Rumor: Apple may re-architect iOS to utilize more processor cores ahead of iPhone 6

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Feeling the heat from Samsung in the smartphone market, Apple is constantly exploring ways to improve its edge on the South Korean electronics giant, including a possible rewrite of its iOS platform in order to leverage SoCs with as many as eight processing cores ahead of next year's launch of the iPhone 6.

Morgan Stanley Data


Editor's Note: It has been brought to our attention that certain specific claims of the Jefferies report are somewhat suspect, specifically regarding a March media event. AppleInsider has reached out to analyst Peter Misek, who maintains a high level of confidence regarding his hardware predictions. As with any research-based report, the information within should be taken with a grain of salt.

The report comes by way of Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, who on Wednesday released an abundance of forward-looking information on Apple's product roadmap, supposedly acquired through his traditional channel checks and supply chain sources.

While discussing a number of perceived bottlenecks that are reportedly preventing Apple from accelerating the launch of a 4.8-inch "iPhone 6" into the 2013 calendar year, Misek mentioned display yield issues, challenges in advancing to a 20-nanomemter manufacturing process for its next A-series mobile processor, and a desire to re-engineer its mobile operating system handle A-series processors with as many as 8 processing cores.
We think Apple plans to re-architect iOS to utilize more cores and better compete with Samsung. Also, we believe the way iOS interoperates with iCloud, gestures controls, and advertising will be substantially upgraded.
While Apple and Samsung have emerged as fierce competitors in the mobile computing space in the last 24 months, their modern day relationship was actually forged in a partnership back in 2005.

At the time, Apple was seeking a stable supplier of massive quantities of flash memory and found that in Samsung. The relationship eventually grew to include Samsung manufacturing for Apple the A-series SoCs (or embedded mobile processors) found at the heart of each iPhone and iPad.

Morgan Stanley Data


With the two companies now locked in a struggle for supremacy in the global smartphone market, Apple has been moving to reduce its dependence on Samsung, thereby better protecting its intellectual property and future product plans.

To that end, Apple is expected to switch production of its A-series process to TSMC. According to Misek, the unknown element is "when Samsung and Apple's foundry relationship ends and what the end of the agreement means."

"Some think it ends on December 31, 2013, and that Samsung could be completely removed as a supplier," Misek said. "While the 'completely' part appears to be an exaggeration, we think that Apple could see pricing increases on whatever app processors it does not move over to TSMC."

The analyst estimates Apple will need roughly 300 million A-series processors in 2014, making a complete transition away from Samsung unlikely. His sources indicate that Samsung has been working off gross margins of around 30 percent when manufacturing the chips for Apple, but TSMC appears unwilling to accept margins short of 40 percent.
The wildcard is if Intel decides to fab for Apple; however, Intel fears that if Apple uses Intel?s advanced processing nodes that it will accelerate Apple?s replacement of X86 PCs with ARM-based PCs. But ultimately Intel?s utilization rates could make this attractive to Intel at some point.
In the meantime, Misek doesn't expect much of a change to the A-series processor that will ship in the so-called iPhone 5S due later this year. It will be similar to the dual-core. 32-nanometer design currently shipping under the A6 name inside each iPhone 5. Come 2014, though, his sources are indicating that Apple plans to include a version of the chip in the iPhone 6 with between four and eight cores.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    Doesn't anyone even proof the titles of these post? (Original title "Apple may to re-architect iOS to utilize more processor cores ahead of iPhone 6")
  • Reply 2 of 56
    Of course Apple will update iOS to take advantage of more cores when more cores makes it a better overall experience but to say "We think Apple plans to re-architect iOS to utilize more cores and better compete with Samsung" is pretty absurd considering where Apple currently stands with iOS and their ASICs and how poor the quad-core ARM chips have served smartphones up to this point.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    May rearchitect? Hell, they've rearchitected years prior and when the hardware arrives the OS will be ready. You don't change course at the last minute. These designs are 18-36 months in planning.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Where is the evidence that iOS doesn't *already* support multiple core CPUs? It would seem to be an egregious mistake if true. I find it hard to believe the premise.
  • Reply 5 of 56
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member


    Wait! What?! I thought Apple already did that with GCD! Years ago with both iOS and OS X. It doesn't matter how many cores the device/computer has the OS (iOS and OS X) will utilize them efficiently as needed.

  • Reply 6 of 56


    iOS allready is using its OSX multicore programming techiques see "grandstation", iOS should reconfigure to it, it may have routines in LLVM that can be compliled on the run to a regular core or graphic core (if applicable)

  • Reply 7 of 56


    Image Technologies finalization of acquiring MIPS is big news. ImgTec will be the ones continuously updating the MIPS target for LLVM/Clang and what CPU architecture IP they want to role into their GPGPU designs will be interesting, not to mention their foray into CPU hybrid designs:


     


    Source: http://imgtec.com/News/Release/index.asp?NewsID=724


     


     


    Quote:


    Hossein Yassaie, Group Chief Executive, Imagination, said:




    "We are delighted to have completed this acquisition, which has been welcomed by both companies' customers and the electronics industry at large, and also to welcome our MIPS colleagues to the Imagination family.


     


    “The combination of MIPS' capabilities with our existing Meta CPU technologies will accelerate our growth in the substantial CPU IP market across many segments."



  • Reply 8 of 56
    What was Grand Central Dispatch all about then?
  • Reply 9 of 56
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,409member
    This article is absurd. iOS is one of the most multi-core friendly operating systems out there. See GCD, NSOperationQueue, etc. I've really been questioning AppleInsider and the rumors they post as of late. Seems they post just about anything now days.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,752member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post



    This article is absurd. iOS is one of the most multi-core friendly operating systems out there. See GCD, NSOperationQueue, etc. I've really been questioning AppleInsider and the rumors they post as of late. Seems they post just about anything now days.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Wait! What?! I thought Apple already did that with GCD! Years ago with both iOS and OS X. It doesn't matter how many cores the device/computer has the OS (iOS and OS X) will utilize them efficiently as needed.



    Agreed on both of these.

  • Reply 11 of 56


    What a buggus article, who is Peter Misek anyway?  He doesn't seams to know anything about operating systems. 


     


    At development level iOS is already on part with OSX for multiprocessing, GCD, GPGPU OpenCL, C Block support.  


     


    If one system need to be re-engineer it will be the DalvikVM on Android. 

  • Reply 12 of 56


    Anytime I see things written that say Apple is doing anything to compete with xyz company, I know it's complete rubbish.  Does anyone really think that people within Apple are doing anything to "compete" with anyone but themselves?  If that is how Apple was operating, I'd say sell your stock right now, because that is a recipe for disaster.


     


    Apple plans their work and works their plan - they're not trying to do what anyone else is doing, unless that means re-imagining a product or category.  I'm sure they're cognizant of what is on the market, but to think or suggest they're working laterally to what others are doing is complete crap.

  • Reply 13 of 56
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member


    This is to all those fans who said iOS doesnt need "multi-core" CPU to run its OS because its "efficient" and "fast".


     


    Who is talking now?


     


     


     


    The game has certainly changed. What once Apple's boasting about them not "following the market trend", now without Jobs, they are certainly "following the trend".


     


    First, the iPad mini. Many thought within the Apple camp there would NEVER, I repeat NEVER be a smaller iPad. BAM iPad Mini.


     


    Second, there would NEVER be a need for a multi-core CPU chip for the iOS because "its so efficient" BAM. Rumors of a multi-Core chip comming.


     


    Third, there would NEVER be a cheaper iPhone to serve the developing markets (where most of the growth is). BAM. Rumors of a cheaper "plastic" (!!) iPhone. NEVAR!!


     


    And fourth, there would NEVER be a need for a larger iPhone than the 3.5" display as it is "perfect" for one handed use. BAM. iPhone 5 with 4" display.


     


     


    BTW, Apple lost their "iphone" trademark in Brazil today. How ironic.

  • Reply 14 of 56
    Yes, both AppleInsider and MacRumors have been posted questionable, half-assed articles lately. Seems they want to share anything in the rumor mill, no matter how poorly researched and written it is. Anybody can make any claim. It should be up to online publications like AI to filter out the junk, rather than just regurgitating it for ad revenue.
  • Reply 15 of 56
    otriotri Posts: 13member
    Apple Insider, you guys are reporting an awful lot of noise from analysts these days. Anyone who's an analyst gets airtime. And it's getting positively silly that great than 50% of the posts are disappointing because of the junk that's getting thrown out there.

    More meat, less vapour please.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    This is to all those fans who said iOS doesnt need "multi-core" CPU to run its OS because its "efficient" and "fast".


     


    Who is talking now?


     


     


     


    The game has certainly changed. What once Apple's boasting about them not "following the market trend", now without Jobs, they are certainly "following the trend".


     


    First, the iPad mini. Many thought within the Apple camp there would NEVER, I repeat NEVER be a smaller iPad. BAM iPad Mini.


     


    Second, there would NEVER be a need for a multi-core CPU chip for the iOS because "its so efficient" BAM. Rumors of a multi-Core chip comming.


     


    Third, there would NEVER be a cheaper iPhone to serve the developing markets (where most of the growth is). BAM. Rumors of a cheaper "plastic" (!!) iPhone. NEVAR!!


     


    And fourth, there would NEVER be a need for a larger iPhone than the 3.5" display as it is "perfect" for one handed use. BAM. iPhone 5 with 4" display.


     


     


    BTW, Apple lost their "iphone" trademark in Brazil today. How ironic.



    You didn't even bother to look at figures in the article. The iPhone has multicore processors.. since the iPhone 4S. The iPad since the iPad 2. And the iPad mini as well.

  • Reply 17 of 56
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,626member


    "Apple may re-architect iOS to utilize more processor cores..."



    Really??  I think Apple should keep it optimized for one frickin core!  



    Jeez... slow day at AI??

  • Reply 18 of 56


    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    What once Apple's boasting about them not "following the market trend", now without Jobs, they are certainly "following the trend".



     


    I don't really think you can make a case for that.





    First, the iPad mini. Many thought within the Apple camp there would NEVER, I repeat NEVER be a smaller iPad. BAM iPad Mini.



     


    First, the iPhone nano. Many were ABSOLUTELY, I repeat, ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN there WOULD be a smaller iPhone.




    BAM, no smaller iPhone. Ever. Not then, not now, under Cook.





    Second, there would NEVER be a need for a multi-core CPU chip for the iOS because "its so efficient" BAM. Rumors of a multi-Core chip comming.



     


    I don't think anyone ever said that.





     BAM. Rumors…



     


    Real solid evidence.


     



    BTW, Apple lost their "iphone" trademark in Brazil today. How ironic.



     


    Wasn't today, not ironic… 

  • Reply 19 of 56
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,409member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    This is to all those fans who said iOS doesnt need "multi-core" CPU to run its OS because its "efficient" and "fast".


     


    Who is talking now?


     


    Second, there would NEVER be a need for a multi-core CPU chip for the iOS because "its so efficient" BAM. Rumors of a multi-Core chip comming.


     



     


    WTF are you rambling on and on about??? Who ever said there would never be a need for multi-core cpus for iOS? *IF* anyone ever stated that, they were not informed at all. There has been multi-core and multi-processing support in iOS since the beginning. There has been multi-core cpus since iPhone 4s and iPad 2, right around the time multi-core arm processors were being released. 

  • Reply 20 of 56
    Most every time whenever these "analysts" use their additional channel checks and supply chain sources" to predict Apple's big picture plans they entirely wrong.

    How they get paid for being wrong all the time is beyond me.

    And i woud love to know where they get "TSMC appears unwilling to accept margins short of 40 percent."

    Which is it, they are or they are not. There is no "appears".
    If they are not in room with Tim Cook and TSMC CEO, it's BS.

Sign In or Register to comment.