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

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  • Reply 21 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post



    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.

     

    Absolutely wrong. DRAM has to be continually refreshed. Every 25-100 ms (depending on temperature, die quality, etc) the entire contents of RAM have to be read out and rewritten. Sitting idle, your iPhone is burning 40 GB/s of internal memory bandwidth. As a rough idea of how it scales as density increases, page 22 of this datasheet shows that power consumption increases by 70% when the amount of data to be refreshed doubles (half versus full array).

    https://www.micron.com/~/media/documents/products/data-sheet/dram/mobile-dram/low-power-dram/lpddr3/253b_12-5x12-5_2ch_8-16gb_2c0f_mobile_lpddr3.pdf

     

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post



    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.

     

    Right. Despite the skepticism of this article, Apple would need to study how many threads are available to run every time the processor wakes from sleep. Then the optimal number of cores would be based on this number. Straight doubling is not smart and is something Samsung would do, the best is to study the problem then design the chip.

  • Reply 22 of 159
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,355member

    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.

    I don't think Apple would make a regular iOS notebook though. And no matter how powerful ARM is getting, there will always be several levels of x86 above it. ARM development has severadvantages so far. The major one is that it's development was though as unimportant until Apple came out with their own chips and pushed the limits aggressively. Then other chip companies needed to follow. So ARM wasn't very advanced for years, and it's catching up. A second reason is that for backwards compatibility, x86 has a lot of cruft in the design and microcode. ARM has much less, and Apple's has even less.

    But as we all move to the infinity point of 10nm, or possibly, 7, everything will slow down. Until a new technology is available, maybe not the until mid, or late 2020's, chip development will just encompass minor improvements. They'll try to squeeze every last bit out of them, and software will follow. So at that point there will be a distance between top ARM chips, and medium level x86 chips. I don't see that being breached.

    So Jobs's vision of "Desktop" devices being trucks while mobile devices will be cars will likely remain true. But iOS will be able to run software that's more powerful than today, but not up to what a more powerful x86 device could run. I don't see that changing, though they'll come closer together.
  • Reply 23 of 159
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    melgross wrote: »

    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, all of a sudden it makes a lot of sense that MS and Adobe were getting their place in the limelight during the iPad Pro presentation... By the time ARM chips will be powerful enough (and since the iPad Pro is more powerful than 80% of laptops shipped in the last 12 months, many of them used to run exactly the software you are talking about) there will be pretty powerful, desktop-class-enough for most people, apps for exactly that platform. It is just a reverse deja vu, previously we adopted desktop GUIs for touch, and now we will have touch apps being ported to the desktop. Fantasizing further... This should be OS "XI" and co-exist with OS X for the time required.
  • Reply 24 of 159
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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?



    I hope they give Adobe a few years notice if they plan to switch to ARM. Otherwise Apple will lose perhaps a couple million customers if it doesn't run Adobe CC. I know that doesn't sound like a lot when they are selling 6 million Macs per quarter but graphic design is a substantial and core demographic of which I am part. I'm sure there are other industries as well that are just as dependent on proprietary third party Mac software that would be difficult to rewrite for ARM. Remember how long it took for all the software to switch to Intel from Power PC? Running software in Rosetta sucked. Fortunately back then Adobe already had Intel compatible software. Who knows, perhaps their work on iPad apps will give them a jump start to port their professional titles to ARM.

  • Reply 25 of 159
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I don't think Apple would make a regular iOS notebook though. And no matter how powerful ARM is getting, there will always be several levels of x86 above it. ARM development has severadvantages so far. The major one is that it's development was though as unimportant until Apple came out with their own chips and pushed the limits aggressively. Then other chip companies needed to follow. So ARM wasn't very advanced for years, and it's catching up. A second reason is that for backwards compatibility, x86 has a lot of cruft in the design and microcode. ARM has much less, and Apple's has even less.



    But as we all move to the infinity point of 10nm, or possibly, 7, everything will slow down. Until a new technology is available, maybe not the until mid, or late 2020's, chip development will just encompass minor improvements. They'll try to squeeze every last bit out of them, and software will follow. So at that point there will be a distance between top ARM chips, and medium level x86 chips. I don't see that being breached.



    So Jobs's vision of "Desktop" devices being trucks while mobile devices will be cars will likely remain true. But iOS will be able to run software that's more powerful than today, but not up to what a more powerful x86 device could run. I don't see that changing, though they'll come closer together.



    The thing is, most Macbook users just use a browser and an email client. They have no desire to run anything particularly processor intensive. ARM is already 'good enough' for the majority of users, and any of the old dinosaur apps will just have to start from scratch. We already see Adobe/Microsoft on stage taking the iPad pro seriously, I think it's just a matter of time before a device of this kind appears.

  • Reply 26 of 159
    mstone wrote: »
    Otherwise Apple will lose perhaps a couple million customers if it doesn't run Adobe CC.

    Why would they lose any customers? Who is going to say, "Now that Apple has a $700 MacBook Air running on ARM, my next notebook isn't going to be the latest and greatest MacBook Pro running the latest Intel Core i7, but a WinPC running the latest Intel Core i7"?
  • Reply 27 of 159
    "...Apple is interested in further exploiting multithreading, which could improve efficiency when handling several tasks at once."

    This is news?

    How about: "Apple is interested in batteries that last longer than batteries today, as it allows a phone to work for longer periods of time without needing to be charged."

    Or: "Apple is looking to make phones faster because that allows users to perform tasks at a much faster pace than today's phones. We're pretty sure Apple is looking to make its phones faster, although we can't confirm these rumors."
  • Reply 28 of 159
    The thing is, most Macbook users just use a browser and an email client. They have no desire to run anything particularly processor intensive. ARM is already 'good enough' for the majority of users, and any of the old dinosaur apps will just have to start from scratch. We already see Adobe/Microsoft on stage taking the iPad pro seriously, I think it's just a matter of time before a device of this kind appears.

    I bought the 2015 MacBook and never did it feel slow. I imagine that even the 2015 A9X on that, or perhaps something similar in base speed but tailored for the environment, let's call it A9M to reference the Mac, it would feel even faster and I have to assume would use even less power than the Intel chip in the current MacBook, but we'll definitely need to get some further testing to be certain.
  • Reply 29 of 159
    The thing is, most Macbook users just use a browser and an email client. They have no desire to run anything particularly processor intensive. ARM is already 'good enough' for the majority of users, and any of the old dinosaur apps will just have to start from scratch. We already see Adobe/Microsoft on stage taking the iPad pro seriously, I think it's just a matter of time before a device of this kind appears.

    The anti-ARM on a Mac argument because it can't run Adobe CC or Maya or whatever, feels like the same hyperbolic argument that a 16GB iPhone or IPad isn't enough for anyone to do anything. Those that frequent and participate on tech forums aren't likely the primary target for the 16GB iPhone/iPad or low-cost notebook for doing basic tasks, but shouldn't be able to see that we're not only not the target market, but likely very atypical in our HW usage needs.
  • Reply 30 of 159
    ARM vs x86, iOS vs OSX, Windows vs 'Nix, GUIs vs Tactile Solutions, Legacy Development vs New Approaches, Legacy Apps vs Ad Hoc solutions ...

    We may be looking at this from [B][I] too much of a short-term perspective [/I][/B] that fails take into account the [B][I] rapid, and rapidly-accelerating advancements [/I][/B] in all the above technology!

    IMO, the whole tech industry is ripe for disruption that will take years instead of decades!
  • Reply 31 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    The anti-ARM on a Mac argument because it can't run Adobe CC or Maya or whatever, feels like the same hyperbolic argument that a 16GB iPhone or IPad isn't enough for anyone to do anything. Those that frequent and participate on tech forums aren't likely the primary target for the 16GB iPhone/iPad or low-cost notebook for doing basic tasks, but shouldn't be able to see that we're not only not the target market, but likely very atypical in our HW usage needs.



    To be fair, I have never had an issue with Apple's low GB entry phones. I always just buy the cheapest because I upload and stream everything from my Synology. I have no need for masses of storage, and I guess I'm probably not the only one.

    My Macbook Pro on the other hand, now that's a different story, I'll take the fastest and largest ya got!

  • Reply 32 of 159
    "The company waited until the iPad Air 2 to begin upgrading mobile devices to 2 gigabytes of RAM for similar reasons."

    This is surely hearsay? I feel sure Apple's primary motivation in this was profit. Perhaps they truly believed the devices didn't need 2GB of RAM, but they must have also known the devices would work a lot better with it.
  • Reply 33 of 159
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Why would they lose any customers? Who is going to say, "Now that Apple has a $700 MacBook Air running on ARM, my next notebook isn't going to be the latest and greatest MacBook Pro running the latest Intel Core i7, but a WinPC running the latest Intel Core i7"?



    That is exactly what I am suggesting. I don't see Apple just using ARM on a MBA. Do they really want to maintain two Mac operating systems? If they switch, they will switch them all. Maybe they create a 100 core multiprocessor version for the Mac Pro. Adobe CC needs really fast hardware. If it doesn't run on the newest Macs, I think the pros will bail to Windows. I know that it would be a viable alternative for me. Adobe CC is the gold standard and is absolutely indispensable for collaboration.

     

    Honestly, the look and feel of Adobe CC is almost exactly the same on both platforms, Windows and Mac. Windows sucks in many ways, but the file system is ok and once you are in your app you feel right at home. Hopefully it never comes down to that and Apple and Adobe can work together to make the transition.

     

    Of course I prefer a Mac but I simply have no choice. I have to have Adobe CC or I can't do my job.

  • Reply 34 of 159
    To be fair, I have never had an issue with Apple's low GB entry phones. I always just buy the cheapest because I upload and stream everything from my Synology.

    That's a solution that can you save you $100 per iDevice. On the "PC" side, I assume you're a little more robust, especially since you have a NAS. I have a USB 3.0 RAID with 4xTB drives at home connected to a Mac mini. Now that Mac mini is the latest low-end model and actually feels slow, but I bet if I replace that HDD with an SSD it would speed up noticeably where it counts. It certainly doesn't need more processing for being a headless-iTunes Server and Time Machine Server.
  • Reply 35 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    That is exactly what I am suggesting. I don't see Apple just using ARM on a MBA. Do they really want to maintain two Mac operating systems? If they switch, they will switch them all. Maybe they create a 100 core multiprocessor version for the Mac Pro. Adobe CC needs really fast hardware. If it doesn't run on the newest Macs, I think the pros will bail to Windows. I know that it would be a viable alternative for me. Adobe CC is the gold standard and is absolutely indispensable for collaboration.

     

    Honestly, the look and feel of Adobe CC is almost exactly the same on both platforms, Windows and Mac. Windows sucks in many ways, but the file system is ok and once you are in your app you feel right at home. Hopefully it never comes down to that and Apple and Adobe can work together to make the transition.

     

    Of course I prefer a Mac but I simply have no choice. I have to have Adobe CC or I can't do my job.




    They already maintain two OS's :) I can imagine it would not be too much of a stretch to maintain three, especially as this hypothetical third one would be 99% identical to the current version of iOS.

  • Reply 36 of 159
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

     



    They already maintain two OS's :)




    More than two, but I think it would be very awkward to have machines from the same product category with different operating systems. Can you imagine a sales associate in the Apple store reminding customers that the MBA doesn't run Adobe software? Sounds really complicated. It would be like the 16GB iPhone doesn't run the same apps as the 32GB model.

  • Reply 37 of 159
    mstone wrote: »
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Why would they lose any customers? Who is going to say, "Now that Apple has a $700 MacBook Air running on ARM, my next notebook isn't going to be the latest and greatest MacBook Pro running the latest Intel Core i7, but a WinPC running the latest Intel Core i7"?


    That is exactly what I am suggesting. I don't see Apple just using ARM on a MBA. Do they really want to maintain two Mac operating systems? If they switch, they will switch them all. Maybe they create a 100 core multiprocessor version for the Mac Pro. Adobe CC needs really fast hardware. If it doesn't run on the newest Macs, I think the pros will bail to Windows. I know that it would be a viable alternative for me. Adobe CC is the gold standard and is absolutely indispensable for collaboration.

    Honestly, the look and feel of Adobe CC is almost exactly the same on both platforms, Windows and Mac. Windows sucks in many ways, but the file system is ok and once you are in your app you feel right at home. Hopefully it never comes down to that and Apple and Adobe can work together to make the transition.

    Of course I prefer a Mac but I simply have no choice. I have to have Adobe CC or I can't do my job.

    What if something better than Adobe CC becomes available?

    What if it allows you, and other similar companies, to do a better job -- significantly faster, easier at less cost.

    Will you adapt?

    If not, will you suffer from your competitors who have adapted?
  • Reply 38 of 159
    If true, then the A10 will be Competing with Intel chips in processing power. But with better power saving sbilities.

    Interesting...

    I just hope this isn't a repeat of late 2005. If just bought a PowerBook 17 and bam! Apple makes a game changing architecture shift a month later. Lol

    I've been waiting to purchase a skylake Mac.

    If an A series Mac debuts afterward...

    I guess I'll have to buy one? Lol
  • Reply 39 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    More than two, but I think it would be very awkward to have machines from the same product category with different operating systems. Can you imagine a sales associate in the Apple store reminding customers that the MBA doesn't run Adobe software? Sounds really complicated. It would be like the 16GB iPhone doesn't run the same apps as the 32GB model.




    I don't think you give human beings enough credit :) It would certainly give the papers a new Adobegate or whatever headline. But Apple are not shy, and it would not be the first time they have pissed off a few people to advance technology for the greater good.

  • Reply 40 of 159
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    What if something better than Adobe CC becomes available?

     

    For me, legacy support for file formats, collaboration, cross platform compatibility, ubiquitous adoption by the industry trump any workflow improvements or cost savings. If something comes along that is so good that the whole industry switches then it is a moot point. That is what happened with inDesign vs. Quark. I'm surprised Quark is still in business. But that was was just one app and were talking about a whole suite.

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