Steve Jobs: it's time we design our own iPhone and iPod chips

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  • Reply 81 of 95
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MiMiC View Post


    Very smart post. I'd expect Snow Leopard to have some custom chips under the hood also as you mentioned.



    Last I heard, Snow Leopard is software, not hardware.
  • Reply 82 of 95
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member
    I posted this in Ars

    Quote:

    I wonder why Apple are sticking to Intel on Desktop and Laptop, while doing ARM on iPhones and Ipod.



    IF, we assume that apple are really using ARM with P.A Semi and not PowerPC.



    With the HUGE amount of Software already written for ARM, developers are no longer strangers to ARM platform. It might be smaller comparing x86 but it is certainly not brand new.



    With an expected 100 Million unit sold of iPhone and iPod touch, couldn't the development worked the other way around, instead of having Computer chip moving towards smaller Mobile unit, we have ARM moving back towards desktop computer with Quad Core and Out of order ARM a.k.a the Cortex A9?



    The graphics front we also have PowerVR with the SGX graphics chips which are properly the most power / performance chip currently available. With the exclusive deal between PowerVR and Apple. Apple could take advantage of these.



    So what is forcing Apple to stay with Intel?

    May be their Core code are very portable that keeping both x86 and ARM codebase are much easier then we thought?



    Another point to add.

    What happen if OpenCL turns out to be universal standard supported by Nvidia CUDA capable GPU, Intel Larabee, and ATI 's CTM capable GPU.

    Then we could have a reasonably fast CPU ( Quad Core and High Frequency Cortex A9 ), combine with an appropriate GPGPU depending on needs.



    Or even combine the CPU with the PowerVR SGX Graphics, so under normal circumstance we use the power efficient SGX for browsing and work, switching to OpenCL based Graphics in Games / or FPU based task.



    I am dreaming, dont wake me up.....
  • Reply 83 of 95
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Let me explain the debate as I see it.



    1) What chip architecture will Apple use for the iPhone? Recent actions by Apple, the PA Semi purchase, and Job's comment that Apple will design the chips for iPods and iPhones in house have led some to believe that Apple will go with RISC/ARM chips. However, since the debut of Atom many have speculated that Apple will eventually move to an x86 chip in the iPhone. This was fueled by Intel's actions at their 2007 developers conference where they showed prototype devices running on the Atom chip that bear a striking resemblance to the iPhone. As I've said in other posts, I feel Intel covet the smart phone chip business in general and the iPhone in particular.



    2) How will Atom compare to ARM/RISC? This sort of seems like the whole RISC vs. CISC battle on the desktop all over again but maybe it'll be different this time. It's not really a battle now because Intel haven't pushed Atom in the smart phone market but that will change with Mooretown and SoC chip designs. I think the battle gets interesting when Atom gets fabbed at 32nm. I expect that Atom will always be ahead when it comes to fab process. That's why I asked the hypothetical question 'how will a 45nm ARM compare to a 32nm Atom?' IMO that's whewre the battle really begins.



    There is no debate except amongst the ignorant.



    1) ARM, now and forever.



    2) Atom sucks for mobile phones.



    There you go, all done.
  • Reply 84 of 95
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post


    Proof that OS X will remain universal, rather than going Intel-only.





    This would seem to suggest otherwise:



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...erpc_macs.html
  • Reply 85 of 95
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,244member
    Apple should just buy a planet.



    I'd move there.
  • Reply 86 of 95
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fleshman03 View Post


    How about this:



    They build a manufacturing plant in America and allows Americans to finally build the chips?



    Crazy, I know.



    nah...see the comment by "neondiet" above, who is right on target. There is ZERO chance Apple would either acquire a fab, or build a fab, either here or anywhere else.



    There is simply zero economic rationale in such a scenario, nor does it play to Apple's strengths. Hell, they don't even own manufacturing capability for their current line of products - it's all outsourced to manufacturing specialists overseas.
  • Reply 87 of 95
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shintocam View Post


    This would seem to suggest otherwise:



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...erpc_macs.html



    That's not how interpreted the original statement. MacOSX itself will remain a portable piece of software, even if it is not shipped as a universal binary for x86 & PPC. The two are related, but different. Dropping PPC support does not equate to dropping ARM and moving to x86 on the mobile platforms.



    Intel doesn't have a competitive track record yet in the mobile space, and it is going to be some time before they do. Until they do (if ever) Apple needs an "edge" in terms of SoC designs, and PA Semi can give them that. It used to be that computers were designed by buying chips and designing a motherboard to connect them. Now designs are licensed (potentially refined) and integrated into a single chip, and sent out to be fabbed in volume. ARM is amazing right now, and this is not the time for Apple to be jumping chip (sic). In 5 years the iPhone platform will be robust enough so that they could, if need be, migrate to a new chip architecture. Right now it would be a step backwards and they can't afford it.



    Also, the developer release of Snow Leopard as x86-only doesn't mean no PPC support is a done deal -- they may still change their minds based on the state of the market over the next year. Given the current level of Mac sales and emphasis on optimization, however, there is a good chance that Apple is again cutting off legacy in order to allow them to stay more nimble.
  • Reply 88 of 95
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Let me explain the debate as I see it...



    This is the debate as I see it. Mainly the issue is:



    You can see with regards to the MacBook Air the relationship between Intel and Apple was a little strained. Paul O. was on stage like, uh, damn they made us work our butts off to shrink this bloody thing down.



    In the desktop and portable space, Intel is clearly leaps and bounds ahead with kickbutt stuff. For CPUs and Mobo+CPU+IntegratedGraphics, Intel is definitely making good progress. nVidia is doing alright, but they need to strengthen their fabbing resources to get GPUs down to 32nm as fast as possible to really drive some amazing apps, games, GPGPU/CUDA, physics.



    But here's the fly in the ointment. Apple has looked at the situation, and I think they've said to themselves: 2009-2012: where are we going to play? Where's the beef (or tofubeef, as it were)?



    Somewhere between the iPhone and the MacBook is the future of Apple in the next few years. This is going to be "the" titanium-reinforced 3rd leg while the others are still wood.



    After the MacBook Air, and looking carefully at Atom, Apple has probably decided: rather than trying to "scale Core2Duo down rapidly", let's focus on the iPhone SoC and scale it *UP*.



    Steve has looked deep into the heart of Intel and I think he feels as great as they are, for ultimate domination of the space between iPhone and MacBook, Intel ain't there yet in jamming things down.
  • Reply 89 of 95
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    Apple should just buy a planet.

    I'd move there.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mortarman View Post


    .....There is simply zero economic rationale in such a scenario, nor does it play to Apple's strengths. Hell, they don't even own manufacturing capability for their current line of products - it's all outsourced to manufacturing specialists overseas.



    As we can see from the above two quotes, clearly the best solution is to get rabid lunatic fanboys to do all the manufacturing for Apple. Because, heck, they'd work for cheaper than a malnourished 6-year-old Bangladeshi kid, as long as you give em' a cool T-Shirt. I know, because I would.
  • Reply 90 of 95
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Programmer View Post


    That's not how interpreted the original statement. MacOSX itself will remain a portable piece of software, even if it is not shipped as a universal binary for x86 & PPC. The two are related, but different. Dropping PPC support does not equate to dropping ARM and moving to x86 on the mobile platforms...



    Yeah, now XCode compiles for ARM-ish(iPhone/iPod), x86 and PPC. Snow Leopard* would probably narrow this down to ARM and x86.

    Time for the 12-gun salute of the G4 and G5, and let them rest in peace. They were good, but the future is now.

    I know people that have had a rough time with Leopard on PPC G5s won't like me saying this.



    *as in 10.6 "main version" and 10.6 "portable cocoa touch" version.... if this makes sense.......
  • Reply 91 of 95
    greylingreylin Posts: 2member
    I sure hope its in the iphone next year, then we'll have a really different phone to talk about..
  • Reply 92 of 95
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Here is the brave Apple again, repeating old history with old mistakes. Will they never learn that software and not hardware is what they must make? Hint: read Microsoft.



    are you suggesting that Apple not sing the same old zune?
  • Reply 93 of 95
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    There is no debate except amongst the ignorant.

    1) ARM, now and forever.

    2) Atom sucks for mobile phones.

    There you go, all done.



    The ARMH stock price hasn't really gone anywhere though...
  • Reply 94 of 95
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Motley Fool has an interesting take:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/value/...nt-get-it.aspx



    Intel Still Doesn't Get It

    By Dave Mock June 6, 2008 Comments (7)

    3

    Recommendations



    You certainly can't blame a tech giant like Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) for trying new things. A company that already dominates one market can only grow so far before hitting a ceiling. But attempts to move the $123 billion silicon behemoth beyond microprocessors for desktops and laptops have led to a series of disappointments spanning several years. Unfortunately, the company's now gearing up for another dubious crack at the mobile-device sector.



    Intel threw in the towel on its last foray into mobile processors in 2006, selling the division to Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL) for $600 million. But a rejuvenated Intel is once again taking on mobile chip leaders such as Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), and ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH) by pushing its new line of Atom processors into smartphones.



    I'm a little skeptical of Intel's chances this time around. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said, "If you accept that the value proposition of the high end of the mobile phone market is full Internet access that happens to have voice, my view is that it's easier to add voice to a small computer than vice-versa."



    Well, I certainly don't accept that value proposition. And the notion that the chief of one of the world's premier silicon makers believes that the high-end mobile phone market is essentially moving toward broadband-enabled computers with microphones attached is astonishing. While it's likely Otellini doesn't hold such a simplistic view of the mobile market, Intel has nonetheless previously shown that it believes mobile phones will move closer to computers, rather than the other way around.



    Wrong. Dead wrong.



    If Intel believes that a significant portion of smartphone users will be gravitating toward connected laptop functionality, more than a few warm bodies are asleep on their keyboards in Santa Clara. True, new markets for ultraportable Internet devices will likely present tantalizing opportunities, but Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM) BlackBerry is not wildly successful because it is a computer at its core. Its success lies in its efficient communications capabilities -- worlds beyond merely slapping a microphone and speaker onto a slick device.



    If Intel can't keep a clear distinction between mobile computing and mobile phones, it will continue to flounder in the space. The company would be better off focusing on other areas of success, rather than trying to redefine consumer devices.



    *An Interesting Comment On This Article*



    On June 10, 2008, at 9:20 PM, 1111gl wrote: Report this Comment

    First let me say I am an ARM investor.

    In the mobile space ARM's RISC processors will always trump Intel's CISC processors, if for no other reason power constraints and battery life.

    CISC chips for the PC based on the x86 architecture is fine because a seperate tower can be used for heat dissipation. Put your hand next to it to feel the heat. Where can you put that on a mobile device ?

    Common sense. Reduced is always preferred over Complex in mobile

    devices.

    Practicality. ARM has developed their cores for low power constraints and has built up an eco-system of the leading tech companies , 3rd party software developers and foundries to deliver the most robust products at the lowest prices.

    Intel has mis-directed their efforts in the telcom sector.

    They should be looking at the cell towers to deploy their processors where there is ample physical space to deal with heat dissipation.

    With an all IP network the ideal scenerio would be to have a "smart" processor at the core and a "dumb" receiver/transmitter ( handset) at the edge.

    Heavy inside/light outside.

    Intel's possibilities for telcom viability lies with companies such as Sonus Network for infrastructure buildout .............not handheld devices.

    At the end of the day the consumer will hold in his hand a device that will be his remote control to the world . It will be his wallet, contain all his personal records ( medical, DMV, charge cards, financial info, passport, etc. ) his flipper to use the TV screen as his PC monitor and yes..........even make phone calls.

    When the IP broadband infrastructure buildout

    is complete the backbone for a United Digital Network will be in place for any electrical device that has access to any network, will have the capability to use all networks for the seamless transmission/reception of all voice, video and content data in real-time.

    Integrated processors will allow for interoperability of all these disparate platforms, protocols and operating systems.

    If I was running Intel that is where I would place the emphasis of the company.
  • Reply 95 of 95
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    What is really so fascinating is more than 10 years on, CISC vs RISC is still hotly debated:

    http://arstechnica.com/articles/paed...mobile-era.ars



    Ah, the memories of PowerPC vs Pentium.



    "....RISC architectures currently have the embedded space just as tightly sewed up as RISC architectures had the workstation space in the years before the Pentium Pro. The big three for embedded are ARM, PowerPC, and MIPS. Of these three, ARM is far and away the most popular for gadgets and consumer electronics. Empty your pockets and purse or briefcase of mobile gadgetry, and chances are there's at least one ARM-based chip under the skin of each device with a battery and a screen. Whether you're packing a Blackberry or a Nintendo DS Lite, you're toting ARM hardware.



    To ARM and its vast army of licensees, Intel's mockup-heavy bluster about x86-powered UMPCs, MIDs, and smartphones might look just as laughably silly as the Pentium Pro and its successors looked to the likes of SGI and DEC, if it weren't for the fact that x86 is now wearing the scalps of both now-defunct RISC powerhouses as trophies. No, in today's world, when Intel aims both barrels of its formidable fab capacity directly at a new market segment, it's not a joke to anyone who ends up in the crosshairs....."



    Don't Forget nVidia is capitalising on all this mobile-internet-gaming madness. The Tegra







    720p HARDWARE + OPEN GL ES Gaming



    "....Nvidia calls it - can encode video at 720p, and support an array of standard music formats and JPEG for photos. It can be connected to a camera sensor of up to 12-megapixel resolution.

    An on-board Ultra-low Power (ULP) GeForce graphics core provides 3D graphics through the OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics API..."



    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/06...aunches_tegra/
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