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Report: Apple contracts chips for new mobile multimedia device

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Scoop! Brit chip designers score coup as Apple picks chips for next gen mobile multimedia device...the m-Pod?


By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

A British team of chip designers has won one of the most coveted of customers in the chip industry--Apple Computer. SiliconValleyWatcher has learned that Apple has contracted to use the powerful video, image, and music chips designed by Alphamosaic, in Cambridge, UK, in a future multimedia mobile device.


While the kudos goes to the Alphamosaic teams, the money from the deal goes to Broadcom, the US communication chips leader. Broadcom acquired the 57 person Alphamosaic for about $125m in September 2004.

From Silicon Valley Watcher:

http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/...convalleyw.php
post #2 of 39
The die is cast...
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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post #3 of 39
Praise be to Kormac! The i**** cometh!
When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by murk
Praise be to Kormac! The i**** cometh!

Yes sir! The K-man once again opens the eyes of the non-believers.
post #5 of 39
Do you think Apple will try to compete with Sony's PSP & Nintendo's DS? The
article mentioned that it can handle complex 3d easily? I hope Apple can
compete on the price? You can get a PSP for $200 I believe. If Apple has the
40 or 60 gig hardrive in it, you're looking at somewhere between $400 to
$700 bucks. It would be cool to have an iPod, portable game system, image
& video storage plus an 8 megapixel camera smooshed into a small & very
cool looking device though. I just bought the 8 megapixel Canon Eos Digital
Rebel XT though. It would be sweet to be able to hook up my camera directly
to the new device to preview & transfer the pics over.
Brock Samson: You didn't tell me Sasquatch was a... a dude.
Steve Summers: What, you couldn't tell?
Brock Samson: Not until I had to...[shudders] shave him.
Steve Summers: What are you, shy?...
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Brock Samson: You didn't tell me Sasquatch was a... a dude.
Steve Summers: What, you couldn't tell?
Brock Samson: Not until I had to...[shudders] shave him.
Steve Summers: What are you, shy?...
Reply
post #6 of 39
Think tablet.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Think tablet.

The article mentions:

Quote:
Building on the success of the VC01, Alphamosaic is now sampling VC02, the world's most advanced mobile multimedia processor. The VC02 can display video on 3.5 inch color LCDs and capture 8 megapixel images

I thought tablets had much larger screens than 3 1/2".
Brock Samson: You didn't tell me Sasquatch was a... a dude.
Steve Summers: What, you couldn't tell?
Brock Samson: Not until I had to...[shudders] shave him.
Steve Summers: What are you, shy?...
Reply
Brock Samson: You didn't tell me Sasquatch was a... a dude.
Steve Summers: What, you couldn't tell?
Brock Samson: Not until I had to...[shudders] shave him.
Steve Summers: What are you, shy?...
Reply
post #8 of 39
wow, this is very cool.
haha
I"d buy some broadcom if I wasn't one of those starving student types
Good for <del>wiki</del>OpenLeaks
<del>wiki</del>OpenLeaks for Good
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Good for <del>wiki</del>OpenLeaks
<del>wiki</del>OpenLeaks for Good
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post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by mello
The article mentions:

I thought tablets had much larger screens than 3 1/2".

The comment in the article makes very little sense... 3.5" LCDs at *what resolution*? 72dpi? 144? 300? I can only assume that it is a foul-up on the part of the author, since the resolution will determine the chip's capabilities, not the display size.

Also, the current 12-15" tablets are too unwieldy. About half of a standard sheet of paper, with an extremely thin bezel around the screen is nearly perfect for most handheld/tablet applications. (Also ties into the report about 10.4 having screen rotation capabilities...) Any smaller than that, it's not usable. Any larger than that, it's too bulky.

Just a thought. I don't believe Apple will jump into this market any time soon, but if they do, that's my speculation on what the form factor would be like.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #10 of 39
Cool! Combine this news with that of the new high-volume hard drives.

I'm thinking part of a new iMovies service, which is like iTunes for movies.

Make an iPod that can store HD movies and play them back, with jacks for connecting to HDTV, and it could revolutionize the movie rental industry. Imagine downloading movies with limited playbacks, and after x playbacks they become unplayable until one buys a new code! Of course hacks will be available to just rent the movies for one playback and then play them infinite times, which would totally rule. For slow internet connections, just take your iPod to Blockbuster and pay the fee to plug in and download a movie file.

This iPod could also capture HD DV from a camera.

iPod HD, or iPod Film, or iMove, or whatever.
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Merlion
Yes sir! The K-man once again opens the eyes of the non-believers.

You fool. Do you know when that idiot said he was making the plastics for that thing? It was like 6 years ago. Oh yeah, the k-man knows sh*t.
onlooker
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post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
You fool. Do you know when that idiot said he was making the plastics for that thing? It was like 6 years ago. Oh yeah, the k-man knows sh*t.

Sorry but I believe you are confusing him with Kim-Pak-Sol.
K-man = Kormac77
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Merlion
Sorry but I believe you are confusing him with Kim-Pak-Sol.
K-man = Kormac77

No I'm not. I was here back then Merlion. I remember that clown saying that the prototype was done, and would be appearing at MWNY 1999, (or so)

Kormac, and his i**** is the longest running joke in AI history.
onlooker
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post #14 of 39
Apple Computer has reportedly made a major commitment towards the development of a mobile multimedia device.

The iPod maker has recently contracted the use of powerful video, image, and music chips from British-run Alphamosaic, SiliconValleyWatcher is reporting.

The publication says Apple could use the chips to build a family of advanced iPod and mobile hand-held digital devices equipped with wireless communications.

In a September press release, the UK-based Alphamosaic described its next generation VC02 chip as "the world's most advanced mobile multimedia processor." The chip can display video on 3.5 inch color LCDs and capture 8 megapixel images, making it ideal for watching TV, making videos or taking studio-quality photos on a cellphone.

Meanwhile, Broadcom, which acquired the 57 person Alphamosaic for about $125M last September, says the VCO2 chip uses very small amounts of battery power and "excels in high-quality 3D graphics performance." It's capable of supporting pixel shading and volumetric lighting with low power consumption, "making it ideal for use in mobile gaming applications and comparable in performance to home consoles."

The SiliconVallyWatcher believes Apple could use Alphamosaic chips as the foundation for a new family of iPod devices that could include camera, gaming and wireless connectivity features.

"The Apple device could be ready in volume quantities by the end of 2005 or early January 2006 if Apple gets the ball rolling now," the publication said.
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
For slow internet connections, just take your iPod to Blockbuster and pay the fee to plug in and download a movie file.

Killer idea. Blockbuster have a wide coverage and are about to lose their business over the next 10 years. They'll be looking for a way into online distribution, and Apple could be a major player.

Right now the biggest problem with a vPod is getting movies on it legally, this could be a good part of the solution.
post #16 of 39
With a chip this powerful and hard drives as big as they are now, why stop at songs, pictures, and video? Why not set aside a gig and a *few* clock cycles for personal info management, web browsing, and av ichatting?

Yes, the name is already attached to a Griffin device, but I think Apple just aquired the brains of the PowerPod. It's one of the only "i" series products without a matching "power" end. Yes, it's far-fetched, but can you imagine video-conferencing in a wi-fi hotspot through a device that's actually sleeker than an iPod?

If they can only figure out data entry.
post #17 of 39
iChat on the iPod? Nice idea, really nice... I agree with you, that would be a killer idea, and I think Apple could come out with a good idea regarding the data entry (Maybe you would have to use a Mac or PC for this...)

Anyway, this news looks very much like theres gonna be a video iPod someday - Apple said it would have a close look on how the PSP does, so I don´t think that´s to farfetched.

And who has 60gigs worth of Music anyway? Video makes much more sense with these capacities...
Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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post #18 of 39
I don't understand why Apple didn't buy this company. This is a chip design firm, not a manufacturing company. If these chips are that good, you would think that Apple would want to own them. The same thing would be true with the iPod wheel, etc.

It's not as though they seem to have any better uses for all that cash. The $175 million Broadcom paid is about the same size as the increase to Apple's hoard every quarter.

Owning these companies would give Apple independence from a supplier who might decide to go in a direction that Apple wouldn't like. Broadcom, whose stock I used to own, is large enough that Apple's needs might not mean much if they want to use these chips for some broader purpose to advance their own agenda.

Apple has bought chip design companies before, though not for that amount of cash. They seem to be afraid to purchase anything larger than a couple dozen million.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
The comment in the article makes very little sense... 3.5" LCDs at *what resolution*? 72dpi? 144? 300? I can only assume that it is a foul-up on the part of the author, since the resolution will determine the chip's capabilities, not the display size.

I agree. This made no sense to me. And why limit the chips to the mobile space? The Mini, laptops, and even iMac are all designed to run cool = low power. Why not throw one of these chips in a HT Mini, or add them to the motherboards of the laptops?

Not reading the techincal details, it's unclear to me how these new chips relate to current graphics cards. Or do they offload processing from the CPU? Can anyone offer clarification?

- Jasen.
post #20 of 39
Sounds interesting--but trying to guess WHAT Apple will do with it is a losing proposition.

Just because it has the power to do all those things, doesn't mean Apple NEEDS all those things.

Maybe it's just the fastest, lowest-power, cheapest, solution to provide power for something much more mundane--like playing music or displaying photo slideshows.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by jasenj1
I agree. This made no sense to me. And why limit the chips to the mobile space? The Mini, laptops, and even iMac are all designed to run cool = low power. Why not throw one of these chips in a HT Mini, or add them to the motherboards of the laptops?

Not reading the techincal details, it's unclear to me how these new chips relate to current graphics cards. Or do they offload processing from the CPU? Can anyone offer clarification?

- Jasen.

Go to this page. It has the Tech specs:

http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/po...NEWSART_112272

The display capabilities are intriguing:

Display: Multiple LCDs up to XGA resolution plus PAL/NTSC analogue output
post #22 of 39
i'm thinking more along the lines of qt7 embedded so you can do things like use flash content, keynote presentations, movies and of course serve up your music
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Merlion
Yes sir! The K-man once again opens the eyes of the non-believers.

I predict Apple will come out with something new within the next 5 years. Praise me! Worship me!

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #24 of 39
With your track record? Shyeah.

My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker

Kormac, and his i**** is the longest running joke in AI history.

No, the people who believe in him are. They cannot grasp the fact that if you name every single possibility you are probably going to be right at least once. He has predicted everything under the sun. When an event comes up he talks about what will be seen and when it doesn't happen he says it has been delayed. Same thing happens with the next event and the one after that and the one after that until one day maybe one of the hundreds of possibilities comes remotely close. Then people are like "Oh Kormac you are the air I breath, my reason for living! I want you inside me!" I've never known any company to delay a product 35 times in a row yet five years later nothing has changed and yet they still believe him. This i**** of his is as old as Appleinsider. It's fine to speculate. That's what this forum is for. To actually believe he is an insider however is monumentally stupid.

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
With your track record? Shyeah.

I have no track record so I'm one step ahead of Kormac.

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
Then people are like "Oh Kormac ...I want you inside me!"

Dude, you need to get out more!

\
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
No, the people who believe in him are. They cannot grasp the fact that if you name every single possibility you are probably going to be right at least once. He has predicted everything under the sun. When an event comes up he talks about what will be seen and when it doesn't happen he says it has been delayed. Same thing happens with the next event and the one after that and the one after that until one day maybe one of the hundreds of possibilities comes remotely close. Then people are like "Oh Kormac you are the air I breath, my reason for living! I want you inside me!" I've never known any company to delay a product 35 times in a row yet five years later nothing has changed and yet they still believe him. This i**** of his is as old as Appleinsider. It's fine to speculate. That's what this forum is for. To actually believe he is an insider however is monumentally stupid.

Don't know of anyone who believes he is an insider. Kormac will even tell you he isn't. Hell, I don't even believe he is actually Korean. If he is however, he's most likely Kim Jong Il. One thing is certain, this place would be boring without him. He gives some of us something to dream about and sometimes makes us think. Others he makes laugh. Still others he just pisses off.
When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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post #29 of 39
^^^

What he said.

Where is matsu with his vein-popping expletives when we need him?

Hope springs eternal,

Mandricard
AppleOutsider
Hope Springs Eternal,
Mandricard
AppleOutsider
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Hope Springs Eternal,
Mandricard
AppleOutsider
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post #30 of 39
Well, this might've been something, but like the ATI breach at MWNY a few years ago, this will now be shelved and never seen again!

Plus, why would apple get into this market? Sure, macheads would buy this stuff, but would it better than a PSP or Gameboy whatever to actually turn a decent enough profit (Keeping in mind Apple's incessant need for high profit margins).

Oh, and I think its the iWalk! Finally here after several false starts! Or the iPhone! Or Apple's portable DVR (now that's what everyone needs! A Tivo in your pocket!) Plus, I certainly can't imagine Apple releasing this before Asteroid. That would be just incomprehensible!

And you people do realize that Apple spends a lot of money on R&D projects that never get too far. You need to keep in mind this could be just another one of those.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
Dude, you need to get out more!

Come on, that was moderately funny. I'm just kidding around for the most part though there are a few who actually think he is an insider. I'm pretty sure Kormac and Kim Cap Sol are one and the same, someone we know from this messageboard in disguise. There were even a couple different Kormacs once upon a time.

We all know Apple is up to something. Otherwise they wouldn't be hiring people with video codec skills for the iPod team. Not necessarily an iPod though as the iPod team works on other things these days. They are even given the dubious distinction of designing the new iMac. Jobs must have Ives locked up in a closet somewhere. No one has heard from him in over a year.

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

Reply

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #32 of 39
"Where were you when the hammer flew?"

Ducking!
post #33 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
Come on, that was moderately funny. I'm just kidding around for the most part though there are a few who actually think he is an insider. I'm pretty sure Kormac and Kim Cap Sol are one and the same, someone we know from this messageboard in disguise. There were even a couple different Kormacs once upon a time.

We all know Apple is up to something. Otherwise they wouldn't be hiring people with video codec skills for the iPod team. Not necessarily an iPod though as the iPod team works on other things these days. They are even given the dubious distinction of designing the new iMac. Jobs must have Ives locked up in a closet somewhere. No one has heard from him in over a year.

I know you were kidding. But that imagery ... Eww!

post #34 of 39
Just a thought.... What if this new device also has a Foveon and a Cell chip?
When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Go to this page. It has the Tech specs:

http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/po...NEWSART_112272

The display capabilities are intriguing:

Display: Multiple LCDs up to XGA resolution plus PAL/NTSC analogue output

Yeah, but:

Serial Interfaces: USB 1.1 slave, I2C master, SPI master and UART

USB 1.1? Methinks this needs to be bumped to USB 2.0.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by murk
Just a thought.... What if this new device also has a Foveon and a Cell chip?

If it has a Cell chip, would it need this Alphamosaic chip? Cell alone should be more than enough, IMHO. But then again, what do we know of the capabilities of the Alphamosaic chip selected by Apple?

My speculation is, this is going to be a non-personal-computer digital hub. So far, if you have an iPod, you need a computer to load up the songs or to buy songs from iTMS. If you have a digital camera, you need a computer to unload or print the images. What if this thing is a stand-alone digital hub? You connect this thing to your iPod, your digital camera, your TV, the Internet, your computer, etc. and small enough to carry it with you at all times?
post #37 of 39
Just a joke. Combining all three mythical chips that we have predicted Apple will use in something or another.
When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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When they said "Think Different", I ran with it.
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post #38 of 39
You forgot a low-power G6...
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Squirrel_Monkey
Yeah, but:

Serial Interfaces: USB 1.1 slave, I2C master, SPI master and UART

USB 1.1? Methinks this needs to be bumped to USB 2.0.

Yeah, you are right about the serial. Maybe it's not being used for I/O, but for control interfacing, the way monitors sometimes use it for auto color correction.

Or something like that.

Or not.
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