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Apple to stick with Samsung for A8 chip, final manufacturing prep underway - report - Page 2

post #41 of 63

Were Apple to change chips again, it would be easier. The way to not worry about emulation is to use the built in app universal library packaging from AppKit/Mach-o. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_binary#NeXTSTEP_Multi-Architecture_Binaries

 

The executable can be built FAT ( all executables for iOS are built fat if they have to handle the different versions of ARM or ARM64, which most do). There were FAT builds for PPC and Intel.

 

I don’t see a modern need for Rossetta were there any change. Just announce the chip change a few months, or a year in advance, and ask devs to build FAT for a few months before the actual hardware release to guarantee getting into the App Store.

 

That’s most of your applications, and any stragglers have to be downloaded from the web, but in the modern OS they won’t automatically run anyway, unless you reduce security in System Preferences. So for most people, except expert users who turn the security options off , downloads from the App Store will be FAT downloads and will run on all architectures. Everybody else can take their chances.

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post #42 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post
 

 

I can't recall even a whiff of evidence that Samsung's semiconductor division has stolen any Apple IP, sabotaged any Apple products, or blown any Apple-set deadlines. Apple wouldn't keep going back to Samsung if that was happening. I think Tim knows what he's doing.

Agreed. When the 5S was launched, the evidence suggested that Samsung (Semi) had indeed respected Apple's confidentiality since Samsung (Devices) seemed as wrong-footed as everyone else in the industry by the appearance of a 64-bit processor. And whilst there are things the Fab might not spot in a customer's design, I think those 64-bit data flows would have been evident.

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post #43 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I never buy anything from Samsung because they are immoral.  Apple is doing the right thing by trying their level best to make Samsung-free products.  The sooner, the better.

meh, as I've stated before, std. corporate morality is figuring out the balance between making the maximum amount of profits, and the minimum amount of jail time.  

 

If Apple can't market it's morality (its Greenness, its save the CA beaches,  its 'our workers are treated better on our assembly lines than other assembly lines [not saying much... we cap their non-OT hours at 60 per week, as opposed to 84]), it doesn't have play in decision making.

 

As for Samsung.   Apple doesn't mind (and may be the source) the rumors.... TMSC and such rumors are the threatened 'stick' if Samsung doesn't take the (smaller) carrot.  Apple wants Samsung to make the chips for free in a hidden clean room, and kill every worker seen having a conversation with someone other than another cleanroom cellmate.   Samsung wants not only to charge a bundle to make Apple Specced chips, but claim the IP as their own, for future use.   Now, Samung's Chip Division has to realize that somewhere in the middle is a great profit for their division, and will tell their mobile device partners not to get greedy and screw the long term cash cow.

 

The Greek:  'Business. Always Business.' - The Wire 

post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

If this comes back to bite Apple in the ass -- like if Samsung steals Apple's IP, blows a critical deadline, or sabotages the A8 in any way -- Apple will have no one to blame but itself. Hope I'm wrong but I can smell trouble coming a year away!


Is that you DED - I mean Chicken Little?

post #45 of 63
It's a good thing that Samsung has not dumped apple yet.
Hopefully Samsung wont be too busy producing watches.
I would assume that the Austin plant would be more expensive than any TMSC plant in Tiawan.
Apple probably needs them for their superior quality.
post #46 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

‘Kay.

 

Why has no one been fired over this?

Why has no one been investigated over this?

Why have we seen no punishment done to anyone?

 

Why is TSMC allowed to keep explicitly lying to boost their stock? 

I expect that Apple are partly responsible for these stories too, in a quite innocent way. Apple needed to sign a contract for device supply that was going to cost a *lot* of money. Therefore, to support their negotiating position and keep Samsung's price down, they need to demonstrate that there is a credible competitor (to Samsung, that is). Therefore, they will have talked to TSMC; they clearly won't have said to them "you don't have a chance against Samsung". They will almost certainly have had significant technical discussions (after all, they do want to know where TSMC are competitively).

 

So there will have been some optimistic people at TSMC who translated 'Apple are having serious talks with us' to 'we have a really good chance of taking the contract this year'. The press like to dramatise and simplify so this can quickly become 'we're getting the contract this year'. I doubt it's any more sinister than that.

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post #47 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post

"Shipments of the so-called "A8" will reportedly begin this fall, around the same time that many expect Apple to unveil new models of its mobile devices"

sure, they will ship just at the same time, giving Foxconn PLENTY of time to put the actual chip into the phone on the assembly line. What utter shite.
I've heard of amazing JIT stock management in my day, but this is just another level.

Depends what you call a "shipment". Apple will need 'sample' devices long before full production, not least to validate their design (simulation can't do everything). In reality, everyone will be doing low volume runs well in advance: Apple need test articles (chips, phones), Foxconn need to check out manufacturing processes and Samsung need to validate fabrication.

 

So I think you're literally correct but the original report probably meant 'volume shipments', which is the only thing most people outside the industry think about.

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post #48 of 63

I think Apple has no choice but to use Samsung for the A8.

 

I believe that the A8 is only going to be the A7 with two more cores and possible clock speed increase. Apple isn't going to come up with a whole new architecture like they did from the A6 to A7. The A7 is over 2X as fast as any core that Samsung or Qualcomm currently make. It is far more advanced than anything out on the market and looks like it will still be by fall this year. So there's no need for Apple to do another wholesale design of the cores until the A9 comes out.

 

However, going to a smaller process would allow them to finally make the jump to 4 cores. And since Samsung is already making the A7, it would be easy and quick for them to continue with the A8 since it's not a new architecture. For Apple it would also require a lot less work to make a quad core A8 then an entirely new processor. Coupled with a slight clock speed increase and Apple gets their usual 2X performance increase they've been touting with each new processor they announce.

 

A8 - Quad core A7 with 2X the performance.

A9 - New architecture, second generation 64bit processor.

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post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post
 

I think Apple has no choice but to use Samsung for the A8.

 

I believe that the A8 is only going to be the A7 with two more cores and possible clock speed increase. Apple isn't going to come up with a whole new architecture like they did from the A6 to A7. The A7 is over 2X as fast as any core that Samsung or Qualcomm currently make. It is far more advanced than anything out on the market and looks like it will still be by fall this year. So there's no need for Apple to do another wholesale design of the cores until the A9 comes out.

 

However, going to a smaller process would allow them to finally make the jump to 4 cores. And since Samsung is already making the A7, it would be easy and quick for them to continue with the A8 since it's not a new architecture. For Apple it would also require a lot less work to make a quad core A8 then an entirely new processor. Coupled with a slight clock speed increase and Apple gets their usual 2X performance increase they've been touting with each new processor they announce.

 

A8 - Quad core A7 with 2X the performance.

A9 - New architecture, second generation 64bit processor.

this is logical, IFF there is enough multi-tasking built in iOS 8 drive the parallelism.  You can't run single threads through multiple cpus.   Right now, I see 3 dominant processing threads, input monitoring, display management, the primary app, with all the attendant background apps running.  Given the performance envelope, This begs the question of 2 (or more)'primary' apps running, or greater decomposition of the primary/background apps.  If they can't see a dramatic improvement/need for multiple cores, clock speeds improvements at same battery consumption would be equally plausible.

 

This whole subthread becomes rhetorical... but Apple doesn't dramatically improve it's SoC without a corresponding performance need and the OS designed to integrate the need to the speed;-)

post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

 

I can't recall even a whiff of evidence that Samsung's semiconductor division has stolen any Apple IP, sabotaged any Apple products, or blown any Apple-set deadlines. Apple wouldn't keep going back to Samsung if that was happening. I think Tim knows what he's doing.

 



If Samsung can have a chip plant on US soil so can Apple, long term the market is pushing Apple into that direction its just a question of when. Apple can only jump ahead of competition so many times when they steal/copy so much of what you do.
post #51 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Samsung owns over 38,000 patents, most of which apply to manufacturing processes. They probably go apeshit and toss lawyers at anyone who uses one of their processes, yet they feel entitled to the patents of others.

 

@bloggerblog:  Samsung owns over 100,000+ patents worldwide; or 38,000+ US patents alone.   Yes, Samsung is the largest LTE patent holders in the world, along with Qualcomm and in many other areas like manufacturing, design, process, etc..

 

Sure, no. Samsung isn't Apple who goes around apeshit and toss lawyers at anyone who looks like them.  

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409669,00.asp

 

Now, can we please stop with these baseless rumors already? 

post #52 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I never buy anything from Samsung because they are immoral.  Apple is doing the right thing by trying their level best to make Samsung-free products.  The sooner, the better.

 

I've seen a lot of users on this forum say something along these lines - that they don't buy Samsung TVs out of principle because of Samsung's shady business practices.  Yet everyone seems to forget that the processor and many other components in their iPhone is manufactured by Samsung.  By buying an iPhone, you are in fact buying Samsung products but yet people seem okay with that.  Apparently principles only matter if the Samsung logo isn't displayed. 

post #53 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Just because a reported Samsung official says they still are building the A8 doesn't mean they are or that TSMC isn't. Who do you believe, Samsung or TSMC? Everything related to the A8 has been rumors and until it's actually built, we won't know for sure and even then we might not know everything about who and where it's being manufactured.

Heck, we don't even know that Apple's next SoC is gonna be called the A8.... What we do know is that the 64-bit under-structure makes Apple poised to do some really rad things they may or may not have ready to drop on the market soon.
"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 #54 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danox View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

 

I can't recall even a whiff of evidence that Samsung's semiconductor division has stolen any Apple IP, sabotaged any Apple products, or blown any Apple-set deadlines. Apple wouldn't keep going back to Samsung if that was happening. I think Tim knows what he's doing.

 



If Samsung can have a chip plant on US soil so can Apple, long term the market is pushing Apple into that direction its just a question of when. Apple can only jump ahead of competition so many times when they steal/copy so much of what you do.

A chip plant is only economical when done in large scale... it's a monster to feed. Apple is doing the right thing to stay out of that cat fight. They are doing it right by controlling the design of the chips, which gives them the ability to differentiate themselves from the competition while keeping the chip manufacturers on their toes by pitting one against the other for Apple's business. The Texas plant was once owned by Texas Instrument that couldn't keep it humming profitably -- and they are in the chip business.

By sticking to what they do best is what will do more for Apple than unfocusing their effort. In a market where the low end is being commoditized, the differentiated product will rule its niché.
"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 #55 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I think Apple has no choice but to use Samsung for the A8.

I believe that the A8 is only going to be the A7 with two more cores and possible clock speed increase. Apple isn't going to come up with a whole new architecture like they did from the A6 to A7. The A7 is over 2X as fast as any core that Samsung or Qualcomm currently make. It is far more advanced than anything out on the market and looks like it will still be by fall this year. So there's no need for Apple to do another wholesale design of the cores until the A9 comes out.

However, going to a smaller process would allow them to finally make the jump to 4 cores. And since Samsung is already making the A7, it would be easy and quick for them to continue with the A8 since it's not a new architecture. For Apple it would also require a lot less work to make a quad core A8 then an entirely new processor. Coupled with a slight clock speed increase and Apple gets their usual 2X performance increase they've been touting with each new processor they announce.

A8 - Quad core A7 with 2X the performance.
A9 - New architecture, second generation 64bit processor.

More cores usually translates to more energy usage. If so, Apple may look to keep the SoC more efficient. The M7 helps in that effort. I would expect the A8 SoC will get the RAM it needs to better use the 64-bit architecture before more cores will improves performance. Apple's iPhone will be a more powerful part of CarPlay if it can require less data to be streamed. So, perhaps Siri and local Maps/local data will become stored within the device.
"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 #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I'm holding out for the 256-bit A9...

 

LMAO!

post #57 of 63
TSMC and GloFo have both stamped out A57 at 20nm/16nm FinFET. That aside, it doesn't mean they would be in time for the A8 die-shrink.
post #58 of 63
TSMC is leader at semiconductor manufacturing. That's why Quacomm, Broadcomm, Nvidia, MediaTek,..and other companies all rely on TSMC.

The first reason Apple did not choose TSMC is price. It's not the first time for samsung. When samsung's LCD technology was far behind Japan and Taiwan many years ago, they cut their price so low that Japan's companies did not want to play anymore. After they got market share, they kept improving their technology.

The second reason is capacity. TSMC owns about 50% world market share and 90% 28 nm world market share when 28 nm process rolled out. Almost all high end chips from different IC design houses (Quacomm, Nvidia,...) are manufactured by TSMC. No one chose samsung because TSMC has the leading technology and credibility. Consequently, it's hard to provide capacities which Apple needs. Too many companies are fighting for it...
post #59 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

A challenge with replacing Intel with an A# chip in Macs is that backwards compatibility with Intel programs will require emulation, and emulation speeds might not be that great.
You are assuming that Apple would even consider emulation of an Intel processor. They are far more likely to offer up a ARM based laptop, tablet or something in between, that can run iOS apps in a Window. This way you get access to a huge library of apps yet can still maintain a conventional operation of the device. I would imagine that this machine would be unlike anything currently shipping from Apple or anybody else.

You may wonder who would be willing to pitch out hard earned cash for such a machine. Well I'm about to raise my hand because if Apple did it right I'd be very interested. Why because a great deal of what I want to do is covered buy current apps. As long as I can run Python and a CLang based development environment on the machine I'd be happy. Well it is a little more than that as I'd want access to some of the UNIX goodies.
Quote:
In the past when Apple has changed CPU architectures (680x0 to PPC; PPC to Intel), the architecture Apple was moving to was substantially more powerful than the one it was leaving, meaning that the emulation penalty felt by end-users wasn't too horrible. But if Apple moves from Intel to their own chips in the Mac, it will be more for reasons of cost than performance, meaning that there won't be much of a performance gain to hide the emulation penalty. 
Performance gain? I'm not expecting that either though Apple could surprise us. ARMs 64 bit architecture isn't really all that bad and combined with other acceleration hardware will deliver much of what many users want. As to Apple surprising us, people need to remember that when they picker up PA Semi they picked up a well know team of designers that that did excellent work combining low power and performance. If you look at the current A7 as a proof of concept that doesn't drift far away from the ARM design then they have plenty of room for a high performance A8.
Quote:
Given all that, I think that if Apple were to use A# chips for something other than iDevices, the first use might be in Apple's own data centers. Presumably Apple is using Xeons in its servers, and Xeons are very expensive. Replacing Xeons with a server-oriented version of the A# chips (say, 8 cyclone cores on a die; no GPU; bigger cache; support for ECC RAM) could be a good way to save money, and there wouldn't be an emulation penalty, since presumably Apple would be in a position to recompile all relevant software for the new chip. 
Apple doesn't have the volume to justify building its own ARM based server chip.

It is interesting that you mention recompiles. If Apple wanted to offer up an ARM based machine, running straight Mac OS all they would have to do is change the App stores terms to demand a recompile of all apps submitted. I think you would be surprised at the speed with which developers would adjust.
Quote:

Once Apple has A# chips running on its servers, perhaps a new high-end service for Pro users could be introduced that would allow users to run software on Apple's servers. Initially the only people who would use such a service would be people who can compile their own code. But in time, the service could be expanded as more software is ported to A# chips. Gradually, we might reach a point where so much software has been recompiled to run on A# chips, that Apple could make the switch in Macs. 

You seem to think that this would take a long time to do, I see just the opposite. I see developers falling all over each other in the rush to recompile for ARM and test. In less that two months I could see 80% of the Mac App Store supporting ARM.
post #60 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

@bloggerblog:  Samsung owns over 100,000+ patents worldwide; or 38,000+ US patents alone.   Yes, Samsung is the largest LTE patent holders in the world, along with Qualcomm and in many other areas like manufacturing, design, process, etc..

Sure, no. Samsung isn't Apple who goes around apeshit and toss lawyers at anyone who looks like them.  
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409669,00.asp

Now, can we please stop with these baseless rumors already? 


First you quote a PCMag article, really?
Second, it was 2012, will you please post a follow up article about what happened? There would be results by now?

Samsung has so many patents as do many other companies. How many are strong, non SEP FRAND encumbered patents?
The number of patents doesn't matter, it's the quality. Have you seen how many smartphone/tech patents have been invalidated in Germany? The majority.

Do you know why Samsung uses Qualcomm ARM chips in all their US phones instead of their own ARM chips? Because Qualcomm has more (or stronger) 3G/LTE patents than Samsung. Qualcomm strong arms Samsung with the cellular patents. In the US, if Samsung wants to use Qualcomm patents in other markets, they have to buy the Qualcomm chips to use in the US.

You do realized that Samsung and Qualcomm are both partners and adversaries?
post #61 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

this is logical, IFF there is enough multi-tasking built in iOS 8 drive the parallelism.
IOS has all the multitasking potential of unix. Beyond that apps can spawn their own threads. Sure it is app centric in that some apps simply can't leverage multiple cores. That is a fact of life when it comes to parallel processing, sometimes there is no pay off at all.
Quote:

 You can't run single threads through multiple cpus.
True but it is very easy to generate multiple threads these days. Plus you have other processes running. Combine low power with the ability to run other processes and we may see Apple open up iOS to handle more apps doing background processing. There is limited capability right now but I can see that growing.
Quote:

  Right now, I see 3 dominant processing threads, input monitoring, display management, the primary app, with all the attendant background apps running.  Given the performance envelope, This begs the question of 2 (or more)'primary' apps running, or greater decomposition of the primary/background apps.  If they can't see a dramatic improvement/need for multiple cores, clock speeds improvements at same battery consumption would be equally plausible.
Exactly, a lower power processor permits more options for Apple when it comes how tasks and threads run.
Quote:

This whole subthread becomes rhetorical... but Apple doesn't dramatically improve it's SoC without a corresponding performance need and the OS designed to integrate the need to the speed;-)
Honestly Apple needs to take a wider view with the next update to this platform! By this I mean things like RAM and flash storage space need to be improved of nobody will be leveraging the power in the CPU. Apple needs to double RAM space at the minimum but ideally they should go to 4GB. Right now RAM space holds developers back as much as anything.
post #62 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post
 

Were Apple to change chips again, it would be easier. The way to not worry about emulation is to use the built in app universal library packaging from AppKit/Mach-o. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_binary#NeXTSTEP_Multi-Architecture_Binaries

 

The executable can be built FAT ( all executables for iOS are built fat if they have to handle the different versions of ARM or ARM64, which most do). There were FAT builds for PPC and Intel.

 

I don’t see a modern need for Rossetta were there any change. Just announce the chip change a few months, or a year in advance, and ask devs to build FAT for a few months before the actual hardware release to guarantee getting into the App Store.

 

That’s most of your applications, and any stragglers have to be downloaded from the web, but in the modern OS they won’t automatically run anyway, unless you reduce security in System Preferences. So for most people, except expert users who turn the security options off , downloads from the App Store will be FAT downloads and will run on all architectures. Everybody else can take their chances.

 

There was a lot more than Motorola (Pre-PPC/PPC Prototype the Brick in Multiprocessor layout) and Intel. There was HP PA-RISC and SPARC 5/10.  ARM is just the latest, after PPC. We used to brand NeXTSTEP 3.3 as Quad-FAT.

post #63 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I never buy anything from Samsung because they are immoral.  Apple is doing the right thing by trying their level best to make Samsung-free products.  The sooner, the better

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercow View Post
 

 

I've seen a lot of users on this forum say something along these lines - that they don't buy Samsung TVs out of principle because of Samsung's shady business practices.  Yet everyone seems to forget that the processor and many other components in their iPhone is manufactured by Samsung.  By buying an iPhone, you are in fact buying Samsung products but yet people seem okay with that.  Apparently principles only matter if the Samsung logo isn't displayed. 

They justify it by saying the A# is an Apple design, Samsung are just manufacturing it, so it isn't a Samsung product.

 

The justification arguments are always a good read.

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