Apple hogging Toshiba memory; future 1GHz iPhone chip?

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's demand for flash memory is proving insatiable in the run-up to new iPods, according to one report. Also, Samsung has developed technology that could increase the processor speed of future Apple handhelds.



Toshiba may be overwhelmed by Apple memory orders



Mixed messages from Toshiba may be a clue to a major order of NAND flash memory from Apple, if claimed sources at circuit makers are accurate.



The apparent insiders for DigiTimes say Toshiba is boosting its production to a high 90 percent of its capacity next month but, strangely, is telling customers in the spot market -- companies that buy on short notice -- that it won't have much supply for their orders. The combination is usually a sign that a long-term client is swallowing up most of the components and leaving little else for the smaller companies that can't always make these deals.



It's speculated that the mystery drain on flash memory is none other than Apple, which has a history of creating shortages in the flash memory market whenever it's gearing up for the release of a new iPhone or iPod. The American firm also recently confirmed a $500 million contract with Toshiba that will guarantee a healthy supply of NAND flash for an unspecified amount of time, making it the most probable source of the problem.



Like most home electronics companies, Apple normally queues up production weeks or months ahead of when it actually intends to ship its products and is more than likely bracing itself for holiday sales of new mobile devices that could include iPods with cameras.



Samsung details 1GHz ARM processor



On Tuesday, Samsung escalated the race to faster mobile processors with word of its first ARM-based processor design to be built on a 45 nanometer assembly process.



So far known only as Hummingbird, it would use the smaller, cooler running architecture to increase the maximum clock speed of future system-on-chip processors to 1GHz, or significantly above Samsung's current 833MHz peak, without consuming more energy or wasting more heat. It would use the same Cortex-A8 platform found in the iPhone 3GS and would be Samsung's fastest ARM processor as a result.



Whether or not it will ever reach an Apple mobile device is up in the air, however. While every iPhone and iPod touch to date has used a Samsung-designed chip, Apple has signaled its intent to use custom-designed processors from recent acquisition P.A. Semi sometime in the future, avoiding any dependency on Samsung's plans for improving its own mobile hardware.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    At least non of this shortage has anything to do with the iTablet phantom.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Survival of the fittest, or most popular. Apple is doing what they should be doing here, insuring a ready flow of parts at lower prices.



    A 1GHz processor sounds interesting. If this tablet thing is real, it will need something more powerful than the one in the iPhone. It might also need something more powerful than the Atom 1.67 GHz chip.



    I have to say that the Toshiba mini NB205 netbook my daughter is using this summer is slow. Even with the upgrade to 2 GB RAM, it's slow.



    I can't imagine a tablet from Apple being this slow. But the Atom is supposed to be more powerful than the fastest ARM.



    How will this work? A large device could have a pretty big battery, so maybe two chips and the more powerful graphics chip? That would do it.



    How about a 9.7" OLED? Sigh! That would be nice, but the rumors of screen sales to Apple hasn't mentioned that possibility.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post


    At least non of this shortage has anything to do with the iTablet phantom.



    Maybe, maybe not.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    I presume the Samsung SoC is a die-shrink of their current offering. Could be that Apple will switch silently to this without changing operating parameters. Maybe Jan'10 iPhone 3GS' will get an extra hour of battery.



    But yes, Samsung's actual performance with their ARM SoCs does make Apple's PA Semi purchase seem worthless, so PA Semi must be designing other chips for Apple beyond what Apple would have otherwise got from Samsung.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I have to say that the Toshiba mini NB205 netbook my daughter is using this summer is slow. Even with the upgrade to 2 GB RAM, it's slow.



    Yeah, well Intel's current netbook offering is a CPU + dumb chipset, in effect.



    ARM is more about dedicated hardware for functionality, so it had video decode, hardware encryption and so on. The CPU might be slower overall (but they're so small that you can have several of them) but the overall effect is good.



    You'll notice if YouTube playback skips, but can cope with something taking a little longer to occur on a once-off basis. The ARM platform solves the common case with dedicated hardware, whilst using 1/10th of the power overall.



    Look at Intel's Larrabee - they've had to add two hardware video decoders to the design because it uses too much power to do it in software on the general purpose hardware. To be honest, this says all you need to know about Larrabee version 1. Just ignore it. And version 2. Version 3 could be good though, many companies get version 3 right...
  • Reply 6 of 40
    shrikeshrike Posts: 494member
    The rumors say that PA Semi was split into 2 teams. One team designing for the "iTablet" and the other for a next-gen iPhone/iPod. If the supposed Apple tablet comes out, I predict it will be a dual-core Cortex A8 at 833 MHz and dual Power SGX GPUs all in one package with 1 GB memory and 64 GB flash storage. There was a rumor awhile back that iPhone OS X 3.x was "quad" capable.



    Your guess is as good as mine on what "quad" meant. It'll be fast enough. It won't support Adobe Flash nor Java.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    Samsungs 1GHz ARM can only be good news, as there are only four possible options I see Apple can take, all being good/neutral:



    1) Apple uses this in iPod Touch and 3GS at full speed or with minor under-clocking (Good, but unlikely)



    2) Apple uses at 500MHz in 3GS and iPod Touch (good, fairly likely)



    3) Apple doesn't use in favor of P.A. Semi ARMs (Good, unknown)



    4) Apple ignores this completely (neutral, semi- likely)



    As for the Toshiba stuff, that could be more interesting news if we knew wht size chips they were making. Say, 64GB Whatever's being cooked up in Cupertino, I'm sure it'll amaze us



    SG
  • Reply 8 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    I presume the Samsung SoC is a die-shrink of their current offering. Could be that Apple will switch silently to this without changing operating parameters. Maybe Jan'10 iPhone 3GS' will get an extra hour of battery.



    But yes, Samsung's actual performance with their ARM SoCs does make Apple's PA Semi purchase seem worthless, so PA Semi must be designing other chips for Apple beyond what Apple would have otherwise got from Samsung.



    If the chip runs at 1 GHz, then battery life would be about the same. That's a big boost in performance. I don't see Apple moving the iPhone to this now. It's an appliance. Like a game machine. With a shorter lifespan.



    Likely, PA will work with Samsung to produce their chips, as they aren't a fab. Any advantage Samsung has here would be used by PA as well.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post


    At least non of this shortage has anything to do with the iTablet phantom.



    I wouldn?t say that. The suggested tablet device seems more of a complimentary device for your main computer, not a replacement for it, so expecting it to use a HDD is not where I?d put my money. Apple has almost completely done away with the 1.8? HDDs and a 2.5? HDD would probably be too large for the device, especially if they want it to be thin and light. I?d think that a 1.8? SSD or just a bunch of Flash on the system board would be the way Apple would go. Just my theory.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I have to say that the Toshiba mini NB205 netbook my daughter is using this summer is slow. Even with the upgrade to 2 GB RAM, it's slow.



    I can't imagine a tablet from Apple being this slow. But the Atom is supposed to be more powerful than the fastest ARM.



    I assume it?s running XP. Tests show that OS X is faster on the slower Atoms and are much better with battery management. Besides that, having a full version of Mac OS X may not be right for this class device. For a tablet to work I think that a new UI and some iPhone-like frameworks may have to be developed. A 3rd branch for OS X between the Mac and the iPhone/Touch. After making Mac OS X work so well on the iPhone with an ARM CPU it seems like a given that Apple couldn?t make a hybrid version of OS X for a hybrid-like device.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    "iTablet", no... The all new reimagined iBook, yes.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I have to say that the Toshiba mini NB205 netbook my daughter is using this summer is slow. Even with the upgrade to 2 GB RAM, it's slow.

    I can't imagine a tablet from Apple being this slow. But the Atom is supposed to be more powerful than the fastest ARM.



    Does she have Windows or did you hackintosh it?



    Quote:

    How about a 9.7" OLED? Sigh! That would be nice, but the rumors of screen sales to Apple hasn't mentioned that possibility.



    There is a history of introducing newer hardware in the Touch, then bribing it to the iPhone in the next revision. The Touch may get OLED first then the iPhone next year. There isn't any reason for Apple to delay.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    The title for this article could have easily been, "Apple Covering All Bases".
  • Reply 13 of 40
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    "iTablet", no... The all new reimagined iBook, yes.



    I always loved my iBook
  • Reply 14 of 40
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    If this tablet thing is real, it will need something more powerful than the one in the iPhone. It might also need something more powerful than the Atom 1.67 GHz chip.



    (Seriously) Is that expectation based on what you expect the tablet to be able to do, or is it based on an idea that even an iPod Touch with a big screen would require a larger processor? Perhaps the intended function of the thing is such that all it needs to better video hardware.



    (Less seriously) It sometimes seems as though talking about iTablet specs is akin to talking about the capabilities of the Flying Dutchman. One gets the feeling that if the iTablet ever sails into port, most everyone will be angry and disappointed, loudly decrying its lack of capabilities, expectations of which it could only have satisfied with supernatural help



    If it is based on the iPhone OS, it might not need anything much more powerful than what's in the current machines. I remember the amazing things my Newton could do, and that was a wind-up toy compared with current technology. If the iTablet is real and not just an idle skunkworks project, and if it really does need a powerful processor, then it might be awaiting processor. Perhaps the signal people should be looking for that signals the coming of the iTablet is a more powerful processor. If you don't believe the Cortex is fast enough, when is the next generation?
  • Reply 15 of 40
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    ARM is more about dedicated hardware for functionality, so it had video decode, hardware encryption and so on. The CPU might be slower overall (but they're so small that you can have several of them) but the overall effect is good.



    I agree.



    I'm kind of wondering whether we'll see ARM in the next AppleTV, actually.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    For owners of iPhone 3G, here is another reason to wait till next summer to get a new iPhone.



    I was tempted to rush out and buy the new iPhone 3GS last month, but I decided to wait. For people with deep pockets, it's not a big deal. Just got mine in September after using the original iPhone since 2 weeks of its original launch.



    Next summer, a faster, better iPhone will be introduced. That is for sure. That is when I will get a new one. Who knows, it might even be cheaper. For now 3G will do.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post


    At least non of this shortage has anything to do with the iTablet phantom.



    Hide and watch.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    l255jl255j Posts: 57member
    I personally like how "iNote" sounds. Maybe "Pad".
  • Reply 19 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post


    I assume it’s running XP. Tests show that OS X is faster on the slower Atoms and are much better with battery management. Besides that, having a full version of Mac OS X may not be right for this class device. For a tablet to work I think that a new UI and some iPhone-like frameworks may have to be developed. A 3rd branch for OS X between the Mac and the iPhone/Touch. After making Mac OS X work so well on the iPhone with an ARM CPU it seems like a given that Apple couldn’t make a hybrid version of OS X for a hybrid-like device.



    I would NOT like to see Apple branch off the OS once again. not at all.



    What I would like to see, and it might not be too difficult to do is to have both the Simple Finder from OS X on the machine as default, then allow the OS to also use an iPhone GUI as well, so that it could run both types of apps.



    But that would b a problem with either cpu. It perhaps would need both. Unless there was a way to run iPhone apps in emulation without losing speed.



    This would be a very good convergence device.



    I'm not sure apple would want such a thing though.



    Hey, Ireland, where are you when we need you?
  • Reply 20 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Does she have Windows or did you hackintosh it?



    She's using XP. You know my views about copyright and eula's.



    But, we spoke to her today.



    Ah, Windows, ya gotta love it.



    She doesn't like the trackpad, so she bought a mouse. She plugs it in to install it. The machine says the usual junk about new hardware, and so she installs it. It says it's fine, and she can use the new mouse. But it doesn't work!



    She uninstalled it and re-installed it three times. Still didn't work. When we spoke I told her a couple things to check, which she did, and it STILL didn't work.



    She says she hates Windows. We're going to break down and get her the 13" MacBook Pro next week.



    When I left her, she was still trying to figure why it won't install.





    Quote:

    There is a history of introducing newer hardware in the Touch, then bribing it to the iPhone in the next revision. The Touch may get OLED first then the iPhone next year. There isn't any reason for Apple to delay.



    Isn't bribery illegal?



    Well, I'd like to see OLED, sevral companies have already gone to it.



    But I wonder if those companies made their phones to fit the available screens, rather than the other way around.



    Apple won't do that, I don't think. A screen that will fit the form factor will be needed. With Apple's volumes, it may happen.



    You know, a slightly larger OLED screen can fit into the current cases, as OLED's need less edge around the screen proper than LCD's do. We could get a screen that's up to .25" wider, and .375" longer.



    I don't know if that would happen.
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