Questionable rumor claims Apple's next-gen 'A10' processor could switch to six cores

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
Apple's next-generation mobile processor may be called the A10 and leap ahead to a six-core architecture, according to a rumor from Chinese microblogging site Weibo.




The chip should be manufactured using a 10- or 14-nanometer process, with Samsung and TSMC competing for orders, the Weibo source said. Allegedly Intel might also make a play if Apple chooses to go with 14 nanometers.

The source previously made some accurate predictions about the A9 processor used in Apple devices launching this fall, but a switch to six cores may be unlikely for several reasons.

The A9 is a dual-core chip, making use of proprietary, 64-bit technology to match or surpass third-party options like Qualcomm's Snapdragon series. Apple has stuck to a dual-core design even as other processors have upgraded to quad-, hexa-, or even octocore layouts. If the company does add more cores, four may be the most logical next step.

Such a change would also probably come at the expense of battery life, something Apple has been struggling with for years. The company waited until the iPad Air 2 to begin upgrading mobile devices to 2 gigabytes of RAM for similar reasons.

The source suggested however that Apple is interested in further exploiting multithreading, which could improve efficiency when handling several tasks at once. iPad multitasking was a central focus of last week's iOS 9 update.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 159
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Switching from two cores to four cores could improve battery life. Power-saving mode typically shuts down all the cores except one. One core operation with a quad-core chip is likely to consume less power than one core operation with a dual-core chip.
  • Reply 2 of 159
    The article makes it sound like upgrading to 2GB ram had a significant power impact.. which is incorrect. a 1.35v memory chip bank thats 2gb takes same power as a 4 or 8 GB bank of memory.. Memory had NOTHING to do with power usage.

    Apple has not 'struggled' with power as much as made strategic decisions with power and how to manage it. My iPhone 6 right now out runs the majority of Android phones, and my iPhone 6s Plus will last a few days.
  • Reply 3 of 159
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,011member

    Would be fine with me if it also comes with a much more powerful graphics system so it could work with a regular laptop or iMac. Otherwise, it seems like it would only really work on an iPad Pro since having something this powerful might be a waste for a regular iPhone.

  • Reply 4 of 159
    Wasn't it about two weeks ago Digitimes rumored TSMC had won ALL of the A10 using 16nm manufacturing? ????

    Now this just HAD to put Samsung in the mix to help the company look better, which might be needed come Friday when the iPhones 6S/Plus are torn apart to discover TSMC being the A9X manufacturer after all.
  • Reply 5 of 159
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,080member
    If there is anything to this rumor it is more likely the A10X and not A10
  • Reply 6 of 159
    irelandireland Posts: 17,571member
    The clock is ticking: Apple will switch to their own chip designs in mobile Macs this decade? Seems like an obvious logical inevitability.
  • Reply 7 of 159

    If it's DigiTimes, must be a slow news day.

  • Reply 8 of 159

    Let the Trash (Rubbish) talk begin

  • Reply 9 of 159
    "The source previously made some accurate predictions about the A9 processor used in Apple devices launching this fall"

    actually the source made really bad predictions about the A9 processor. I can’t understand how can anyone say otherwise. It is the same source that said the geekbench score of the A9 would be 2090 and 3569 (single and multicore), which we already know it is false.
  • Reply 10 of 159
    ireland wrote: »
    The clock is ticking: Apple will switch to their own chip designs in mobile Macs this decade? Seems like an obvious logical inevitability.

    With the iPhone 6S beating the MacBook in CPU benchmarks, which doesn't include the upcoming iPad Pro with an A9X with what I assume is a higher clock speed and 4GB RAM, we could see performance speeds that beat out even the MacBook Air from just 2-3 years ago. The biggest issue I see is a logistical one on how to work the OS to make it work with 3rd-party apps: Open installs or Mac App Store-only?
  • Reply 11 of 159

    A portable device with a 6 core chip, at present, is a bit overkill.  Those needing that kind of power would probably do better with a Macbook.

  • Reply 12 of 159
    The A10 is going to be a beast. The Apple chip development team is on Fire. Its shocking how quickly they are catching up to Intel in raw performance
  • Reply 13 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    With the iPhone 6S beating the MacBook in CPU benchmarks, which doesn't include the upcoming iPad Pro with an A9X with what I assume is a higher clock speed and 4GB RAM, we could see performance speeds that beat out even the MacBook Air from just 2-3 years ago. The biggest issue I see is a logistical one on how to work the OS to make it work with 3rd-party apps: Open installs or Mac App Store-only?



    It seems like only a year ago people on here were arguing with me saying ARM chips would never come close to being fit for laptops. Funny how time and progression changes things :)

    I didn't know the 6S was beating the MacBook in benchmarks, that's pretty impressive.

  • Reply 14 of 159
    It seems like only a year ago people on here were arguing with me saying ARM chips would never come close to being fit for laptops. Funny how time and progression changes things :)

    Those same people are probably still saying that.
    I didn't know the 6S was beating the MacBook in benchmarks, that's pretty impressive.

    Bested in 2 of the three tiers for single-core and on the heals of multi-core, but let's remember the power envelope, RAM and other features of this chip. The A9X should jump far ahead of the A9, and future A-series chips will jump far ahead of that.
  • Reply 15 of 159
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    The biggest issue I see is a logistical one on how to work the OS to make it work with 3rd-party apps: Open installs or Mac App Store-only?

    Looking at current events... The move to cross-Apple-platform frameworks like Metal and the use of bitcode for distribution... There might not be much left to be done once it happens.
  • Reply 16 of 159
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member

    It seems like only a year ago people on here were arguing with me saying ARM chips would never come close to being fit for laptops. Funny how time and progression changes things :)
    I didn't know the 6S was beating the MacBook in benchmarks, that's pretty impressive.

    By what measure? If it's an iOS laptop, no problem. If it's an OS X laptop, problem.

    We've been over this a number of times. Making an ARM OS X device is a lot more difficult than an iOS one. It's one reason Microsoft went with i3, i5 and i7 chips for the Surface Pro.

    People keep thinking that Apple has OS X on ARM, since it's pretty much the same thing as iOS inside, and that Apple has iWork apps on iOS, so they could do that too. Simple! But it's not so simple. There is no way that Desktop Office or Apple's FCP suite, or Creative Cloud, would work off an ARM chip. Not going to happen! There is lots of software for OS X that's just too big and needs too much processing power for this. Then, there's the little problem that these third party apps would need to run in emulation. Forget it!
  • Reply 17 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    By what measure? If it's an iOS laptop, no problem. If it's an OS X laptop, problem.



    We've been over this a number of times. Making an ARM OS X device is a lot more difficult than an iOS one. It's one reason Microsoft went with i3, i5 and i7 chips for the Surface Pro.



    People keep thinking that Apple has OS X on ARM, since it's pretty much the same thing as iOS inside, and that Apple has iWork apps on iOS, so they could do that too. Simple! But it's not so simple. There is no way that Desktop Office or Apple's FCP suite, or Creative Cloud, would work off an ARM chip. Not going to happen! There is lots of software for OS X that's just too big and needs too much processing power for this. Then, there's the little problem that these third party apps would need to run in emulation. Forget it!



    Well, I'm assuming it would be running a variant of iOS with OSX relegated to 'pro' machines, and destined to die in the distant future.

  • Reply 18 of 159
    dreyfus2 wrote: »
    Looking at current events... The move to cross-Apple-platform frameworks like Metal and the use of bitcode for distribution... There might not be much left to be done once it happens.

    Quite possiblle.

    Note: I do consider all these moves a long term focus on working out the logistics of migrating Mac OS X (or a Mac OS X-like OS) to less expensive machines using their own chips.
  • Reply 19 of 159
    Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post

    Memory had NOTHING to do with power usage.



    That sound wrong.

  • Reply 20 of 159
    melgross wrote: »
    There is no way that Desktop [MS] Office or Apple's FCP suite, or Creative Cloud, would work off an ARM chip.

    The "x86 forever " argument is such a ridiculous defense against ARM. No one is saying Intel would be dropped the way PPC was dropped completely for x86, when PPC plateaued. We're talking about making entry-level notebooks that re hundreds of dollars less expensive than their current lineup, with very expensive Intel chips that Apple can beat.

    Do you even know how the iOS App Store was created? Do you think those were x86 apps that magically ran on ARM? No! Apple made tools and people adopted them. If and when large and expensive productively app makers decide that the new, much lower entry-level Mac market is viable they will make SW. If not, someone else will, but that won't matter to its initial success, just as not even having an App Store didn't matter to the iPhone initial success, and yet I'd wager that if this does happen there will already be an App Store in place for those machines running that architecture… or do you not think Apple partners with SW developers in secret despite all the special events and keynotes to the contrary.
Sign In or Register to comment.