Apple television said to run on customized chips like iPhone, iPad

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Rather than utilize off-the-shelf chips from a company such as Intel, Apple is expected to use its own custom-built chips like in the iPhone and iPad for its anticipated television set.



Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and Siliconware Precision Industries are three companies expected by DigiTimes to bid on orders with Apple. The companies could build custom ARM-based chips to power an Apple television, much like the A4 CPU, first released in the iPad in 2010, is found in the current Apple TV set-top box.



Apple is said to have already signed a foundry agreement with TSMC earlier this year, utilizing its 28nm and 20nm process technologies. That deal was said to be for next-generation "A6" and "A7" processors for the iPhone and iPad, but it's possible an Apple television could also utilize the advanced chips.



In addition to featuring custom chips, the Apple television is also expected to be assembled by Foxconn Electronics, industry sources reportedly said. Foxconn already builds most of Apple's devices, including the iPhone and iPad.



The report said Apple is expected to finalize the hardware standards for its television set at the end of the second quarter of 2012. After that, it will place orders for customized chips and other components directly with its contract manufacturers. That's the same approach Apple uses to build its iPad and iPhone lineups.







The Taiwan electronics industry publication once again pegged the Apple television for launch by the end of 2012. On Tuesday, DigiTimes also said that suppliers are expected to begin preparing components for the anticipated HDTV in the first quarter of 2012, and that it will have screen sizes of 32 and 37 inches.



Earlier reports also claimed that Apple will buy chips from Samsung for its television set, while Sharp is expected to manufacture displays. As for content, analyst Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee said earlier Wednesday that Apple is hoping to offer Internet-based content subscriptions that will allow customers to choose their own custom channel lineups, offering an experience very different from current cable and satellite plans.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    Apple has a chance to get this right and I hope they do. Goodle tried but they muscled ahead without liscense agreements and got smacked down. I own a Sony Google TV and it has potential but it just is not there. With that said though, the only reason I bought it was it was discounted. In my opinion, if Apple wants this to take off they really have to market it. There are tons of "connected" TVs out there but none of them are worth the extra money IMHO so if Apple wants my money, their TV has to be special, then I will buy it.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,972member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post


    Apple has a chance to get this right and I hope they do. Goodle tried but they muscled ahead without liscense agreements and got smacked down. I own a Sony Google TV and it has potential but it just is not there. With that said though, the only reason I bought it was it was discounted. In my opinion, if Apple wants this to take off they really have to market it. There are tons of "connected" TVs out there but none of them are worth the extra money IMHO so if Apple wants my money, their TV has to be special, then I will buy it.



    THis will be interesting for sure. I just worry they will make them large enough. Many like me with 50 -60 inch screens are not going down in size for the main living room, in fact I'd love to go up in size. I have not recovered since seeing the Sharp 80 inch in Sam's Club just before Christmas
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post


    There are tons of "connected" TVs out there but none of them are worth the extra money IMHO so if Apple wants my money, their TV has to be special, then I will buy it.



    The problem is the "connected" TV's just aren't that connected. I still think the remote control is the first issue to solve-- specifically communication between devices. While HDMI has that capability at its core, it really is just designed for point-to-point connections, rather than multipoint to multipoint.



    I'm ready to spend real money on a new "home theater" system-- mainly just a simple TV with a nice sound system, and the ability to watch movies and some TV shows. I'd love to have a Crestron or AMX system custom-configured to my needs, but that becomes too closed of an environment once you need to make changes. It also gets finicky unless all the devices have 2-way RS232 communications.



    I also just want to have a single HDMI cable going to my TV from an equipment rack. If you really push me, I might go with an ethernet cable and a serial cable as well... but that is it. At the current rate, I'll end up with something like a Myth TV box, but that is a little more work than I am really interested in.
  • Reply 4 of 67
    TSMC doesn't have 28nm and 22nm fab technologies without GlobalFoundries.



    It sure would be nice for a more complete picture when writing stories. TSMC has the facilities to ramp up what Apple needs and to off-load more of it's contracts from Samsung if and when it needs to do so.



    More Fabs are coming on-line that aren't TSMC and Samsung.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    An Apple TV will never work. It's just a big iPad.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Most of the discussions I've read focus on hardware aspects only.



    What do you think will set the proposed Apple TV apart software- and content-wise? How does the extension of iTunes Match to videos sound (similar to UltraViolet but done the Apple way, e.g. one simple set of rules with no exceptions)?
  • Reply 7 of 67
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    this is all fantastic, but my ISP [AT&T Uverse] limits me to 250GB/Month of "Internet" data, even though i can watch an unlimited amount of AT&T HD Cable through their service. [yes i understand what unicast is]



    ALL ISP's in my area have data caps, specifically to keep people from going Hulu/iTunes/any other a-la-carte service. Will Apple become an ISP? nope. Is @1.5 hours/day* of HD streaming enough? nope.



    * 1.5 hours at 10 Mbit/s > 250GB/month ...even super compressed we're looking at less than 3 hours/day.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    Oh, for the love of humanity.



    The only thing that would get me to buy an Apple television is a Super Hi-Vision panel. There's absolutely no reason for it otherwise. Everything else that it could POSSIBLY be could be done with anyone else's TV and a $99 box from Apple.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Oh, for the love of humanity.



    The only thing that would get me to buy an Apple television is a Super Hi-Vision panel. There's absolutely no reason for it otherwise. Everything else that it could POSSIBLY be could be done with anyone else's TV and a $99 box from Apple.



    Siri or good voice control for the TV?



    I still can;t believe the small TV sizes the rumors are about. That is what it makes me pause.
  • Reply 10 of 67
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Is it really custom if tens of millions of them are made? I think there has to be a lot of "off the shelf" chips that aren't made in those quantities.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    shompashompa Posts: 340member
    I hoper for an A6 quod core ARM15.



    The genius with ARM is that it is not much more expensive to use the fastest SoC then the cheaper ones. A quod core ARM15 at 2.5 ghz would compete with almost all normal desktop Intels in speed.



    This would mean that the AppleTV would have built in the fastest video games console in the world.



    *i want*
  • Reply 12 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by satcomer View Post


    Siri or good voice control for the TV?



    Pointless. I'm not talking to my TV to get it to do things. That show… what is it, with the Baldwin guy, it did a spoof on why that can't possibly work.



    Or, rather, if it CAN work, the solution is so mind-numbingly inelegant that it renders itself useless by its definition.



    All I want is a $99 box with the GREATEST TELEVISION INTERFACE SOFTWARE THIS PLANET HAS EVER SEEN OR WILL EVER SEE FOR A DECADE OR MORE AFTER ITS RELEASE. I will supply the rest of the hardware. Because I already HAVE the rest of the hardware.



    If Apple actually wants to sell units of whatever their solution for broadcast television is, they'd make the actual device something that requires as little upheaval as possible.



    We have three TVs. When Apple releases the A6 Apple TV–a $99 box that does 1080p, has a much better interface than LowTide, and whatever else–we will buy three Apple TVs on DAY. FREAKING. ONE. As will several other branches of our family and groupings of our friends.



    BUT, if Apple releases an HDTV, I can't see us ever buying even one of them. The price would make them wholly unattractive to our needs and desires.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by juggernaut30 View Post


    An Apple TV will never work. It's just a big iPad.



    Well, I can argue it's just a big iPod Touch
  • Reply 14 of 67
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Is it really custom if tens of millions of them are made? I think there has to be a lot of "off the shelf" chips that aren't made in those quantities.



    If they are made specifically for Apple then they are custom chips. Which makes this article pointless since the AppleTV already uses the custom A4 SoC/PoP.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    this is all fantastic, but my ISP [AT&T Uverse] limits me to 250GB/Month of "Internet" data, even though i can watch an unlimited amount of AT&T HD Cable through their service. [yes i understand what unicast is]



    ALL ISP's in my area have data caps, specifically to keep people from going Hulu/iTunes/any other a-la-carte service. Will Apple become an ISP? nope. Is @1.5 hours/day* of HD streaming enough? nope.



    * 1.5 hours at 10 Mbit/s > 250GB/month ...even super compressed we're looking at less than 3 hours/day.



    This is a real issue. Tech companies are researching, developing and bringing too market great technologies and the ISPs are killing it. On my COMCAST I have 250GB a month which used to be unlimited. 250GB a month right now sounds like enough but what happens as technology grows? Seems to me the ISPs are clamping down inorder to "release" their own products which we all know will not compare.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shompa View Post


    I hoper for an A6 quod core ARM15.



    There is no ARM15. There is ARMv7 quad-core Cortex-A9 and ARMv7 dual-core Cortex-A15 that will be out the first half of 2012.
  • Reply 17 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Pointless. I'm not talking to my TV to get it to do things. That show… what is it, with the Baldwin guy, it did a spoof on why that can't possibly work.



    Or, rather, if it CAN work, the solution is so mind-numbingly inelegant that it renders itself useless by its definition.



    All I want is a $99 box with the GREATEST TELEVISION INTERFACE SOFTWARE THIS PLANET HAS EVER SEEN OR WILL EVER SEE FOR A DECADE OR MORE AFTER ITS RELEASE. I will supply the rest of the hardware. Because I already HAVE the rest of the hardware.



    If Apple actually wants to sell units of whatever their solution for broadcast television is, they'd make the actual device something that requires as little upheaval as possible.



    We have three TVs. When Apple releases the A6 Apple TV–a $99 box that does 1080p, has a much better interface than LowTide, and whatever else–we will buy three Apple TVs on DAY. FREAKING. ONE. As will several other branches of our family and groupings of our friends.



    BUT, if Apple releases an HDTV, I can't see us ever buying even one of them. The price would make them wholly unattractive to our needs and desires.



    Agreed, I am not talking to my TV and agreed Apple has to release something no know has seen before (iPhone) to make it stick. To ask someone to spend a few hundred more dollars on a TV that is a gimick at best is doomed to fail.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    I don't care if the TVs have custom chips that can change diapers and compliment your shoes. In a market where a 42" set is already considered small, if Apple is really going to introduce HDTVs that are only 32" and 37", we're looking at a major FAIL. Just who do they expect will buy them? Midgets?
  • Reply 19 of 67
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Everything else that it could POSSIBLY be could be done with anyone else's TV and a $99 box from Apple.



    True that it COULD be done that way, but Apple may not give consumers that option. They may really add a lot of interface goodies with a new TV but leave the $99 box either handicapped or out of the picture entirely.



    Thompson
  • Reply 20 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post


    I don't care if the TVs have custom chips that can change diapers and compliment your shoes. In a market where a 42" set is already considered small, if Apple is really going to introduce HDTVs that are only 32" and 37", we're looking at a major FAIL. Just who do they expect will buy them? Midgets?



    You, and many others, are falling for the rumors. No matter what Apple releases as far as fully-integrated TV sets (be it 32" or whatever) they will also continue to sell the $99 ATV box. Expecting the whole world to go out and buy a new TV set is not a way to gain traction. Maybe they will sell the $99 ATV box and a 32" integrated set until they can bring prices down / sizes up.
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