Intel looks to build ultra-efficient mobile chips Apple 'can't ignore'

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  • Reply 41 of 100
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member


    It's obviously a joke. Go so small that they disappear

  • Reply 42 of 100
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post




     


    It's so funny though (IMO) how over the years intel has gone from a position of "not sure if they care" to make enough chips for Apple computers, through deciding that "they might be interested," past "Apple is great!" and "we're partners!," and now after the breakup, is all "well, maybe they will come back if we are really good."  


     


    It's like the history of a dating relationship.  If Apple continues to reject them, the next logical position for intel is "Well, we never liked them anyway, so we're seeing other companies now."



     


    Before Apple will come back, they will probably demand a serious (metaphorical) act of contrition from Intel for (metaphorically) paying for several (metaphorical) hookers (by subsidizing


    MacBook Air competitors).  I suggest Intel give Apple a huge price break on the next generation of PC processors.

  • Reply 43 of 100
    misamisa Posts: 827member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    2012 has barely gotten started, so I think it is a stretch to declare Intels success.

    I really need to hit the sack but I have to suggest this, Intel has messed up Sandy Bridge E and Ivy Bridge pretty badly. Do not believe that Intels goals for 2014 are written in stone.

    Also do not forget about AMD, they could easily couple an ARM CPU with an AMD GPU. More than a year ago they where using ARM A9 cores at Global Foundries to test process development. With the right amount of integration beyond the GPU, AMD could have many a customer knocking at their door. Beyond all of that AMD has fusion processors in various forms. Intel simply hasn't demonstrated the chops to build low end hardware.


    I think AMD is way too late in the game for mobile. What counts in mobile is performance per watt divided by battery life. So a device that is 22nm and lasts 12 hours is a win, while a device at 32nm and lasts 8 is a fail. This is the reason for the choices made in the iPads, and why we don't see the newest chip in the iPhone first. Tick-tock, expect the iPhone 5 to have the the revised A5 CPU at a higher clock.


     


    Intel messed up when they got rid of their ARM chips. They should have stayed on, but oh no they had the Itanic ship to steer, and weren't even thinking about ULV CPU's. When netbooks were all the rage they came out with... Intel Atom? A rebadged Pentium 3 on a smaller die process. What a joke. This isn't a low-power laptop part, it's a embedded SoC part that belongs in the U-scan's at the grocery store. The power TDP is going up very little on ARM, while Intel is having no luck reducing the power on a Intel CPU except via a die shrink. Intel's server parts have TDP's of 135 watts when they should have the 40 watt TDP of the laptop parts. I'll take Intel seriously wanting to play in the mobile market when they can put out Server, Desktop and Laptop parts all at the same TDP of a laptop part.

  • Reply 44 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    ksec wrote: »
    Then there is the cost equation and many other trade off.
    2012 Medfiled, is performance / watt just about comparable with current ARM design. Although Intel Wins in performance, ARM still wins with lower power usage. But then it is bigger, and hotter.
    2013 with 22nm ULP, it should be a lot better for idle performance but then you have 28nm LP version of Cortex A15 big.LITTLE SoC, which could means performance and Idle power wise should keep the advantage to ARM.
    2014 Intel will be releasing their Mobile Atom on 14nm first before their Mainstream CPU parts. Which means Intel will again played the game with Nodes advantage, and this time it could well be two nodes ahead as TSMC aren't even reading 20nm parts til late 2014. Although Samsung might be capable of holding up.
    So if all things goes well 2014 will truly be the year that Intel is truly equal or better then ARM camp in terms of performance and power.
    But then how much better? According to Intel Roadmap, the consequence of quickly shifting Atom through nodes is that there aren't much changes planned to its architecture. Which means its performance / Mhz will pretty much be the same. For higher performance it will have to scale to higher clock speed. The Cortex A15 is, from a high level Point of view,a faster and more powerful Out of Order architecture then Atom. But Atom has Hyperthreading, 64 Bit ( performance advantage on x86 side only ), and better software optimization. So Lets give Intel a 20% advantage here for Smaller Nodes, Higher Frequency and may be other tricks they have.
    Idle Power will still be hard to beat, the LITTLE Cortex A7 was designed with Ultra Low Power in Mind. I would doubt Intel could win, But lets call it equal with a node advantage from Intel.
    Cost -
    So Nvidia would have to add R&D per Unit , Unit Price Per Wafer and their Margin ~ 20% to their price of SoC.
    Intel owns their Fab, so they get BOTH the Fabs Margin and their Final Sale Margin. Intel could properly make a SoC that has same performance and priced the same as Nvidia but still gets 3x% profits margin.
    Now , Unlike other players Apple only make SoC for themselves. Apple makes NO profits on the SoC. Just for the simple Numbers, Apple could make a same cost SoC as Nvidia but with 20% more transistors. And Hence Faster performance.
    Now for Intel to grab Apple's SoC business, they must provide equal or better performance x86 SoC for the cheaper price. Intel would then have to make chips that is good enough ( Post 2014 ) and with less then 15% Profits Margin. Much lower then what they are used to get with Desktop CPU 50%.
    And then even so, the cost of the current Apple SoC is less then $30, even intel could provide something equal or better at $25. Would Apple even be bothered with the $5 dollars on the iPhone per unit sold but to lose control of their own SoC?

    I think you're overly optimistic here. The 14nm node is going to be a doozy. 22nm is late by several months, and Intel will be lucky to keep to a schedule. We may not see production quantities until 2015. Even now, many mobile 22nm parts aren't available, and won't be for a month or two, possibly more.

    That doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to see Intel fabbing Apples parts. I would. But if it doesn't happen, I don't see the problem as being as bad as you are making it out to be, and Apple has advantages that intel doesn't have in making their own OS. Apple's devices have had a performance advantage for several years because of their own IP in the chips. This will just get better as Apple mods the designs more and more over time. Intel can't do that, and will offer, it seems, standard designs for mobile as they do now. All manufacturers using their chips will need to work within the parameters of what Intel sells them.

    But Apple's customizations will continue to become more extreme. That will allow them to continue to offer devices that have better battery life and better performance.

    Right now, Intel's new chip, if people will read the entire Anandtech review instead of quoting just small parts of it so that they would see it, offers just average performance overall. Nothing special. It's a good start, as it shows that Intel can move within the crowd. But they don't stand out in any way. It's expected that the new Cortex 15 SoC's will easily equal anything Intel puts out this year. And its not like the Cortex 15 is the end of the line either.

    Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
  • Reply 45 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Beyond that Anandtech is heavily biased towards Intel, to the extent I don't even see the site as credible anymore. Frankly most of what he publishes is rubbish.
    Apple is slowly getting there process wise but what is funny here is that Intel absolutely needs these process shrinks to compete at all. Medville is still wanting in many ways when looked at as a tablet engine.
    Another thing here is that Apple has a distinct advantage going ARM, in that they can obtain a higher level of integration and customization that Intel will never support.
    The tests are rigged to show Intel in a positive light. It isn't that he is dishonest as all the info is there, it is more a question of being ethical.
    In any event I think Intel is pushing so damn hard here because they know they are loosing the battle. I86 is just so bloated it doesn't have a competitive chance without being two nodes ahead of ARM.

    I totally disagree with you on this. Anand himself has been using Macs for several years now, which shocked his readers. So while it's true that many posters there are as biased towards Microsoft as the majority here are biased towards Apple, his reports are eminently fair, and are some of the best on the web.

    You may not like everything he does, but to say he's biased is just not fair.
  • Reply 46 of 100
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    chia wrote: »
    With hindsight, Intel made a strategic mistake in 2006 when it sold off its ARM XScale division.

    Note that Apple too sold its share of ARM.

    J.
  • Reply 47 of 100
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    melgross wrote: »
    I totally disagree with you on this. Anand himself has been using Macs for several years now, which shocked his readers. So while it's true that many posters there are as biased towards Microsoft as the majority here are biased towards Apple, his reports are eminently fair, and are some of the best on the web.
    You may not like everything he does, but to say he's biased is just not fair.

    I agree that AT factual reporting is sound and fair, but in many AT articles — most often in regards to Apple products where the user experience accounts for more than can be checked off on a spec sheet — Anand and his writers will oft ad opinions that I think are completely off base.
  • Reply 48 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    That was said when they hit 1000nm.

    I realize we're hitting quantum limits soon, but 4nm should be possible.

    Researchers don't consider 4nm to be attainable. 10nm, is likely about the lowest they can go. At 10nm, it's about 20 atoms making up a line on the chip. At that point, the principle of uncertainty becomes the largest component, and the losses become dominant. Below that, it isn't seen to be possible. Other methods will be needed. But no one knows if the other methods being studied are practical, or if they are, what it will cost.

    In addition, lithography, while working at 14nm (barely) hasn't been shown to be possible much below 10nm. One major additional problem is that the costs have been escalating dramatically as the process size shrinks. Manufacturing plant cost has doubled going from 32nm to 22nm, and that doubling is expected for 14nm. We're already talking about $8 billion per plant.

    Because of the difficulties, and cost, industry discussions have pointed to a stretching out of the last one or two introduction dates for the upcoming process shrinks. Otherwise, it's thought, it won't be possible to make back the R&D plus the plant construction costs. We may see 14nm pushed back to 2015, or thereabouts. 10nm, if possible, may not come until 2017.

    There's even talk of not going to 14nm, but 16 instead, and then 12 rather than 10. That MAY allow them going to 8 or 9.
  • Reply 49 of 100
    bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 811member
    peter236 wrote: »
    Apple needs to keep with Samsung and others by using quad core cpu in iPhones and iPads.

    Why? Not that Apple won't eventually go to a quad core on some mobile devices.I was looking at the latest Sammy phone with the quad core chip. Neat, but what the heck you going to do on your phone that requires 4 cores running at 1.4 ghz? Not that applications won't be written to take advantage of that. They will. Eventually.
    At this point I can't really say that the iPad needs quad core yet, either.
    Of course when the iPad was introduced I didn't think it would evolve into a stand alone computer as fast as it did. So what do i know?
  • Reply 50 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    misa wrote: »
    I think AMD is way too late in the game for mobile. What counts in mobile is performance per watt divided by battery life. So a device that is 22nm and lasts 12 hours is a win, while a device at 32nm and lasts 8 is a fail. This is the reason for the choices made in the iPads, and why we don't see the newest chip in the iPhone first. Tick-tock, expect the iPhone 5 to have the the revised A5 CPU at a higher clock.

    Intel messed up when they got rid of their ARM chips. They should have stayed on, but oh no they had the Itanic ship to steer, and weren't even thinking about ULV CPU's. When netbooks were all the rage they came out with... Intel Atom? A rebadged Pentium 3 on a smaller die process. What a joke. This isn't a low-power laptop part, it's a embedded SoC part that belongs in the U-scan's at the grocery store. The power TDP is going up very little on ARM, while Intel is having no luck reducing the power on a Intel CPU except via a die shrink. Intel's server parts have TDP's of 135 watts when they should have the 40 watt TDP of the laptop parts. I'll take Intel seriously wanting to play in the mobile market when they can put out Server, Desktop and Laptop parts all at the same TDP of a laptop part.

    I can't blame Intel for divesting themselves of the ARM division. At the time, smartphone sales weren't really such a big deal, and their growth was slow. SoC's for other phones were pretty cheap, and didn't provide a worthwhile area for Intel to pursue. While its always easy to look back, as hindsight is always 20/20, as they say, there was simply no way to have predicted the iPhone, and how it would totally change the phone industry.

    I'm sure that if Intel knew about all of that, they would have pushed for Apple to use their product, and it would have been very possible that Apple would have done so, as their first SoC was off the shelf.

    The truth is that even though Medfield is just a so so product right now, Intel is getting a number of manufacturers lined up to use it. As an SoC for low and medium priced phones, it will probably do ok. Intel will improve it, and it will do better. That's the way it works.

    Meanwhile, Intel is over $40 billion in sales, and is very profitable. They have the time they need.
  • Reply 51 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I agree that AT factual reporting is sound and fair, but in many AT articles — most often in regards to Apple products where the user experience accounts for more than can be checked off on a spec sheet — Anand and his writers will oft ad opinions that I think are completely off base.

    You mean, such as the opinion, after testing an iPad2 with the new 32nm SoC inside, that it provides much better battery life, and that Apple is doing what they need to in order to prepare for this next generation scaling? That kind of opinion?

    Or the opinion that the iPad is the tablet to buy if you want the best experience?

    Or just the ones that are not what people here want to read?
  • Reply 52 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    bigdaddyp wrote: »
    Why? Not that Apple won't eventually go to a quad core on some mobile devices.I was looking at the latest Sammy phone with the quad core chip. Neat, but what the heck you going to do on your phone that requires 4 cores running at 1.4 ghz? Not that applications won't be written to take advantage of that. They will. Eventually.
    At this point I can't really say that the iPad needs quad core yet, either.
    Of course when the iPad was introduced I didn't think it would evolve into a stand alone computer as fast as it did. So what do i know?

    I'd like to see a really good implementation of a dual core Cortex 15 later this year, with new Imagination 6000 based graphics for the iPhone (if possible). I would expect the same thing for the next iPad.

    Right now, two really good, fast cores will be enough. It remains to be proven the 4 Cortex9 cores will be better than two Cortex 15 cores. And significantly superior graphics has been very good for Apple, but it costs more, and other companies haven't been willing to take that cost beat down.

    But a year from now, 4 cores will likely, at least for tablets, be required. It could be more efficient for a 4 core device to do better multitasking, and tasks such as movie and photo editing than, 2 core devices. That, plus 3D apps, such as CAD, which I already use on my iPad, can use all the oomph they can get. And Apple, Adobe, Avid and others have multi year experience in using multi core devices to speed up the rendering in their apps. I expect them to be able to use this experience to quickly get up to speed (heh, pun intended!) on this on multi-core tablets.
  • Reply 53 of 100
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    melgross wrote: »
    You mean, such as the opinion, after testing an iPad2 with the new 32nm SoC inside, that it provides much better battery life, and that Apple is doing what they need to in order to prepare for this next generation scaling? That kind of opinion?
    Or the opinion that the iPad is the tablet to buy if you want the best experience?
    Or just the ones that are not what people here want to read?

    No, the ones that are about how a company should run. Usually focusing on how finance based objectives that Apple is taking.
  • Reply 54 of 100

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    He's absolutely right about that being their job, it's the only rational way forward for them.  Whether they succeed or not is another question entirely. 


     


    It's so funny though (IMO) how over the years intel has gone from a position of "not sure if they care" to make enough chips for Apple computers, through deciding that "they might be interested," past "Apple is great!" and "we're partners!," and now after the breakup, is all "well, maybe they will come back if we are really good."  


     


    It's like the history of a dating relationship.  If Apple continues to reject them, the next logical position for intel is "Well, we never liked them anyway, so we're seeing other companies now."



    It's not like Apple is not giving them any mobile business. Intel gets all of Apple's Mac Book business now and most likely into the future. 


     


    Apple has the enviable position of being able to come out with a Intel-based table or iPad at any time without having to abandon the iOS base. This could be done for the enterprise market who may want devices with MS Office or some other features that are more PC-centric. Since Apple is bringing OSX and iOS closer together as an experience, they are even in a more solid position, moving forward, then Microsoft is with Windows 8, which is really barely beta compared to Apple's mature and established OS.


     


    I can hardly believe that today's reality is stronger for Apple and ARM than it is for Windows and Intel.

  • Reply 55 of 100
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by majjo View Post


    we have to compare apples to apples though (pun unintended). because the xolo is running android, we cant directly compare to the iphone in terms of battery life, because we dont know how much of the difference is due to the os and how much is due to the soc.


     


    while xolo's results are not earthshattering, it does show that intel can go toe to toe with arm on battery life. and imo it effectively kills the claim that x86 will never be as power efficient as arm. i say that intelms outlook on mobile is alot brighter than it was a year ago.


     


    will apple use intel socs? i dont know, but i can imagine apple abandoning all the investments they made into designing their own arm chips



     




    not sure what data you are looking at but the battery life of that intel based phone is horrible and no where near "toe to toe" with ARM.  Have fun charging your intel phone over twice as often as i will on my iphone.

  • Reply 56 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    No, the ones that are about how a company should run. Usually focusing on how finance based objectives that Apple is taking.

    What? Can you give some examples. I don't know what you're saying.
  • Reply 57 of 100
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    melgross wrote: »
    What? Can you give some examples. I don't know what you're saying.

    Unfortunately I can't right now. I'll surely post them if I think of any of the specific reviews but it's been a bunch of little things over the years. To give you an idea it tends to come from the PoV of the old-school DIY/ 'everything needs to be open source" type mindset that Apple doesn't pretend to be or making a comment about the price being too high because the spec processing is in line with other vendors yet seemingly not considering other aspects that could increase the cost.
  • Reply 58 of 100
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Unfortunately I can't right now. I'll surely post them if I think of any of the specific reviews but it's been a bunch of little things over the years. To give you an idea it tends to come from the PoV of the old-school DIY/ 'everything needs to be open source" type mindset that Apple doesn't pretend to be or making a comment about the price being too high because the spec processing is in line with other vendors yet seemingly not considering other aspects that could increase the cost.

    I haven't seen much of this in Anandtech. As I mentioned earlier, he moved to Macs himself years ago, so it's obvious he finds any pricing tradeoffs to be worthwhile. He has to mention price of the stuff he reviews and writes about. But he is usually of the opinion that Apple's stuff is priced fairly.
  • Reply 59 of 100
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member


    The PC = Intel inside while  tablet? Intel inside.


    So it is a no brainier that Intel needs to get their a** in the tablet market because tablets will outsell PCs meaning Intel will loose  out. 


    However there lies anther problem. Tablets are cheap; so how will Intel make  large profits off of tablets? Has anyone seen the sheer glut of cheap a**, no name tablets all over the tech space? Damn!


    $99.00 for a Shookeeka tablet at Kmart.


    What the hell is a Shookeeka? I don't know but it sounds cheap as f*** and it would sell for $99.00 at Kmart!!!


    Intel would have to make their own tablets so they wouldn't have to share in the profits with 3 rd party manufactures.


    That's my 2 cents.

  • Reply 60 of 100
    shadowxprshadowxpr Posts: 162member
    IMHO it won't happen, Apple uses samsung to build their iOS devices and now who is their main competitor in mobile samsung. Giving the CPU/GPU to intel will mean that win8 tablets will do the same as Samsung is doing right now and be a main competition to apple getting the same performance.

    ARM design with its design is a mayor competitive advantage of apple since both are design in house for performance. Giving that away will be bad business IMHO...
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