Originally Posted by RBR
That is exactly the point.
The world could become a very interesting place when these chips become commonly available. Apple will certainly be in a position to drive the industry. This will especially be the case if they can move a new Cortex core to 45nm.
What people need to realize is that many of these ARM cores run on older processes and still whip the competition. It is a given that Apple will push hard for state of the art performance on at least one variant.
I say atleast one variant because I suspect that we will see an improved iPhone, of the current design, within 6 months. This will be a faster lower power processor complex to keep that variant competitive in the marketplace. It won't excite a lot of people and knowing Apple they will forget to increase the amount of RAM on the device.
The more interesting processor will be much more capable with multiple cores. How many cores is a good question but two would be the minimal number. This unit would be for larger Touch devices with a slant towards gaming and movies. The same processor would also go into a larger iPhone, a Newton 2 like device and a larger tablet targeted at the netbook crowd.
In other words what I'm saying is that Apple is likely working on at least two custom SoC solutions for release next year. One for the current iPhone and smaller devices and a more robust SMP device for higher performance hardware.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Not even behind closed doors at the mother ship. Snapdragon shows what is possible, indeed, what Apple will have to compete with. Let us hope that Apple has "read the tea leaves" and is working on a highly integrated system such as Snapdragon.
Well I honestly think they are and for some devices I dont think they are affraid to look outside of Apple. Qualcomm and TI are just two possibilities. As pointed out ARM is widely licensed and available in many configurations right off the shelf. I could see Apple buying off the shelf for a low end IPhone for example.
What really interest me though is what if anything will go into silicon that is Apple IP. Will it be custom power saving features, custom co processors, a built in video memory array or something else. This isn't to far off in left field but one possibility would be a PCI Express interface.
Now stay with me folks as here is the thought. Apple uses some of the unimplemented pins on the dock connector for a PCI-E interface. This would make for some really interesting docks especially for faster and larger Touch devices or tablets. Your next Touch might dock with an AV station that provides a faster GPU to drive your TV to act as a multimedia console. That is a console that can do games, video and web surf. The brain of that console can slip in your pocket the minute you leave the house. Cool idea!
I just see so many possibilities with this new technology that it is hard to get the mind to slow down. The processor is only part of the game too. Imagine these devices with a 128 or 256 GB of Flash storage or whatever replaces flash in a year or two.