce, so it is used primarily in L1 cache (32KB-64KB).

OK, humor me,,,

What if the A8 were to use SRAM instead of DRAM?
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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


OK, humor me,,,

What if the A8 were to use SRAM instead of DRAM?

 

Well, it'll be extremely fast, have no doubt about it. Unfortunately, the price of the SoC will be exorbitant and production yields will be extremely low.


If Intel, or anyone else for that matter, were able to build CPU with 2MB L1 cache, they wouldn't have resorted to L2 and L3 caches.

post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by capasicum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

OK, humor me,,,


What if the A8 were to use SRAM instead of DRAM?

Well, it'll be extremely fast, have no doubt about it. Unfortunately, the price of the SoC will be exorbitant and production yields will be extremely low.


If Intel, or anyone else for that matter, were able to build CPU with 2MB L1 cache, they wouldn't have resorted to L2 and L3 caches.

What about this?

http://www.mosys.com/m/high-density-memory.php

Edit:

Check out the backgrounds of MoSys top mgmt:

http://www.mosys.com/m/company-management.php
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 1/28/14 at 4:26am
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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


What about this?

http://www.mosys.com/m/high-density-memory.php

 

The related technology patent is from December, 2006. A lot of foundries (including TSMC) are already capable of building the circuitry. 

 

We will see in less than an year what Apple engineers pulled off with the A8. Up to now A-series CPUs simply kick ass (c:

post #36 of 47
And this:

We have also been looking at the packaging; Apple’s suppliers have redesigned the package-on package (PoP) stack that has been used since the original iPhone way back in 2007. Specifically, the connections between the top memory package, and the lower section which houses the actual A7 chip have changed.

Here we have the memory package from an iPhone 5:


Memory Package from the iPhone 5

We are looking up at the bottom of the (top) memory part of the PoP. It’s a bit messy, because the solder balls have flowed a bit as we separated the two halves of the PoP.

The thing to note is the two rows of solder balls around the periphery of the package, which have a pitch of 0.4 mm. These are what connect the gigabyte of LPDDR2 memory in the top half of the PoP to the A6 chip itself.



Now if we look at the A7 memory package:


Memory Package from the iPhone 5s (A7)

It’s immediately obvious that we have three rows of interconnect, with many more connections. Close examination showed that the ball pitch is now 0.35 mm, which doesn’t appear much of a reduction, but is definitely of note to those in the business.

And, with three rows, we now have a solder ball count of 456, up from 272 in the A6. I make that a 68% increase.

Which leaves us with a question – if there’s still only a gigabyte of memory up top (albeit LPDDR3 instead of LPDDR2), and it’s still 2 x 32-bit interface, why do we need all that extra interconnect?


http://www.chipworks.com/en/technical-competitive-analysis/resources/blog/inside-the-a7/
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post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by capasicum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

What about this?

http://www.mosys.com/m/high-density-memory.php

The related technology patent is from December, 2006. A lot of foundries (including TSMC) are already capable of building the circuitry. 

We will see in less than an year what Apple engineers pulled off with the A8. Up to now A-series CPUs simply kick ass (c:

Question: Is it possible that Sammy, as the foundry for the A7, could manufacture and QA test the chip and not know it was 64-bit?

Wouldn't it be something if Apple could cut the cord with Sammy for APUs and RAM?
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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Question: Is it possible that Sammy, as the foundry for the A7, could manufacture and QA test the chip and not know it was 64-bit?

Wouldn't it be something if Apple could cut the cord with Sammy for APUs and RAM?

 

On the first question, I very much doubt that. Samsung, however, is more of a conglomerate than a corporation. So, having high enough business ethics, it is possible for Samsung Semiconductor to keep the secret from, say, Samsung Mobile.

 

According to SemiAccurate, Samsung Semiconductor personnel work on bringing Apple's New York Fab (the ex-Global Foundries one) up to speed.

 

While the A8 production is already split between TSMC and Samsung, the A9 will be mostly their own, as far as I read, again on SA.

 

RAM and flash memory are two topics I have read nothing about. But, if Apple manages to pull the trick with building those on their own, Samsung are in for a huge surprise as Apple orders currently represent between 20% and 25%, I think.

 

On a side note, I hope Apple move to Quantum dot displays soon, dropping Samsung Display as well and taking the lead in display quality once again.

post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by capasicum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Question: Is it possible that Sammy, as the foundry for the A7, could manufacture and QA test the chip and not know it was 64-bit?


Wouldn't it be something if Apple could cut the cord with Sammy for APUs and RAM?

On the first question, I very much doubt that. Samsung, however, is more of a conglomerate than a corporation. So, having high enough business ethics, it is possible for Samsung Semiconductor to keep the secret from, say, Samsung Mobile.

According to SemiAccurate, Samsung Semiconductor personnel work on bringing Apple's New York Fab (the ex-Global Foundries one) up to speed.

While the A8 production is already split between TSMC and Samsung, the A9 will be mostly their own, as far as I read, again on SA.

RAM and flash memory are two topics I have read nothing about. But, if Apple manages to pull the trick with building those on their own, Samsung are in for a huge surprise as Apple orders currently represent between 20% and 25%, I think.

On a side note, I hope Apple move to Quantum dot displays soon, dropping Samsung Display as well and taking the lead in display quality once again.

I did some surfing, and apparently Apple uses Micron for the LPDDR3 RAM in the iPhone 5S PoP SoC.

Toshiba makes the Flash...

http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Groundbreaking-iPhone5s-Carries-199-BOM-and-Manufacturing-Cost-IHS-Teardown-Reveals.aspx

Unclear about the iPhone 5S Display manufacturer...

Other than that, Qualcom components are the major costs in the BOM.
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post #40 of 47
Then this:
Quote:
Apple A7 (APL0698)

Apple uses the APL0698 variant of the A7 chip in the iPhone 5S and the second-generation iPad Mini.[19] This A7 is manufactured by Samsung on a high-κ metal gate (HKMG) 28 nm process[20][1] and the chip includes over 1 billion transistors on a die 102 mm2 in size.[2] According to ABI Research the A7 drew 1100 mA during fixed point operations and 520 mA during floating point operations, while its predecessor, the A6 processor in the iPhone 5, drew 485 mA and 320 mA.[21] It is manufactured in a package on package (PoP) together with 1 GB of LPDDR3 DRAM with a 64-bit wide memory interface onto the package.[6][22]

Apple A7 (APL5698)
Apple uses the APL5698 variant of the A7 chip in the iPad Air. Its die is identical in size and layout to that of the first A7 and is manufactured by Samsung.[23] However, unlike the first version of the A7, the A7 used in the iPad Air is not a package-on-package (PoP), having no stacked RAM. Instead it uses a chip-on-board mounting, immediately adjacent DRAM, and is covered by a metallic heat spreader, similar to the Apple A5X and A6X.[23][24]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_A7


This is so Apple -- using [practical] variations on a [technology] theme!

It also suggests that Apple can easily up the RAM on a full-size (or larger) iPad, AppleTV... whatever!
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