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Rumors: Apple asked experts about sapphire screens in 2012, iPhone 6's 'A8' to be 2GHz dual-core... - Page 2

post #41 of 49
I've heard that the new iPad will have 512 MB of RAM, down from 1 GB. Apparently, most people only have one or two tabs open in Safari, so don't need the extra.

Sounds good to me.
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post #42 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I am rescinding my statement that Apple will not increase clock speed to 2 GHz.

Apple may increase clock speed to 2 GHz if they migrate to a big.LITTLE processor architecture.

Qualcomm has announced ARM-based hexa-core and octo-core big.LITTLE 20 nm processor architectures at 2 GHz clock speeds using dual-channel 1600 MHz LPDDR4 RAM for early 2015.

I think this strengthens Dick Applebaum's argument.

I doubt that Apple will do that. Also, they most certainly can raise the clock to 2GHz if they want to. Moving to a smaller node gives them that possibility. It just depends on what they are doing in the design. You can go for more speed, or less power draw, or some combo. If Apple is interested in performance, then moving from 1.4GHz at 28nm to 2GHz at 20 is not out of line. Will they, who knows?

But what's interesting to me is the fact that they may be sticking with two cores. Everyone has expected them to move to four, for marketing purposes, at least. But two fast cores are more useful for more purposes.

But this bring's me back to what I was saying in he previous thread here about processors from TSMC. I said then that if Apple stayed with two cores it could give then a big advantage, if they do some other things as well such as inter CPU communications such as Xeons have, and possibly some functions from x86 that would help remove the worst bottlenecks from emulation.

It will be interesting to see what they have here, remembering that about 40% of what is on Apple's chips is unknown.
post #43 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

"I remember the Apple folk coming to speak to me about 18 months ago to discuss sapphire screens," Alford said. 

I consider this a very important detail to reveal to anyone outside Apple that you're interested in using Sapphire as a screen (even though it might seem obvious at this point). Remember to this day Apple has not revealed their plans for the Sapphire produced by GTAT. If the professor said "Apple approached me about the possibility of using Sapphire in other areas of Apple devices" I would find it a bit more believable. He is claiming specifically that Apple mentioned screens which I don't think they would do without an NDA. 

I can't agree with that. Just mentioning screens isn't a big deal. If Apple was just asking questions about the possibility of using large sheets for screen covers, this wouldn't be such a big deal to keep a secret over. If Apple asked specific questions about manufacturability in specific contexts, then possibly it would rise to the level of an NDA. But otherwise, Apple seems to have approached him for information, not the other way around, which would be a much bigger reason to require an NDA.

Remember that he wasn't entering a business deal with Apple. He wasn't asking for information from Apple. They were asking him for information. Information that he is expert in.

None of that requires an NDA.
post #44 of 49
Contrary to popular belief, having more cores do NOT mean more dramatic performance. It doesn't scale well at all. The main benefit of using multiple cores is improved multitasking and we know that the iOS UX is not written to be a windowed multitasking OS. The two cores are more than enough to multitask the main app and a few background processes.

There will be a time when it's appropriate for Apple to add more cores for more background processes which are expected to grow quickly with more open iOS 8 API's but Apple obviously thought carefully and decided that instead of adding another core, they designed M7 which is dedicated to running specific processes and it works extremely well - always running but takes a tiny amount of power.
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by netrox View Post

Contrary to popular belief, having more cores do NOT mean more dramatic performance. It doesn't scale well at all. The main benefit of using multiple cores is improved multitasking and we know that the iOS UX is not written to be a windowed multitasking OS. The two cores are more than enough to multitask the main app and a few background processes.

There will be a time when it's appropriate for Apple to add more cores for more background processes which are expected to grow quickly with more open iOS 8 API's but Apple obviously thought carefully and decided that instead of adding another core, they designed M7 which is dedicated to running specific processes and it works extremely well - always running but takes a tiny amount of power.

As others have pointed out a single app is very likely to be multithreaded these days particularly with Apples GCD technology. iOS will benefit more than most from multiple cores.
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post #46 of 49

It may very well be both 4 Core and around 2Ghz.

 

Just want to point out when we say more then 4 core we get diminishing return on desktop, this is actually 8 thread. Compared to ARM SoC which doesn't have SMT, 4 Core 4 Thread may actually make sense.

 

There are few more things Apple could improve to get higher IPC. And Peak frequency speed dont matter any more when it all depends on power and heat dissipation.

 

On the iPhone its peak may only be 1.5Ghz. Where the 2Ghz will be reserved for iPad.

 

This should allow Apple to market another 3X performance improvement.

post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Yes I would have to agree and any comments he is now making about Apple and it use of Sapphire would be a breach of that NDA.
There is no reason that this professor would have needed to sign an NDA nor become a consultant to Apple. If Apple employees were merely asking an expert about the science and engineering of sapphire, and was not divulging Apple secrets during that encounter, no NDA would be necessary.

The other reality is that NDA's are not valid if you actually do not disclose confidential information. It unnecessarily compromises the rights of the people signing. The professor also has the right to refuse to sign such an agreement, since the NDA is a detriment to the professor. Consideration of whether to have someone sign an NDA is a balancing act. Sometimes it is better not to make a big deal about information being shared to minimize the significance of the information. Hiding secrets in plain sight is sometimes the better course.
post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Not necessarily. It would depend on what he was being consulted about. I've signed more than a few NDA's, and had others sign them. Not everything you talk about requires an NDA. If Apple asked him general questions about saphirre, something about which he is a known expert, there is no reason that I can think of offhand that would require him to sign an NDA.

It's even easier to imagine if it's an old colleague that you bump into that happens to work for Apple. You shake hands, have tea, and discuss your thoughts.

Everyone thinks it's thousands of people showing up, or corporate lawyers just because "Apple" is mentioned. It may just well be a couple of old friends sitting down and talking. I don't know many people who hold out an N.D.A. before they say anything about their work to an old friend. Most people here seem to forget that real life does exist and people still communicate outside of blogs, tweets, Facebook. It's astounding really.
post #49 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

If A8 is dual core, good. Glad Apple isn't jumping on the "more cores for the hell of it" bandwagon. They know what theyre doing when it comes to chip design, which is why the A7 still blows everything else out of the water in most respects, even Samsung's 8 core mobile chips. 
Totally agree
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

a mobile device is a i/o device.   It's the GPUs that do most of the work.  With a single user and strong constraints on power consumption, Dual core (one controlling the general interface, one controlling the logic of the the apps in compute state) is enough.  As well as separate chips to do the dirty work of all the other contextual interrupts (networking, motion,sound), it makes sense to focus on efficiency of fewer cores.
Very easily
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

The amount of sapphire that GT Advanced Technologies can produce at the Mesa, Arizona plant is equivalent to all other sapphire manufacturing on Earth which includes currently shipping Apple products, namely the iPhone 5S. Apple would not need to double the manufacturing capacity of the entire Earth to slightly more than double their usage of sapphire.
Apple will not increase the clock speed to 2 GHz.
Not garenteed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Perhaps the iPhone 6 has 2 cores while the iPad Air 2 has 4. Apple has a lot of code that can use multiple cores and they can really help when multi-tasking. More cores make it easier to drive data to the iPad's larger display.
I think apples decided that one processor for all works, unless we see the A8 being huge and even a A7X on lower devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Exactly- iOS doesn't need 4 cores.  The only reason I could see them implementing it now is if legitimate multi-tasking is planning on coming to the iPad in the future and they want to make sure it has backwards capability.

Again- That's a long shot.  I just don't see the need

Where I do see the need with Apple's A7 (and subsequently A8 SoC) is some more RAM.  1.5-2gb (particularly on iPad) would go great lengths at expanding capabilities there.  Anandtech mentioned the bottleneck occurs with RAM before CPU on the A7.  The A8 will only lengthen that.

All of that said- I can't wait to see whats released in September and October.
I've assumed for 2 years that the A8 will be dual core and 2 gb ram, it's how apples past has been.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Agree with you and Andysol.  Yes, more cores can deliver nearly-linear performance gains (e.g. 12-core Mac Pro).  This is mostly because of Apple's work on Grand Central Dispatch in both OS X (since 10.6) and iOS (since 4.0).  GCD makes it vastly easier for developers to exploit multiprocessing, and optimizes it for them.  Then there's OpenCL, which can use the massively parallel computing power of the GPU to perform general purpose computations if and 
when the GPU has spare cycles.


But multiprocessing (harnessing multiple CPUs) is useful at all times.  Not just when you happen to be multitasking (which I assume you are defining as "switching between apps").  Even the most basic app needs multiple threads: one for handling GUI events and at least one background thread for doing computations to generate results to display.  So any app can benefit from multiprocessing.  Especially if if spawns many background threads.  And it's easy to get many threads going, for example when fetching data from a URL and calculating a result to display and writing data to  "disk" and updating iCloud all at once.


So, of course, bringing up the subject of quad-core A8 SoCs in next-gen iOS devices might trigger battery life concerns.  Well, my theory is that the faster you finish intensive processing tasks, the sooner you can revert to "idle."  So your total power usage would increase logarithmically instead of linearly.  Firing up 4 cores at once may draw more peak current, but you'd be drawing that current for a shorter time.  I'm sure Apple can and will tweak performance vs. power usage in Grand Central Dispatch.  And the larger frame of the (rumored) iPhone 6 model(s) might allow for a slightly larger battery.  We'll see.

Having said all that, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple did reserve the first quad-core A8 SoCs for the high-end of each iOS device line.  Maybe they'll use the dual-core in the 4.7" iPhone and iPad mini Retina, and quad-core in the 5.5" iPhone and iPad Air.  And maybe quad-core in a new high-end 4K Apple TV.  Who knows?


Oh, and I almost forgot about the software side of performance.  At WWDC, Apple announced the Swift programming language and Metal graphics API, both next-gen technologies that Apple claims are vastly faster than legacy Objective-C and OpenGL.  Looking forward to both.
Maybe power management but then again a good dual core could be there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A performance enhanced A8 would be good enough for iPhone, however it won't do for iPad and some other things Apple could be working on. This is why I've stated before that I could see "X" variants again of Apples processors. With the X variants targeting higher performance machines, it would be easy for Apple to deliver a highly optimized cell phone chip.

Beyond that I've heard solid rumors that Apples goals this go around have been improved power efficiency. People might end up underwhelmed by the next iPhone processor if they don't value battery life.
Again all performance shows the A7 is on the same performance of any other phone/tablet this year. A A8 could be again and X variants unncesary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Apple has starved people of reasonable hardware upgrades. They are so desperate for an upgrade to the hardware that even just adding additional ram is enough to satisfy them.
Ha, good one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

Whatever Apple do with the chip, they make the most out of it. Samsung's octa-core chip was nothing more than just a gimmick because it only worked 4 cores at the time. How pathetic! That's why Samsung decided to use SnapDragon quad-core chip in their GS4 handset for US market instead of their own Exynos Octa-core (only for European GS4).
Agree, that the quad or right core performance is all gimmick from Samsung.
Quote:
Originally Posted by netrox View Post

Contrary to popular belief, having more cores do NOT mean more dramatic performance. It doesn't scale well at all. The main benefit of using multiple cores is improved multitasking and we know that the iOS UX is not written to be a windowed multitasking OS. The two cores are more than enough to multitask the main app and a few background processes.

There will be a time when it's appropriate for Apple to add more cores for more background processes which are expected to grow quickly with more open iOS 8 API's but Apple obviously thought carefully and decided that instead of adding another core, they designed M7 which is dedicated to running specific processes and it works extremely well - always running but takes a tiny amount of power.
Agree again

On the note, I've always assumed A8 would be a power efficient dual core with 2 gb ram, but get somewhere along lines of 2ghz. Then A9 would be apples quad core. Unless there is secret things in IOS 8, it's made for dual core. There's just not enough to push that out now, of course next year it would be stupid not to. Now as people are thinking the iPhone 6 is going to be thin, thus small battery, thus power efficient lowered processor that it'd end up half way on everything, but this is apple where talking they can work mind miracles like this where every category gains.
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