Apple to expand CPU design group beyond iPad A4

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  • Reply 21 of 169
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple is seeking to hire engineers to design a new CPU micro-architecture, expanding upon its acquisitions of two fabless chip design companies and the release of its new A4 application processor used in the iPad and iPhone 4.



    As MadHatter has noticed, the job posting is under Mac engineering, not under iPad/iPhone engineering. So Daniel, is the CPU micro architect really for iOS devices or is it for Mac?
  • Reply 22 of 169
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    Happy New Year to you ETA is 3 H 30 Min here



    Only estimated?
  • Reply 23 of 169
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You're blindly missing the point.



    No you are. Darwin.



    If you have the chops, you can port the open sourced Darwin kernel to any hardware you like and can then work out how to hackintosh the rest of the way after that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    If Apple makes its own architecture, it will be physically impossible within the fundamental laws of the universe for it to work.



    By definition, if it can be made in hardware, software can emulate it. If software can emulate it, software can translate it. Nothing is "impossible" in computers, it just isn't possible at a price performance point someone is willing to pay. Your fundamental law is fundamentally broken, so's the point.
  • Reply 24 of 169
    morkymorky Posts: 180member
    Does anyone know whether it's possible that Apple could hard wire in silicon certain functions from their core libraries for huge performance gains? That could serve as one of the reasons they are pushing developers to use only Apple's tools.
  • Reply 25 of 169
    Apple is going to stick with Intel well into the foreseeable future for notebooks and desktop Macs. Intel is so far ahead of the competition for what best suits the Mac that there is simply no other choice today. Apple is a premium product company, and will always go with the best.



    For iOS, expect Apple to go with a A5 sooner rather than later. They're being very aggressive here and 2011 is the year for dual core in mobile & tablet devices. Apple's custom designed chip fabbed by Samsung makes sense to build around ARM instead of Intel Architecture... for now. This could change in the future, and the nice thing about iOS, like OS X, that it's derived from, it can change architecture fairly easily.



    Apple is very well positioned here.
  • Reply 26 of 169
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    There is no such thing as "slightly optimized" or "seriously customised".



    You either license the cortex core or you make your own armv7a compatible core.



    PA Semi was founded sometime in 2003 and launched their own Power ISA compatible core in Q4 2007 --- that's 4 years plus.



    AMCC bought the IP from IBM for several PowerPC embedded cores in 2004 (i.e. those "cores" actually belong to AMCC). In Q1 2006, AMCC hired Intrinsity to co-design their next gen powerpc "compatible" core. 4 years later, in 2010, Apple bought Intrinsity and AMCC is left with unfinished pieces.



    When IBM sold AMCC those embedded cores in 2004, AMCC didn't hire the IBM engineers. Qualcomm hired those IBM embedded engineers as a complete team in 2004. 4 years later, Qualcomm launched their own ARMv7A compatible core.



    It generally takes 4+ years to make a compatible core --- and that's just to ship the chips to the customers, not counting the development time to make a finished product out of those chips (i.e. add another year for actual phones to show up with those Snapdragon chips).



    Lets not go down this road again shall we? You failed utterly in another thread on the same set of related arguments.



    Your factoids don't mean all companies see the same failure rates, especially when what they are starting out with are far different things. Applied Micro trying to make a low power part out of a high power PPC isn't exactly a slam dunk win combination. Intrinsity couldn't help enough, but PA Sami shows it could be done when a focused team is on the job rather than just consulting to a large entrenched bureaucracy. And 4 years from tech startup to finished product says the product cycle is actually shorter than the 4 years you are trying to portray it as.



    True to form you let your own examples undercut your absolut-ism.
  • Reply 27 of 169
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I used some colloquial language, but the meaning was clear. There's no need to be so dismissive.



    The last I heard, Apple has a license to customise the Cortex A8 and A9 and so far, all they have done is do some very minor tweaks on the A8, put it in an SoC and called it the A4. My argument was only that given the IP they have, the acquisitions they have made, and the talent they acquired thereby, it makes sense that the A5 or whatever the next chip is called might be a more customised version of the actual core silicon.



    If what you are saying here is accurate:





    Then I'm off by a year or two and it might take until the A6 to see some real differences between Apple's silicon and the competition.



    samab does not recognize the concept of modification to a core. He strongly believes and stated in another thread that his absolute views of using unmodified IP or totally designing a core from scratch are the only two ways to use ARM IP, and he strenuously does not believe that Apple is an ARM architecture licensee so he doesn't think Apple can touch a single transistor inside the Cortex core.



    I also believe the same thing you seem to, Apple is tweaking the A4 and follow on designs, including in the Cortex core itself, for as much power savings as they can wring from it to give them a significant competitive advantage in run time per charge.
  • Reply 28 of 169
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dorotea View Post


    As MadHatter has noticed, the job posting is under Mac engineering, not under iPad/iPhone engineering. So Daniel, is the CPU micro architect really for iOS devices or is it for Mac?



    I wouldn't assume anything from that. Apple has had a VLSI engineering group for a very long time, since the Nineties at least, long before anyone thought about iPhone.



    It's entirely possible that they never moved that VLSI group out of the Mac Engineering Division and they keep all of their chip guys together in terms of engineering assets (e.g., CAD), regardless of the destination of the design.
  • Reply 29 of 169
    Will it run Crysis?
  • Reply 30 of 169
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You're blindly missing the point.



    OS X may not be available for installation on non-Apple computers, but it's possible.

    Windows may not be made for installation on Macs, but it's possible.



    If Apple makes its own architecture, it will be physically impossible within the fundamental laws of the universe for it to work.



    So are we talking about all this cost and effort to prevent a few Hackintoshes? And I can’t see how allow Windows as dual-boot or VM has increased Mac sales. So the reason for Apple working on it’s own chip designs tells me that it’s something considerably more profound that what you seem to be inferring.
  • Reply 31 of 169
    apple isn't in hawaii on vacation. they are at work and it is certain that the 50+ billion cash, in the bank, is going to be scheduled for a continuation of their great product releases.



    it's a top to bottom complete process and no external company can bring apple down. only apple can harm apple and i don't believe that's going to happen in the reasonable future.



    happy new year to everybody, even some of the potty mouths.
  • Reply 32 of 169
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    There is no such thing as "slightly optimized" or "seriously customised?.



    Seriously?! You?re now arguing that you can?t have gradation in how much something has been optimized or customized?
  • Reply 33 of 169
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,223member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Here we go. What better way to completely shut the user out of the computer than making the whole thing proprietary? Mac OS will only work on Apple's architecture (read: Apple computers), and Windows, et. al. won't ever be installable because they'll have no need to build Apple versions.



    It'd take forever, but it may happen.



    I fail to see any mention in the article that would suggest this ARM design will be use in Mac's. Its for mobile iOS devices...



    Imo Mac and MacBook will continu to use intel chips. Especially since Apple is coming out with intel Sandy bridge Mac's in 2011...
  • Reply 34 of 169
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    We're all hopeful that the A4 isn't the end-of-the-line for Apple's processing interests. A family of A4s with varying clock speeds and then a family of A5s with new architecture that allows mulitple cores would be ideal.



    It would be most telling if the Lion OSX version supports the use of ARM processors. That would solidfy the idea that Apple will take the processor into their Mac lines. With the XServe gone (why???) there's not as much need for high-powered processors. The ARM architecture will eventually catch-up in performance with Intel server offerings (read 3 years time).
  • Reply 35 of 169
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,893member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Here we go. What better way to completely shut the user out of the computer than making the whole thing proprietary? Mac OS will only work on Apple's architecture (read: Apple computers), and Windows, et. al. won't ever be installable because they'll have no need to build Apple versions.



    It'd take forever, but it may happen.



    The whole reason Macs have been so successful as of late is that they have no restrictions on what can run on the machines. Why would Apple screw with that?



    Even though I tire of dilger writing style he was pretty clear that this was about mobile device. Frankly if you have been keeping track of Apples CPU patents over the last couple of years you have to wonder what is taking them so long. It looks like their intentions are to supplement the ARM instruction set with instructions that accelerate the execution of Objective C.



    In the mobile arena this is nothing to get negative about, in fact it should be just the opposite. A highly optimized high performance processor is exactly what is needed to really make mobile devices fly.
  • Reply 36 of 169
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Seriously?! You?re now arguing that you can?t have gradation in how much something has been optimized or customized?



    The other day I remarked that samab was able to reason without the constraints of logic. Apparently even I underestimated his potential.
  • Reply 37 of 169
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,893member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Personally, I would expect a new chip from Apple sooner rather than later.



    The A4 is only a slightly optimised version of the stock item. Given the IP they purchased from PASemi, and the amount of time that's gone by since the acquisition of Intrinsity, it seems to me that the first seriously customised silicon might arrive with the very next iPhone.



    As noted I'm practically in the same boat thinking instead that the new hardware will go in a tablet. As a side note a processor optimized for the iPhone is also likely. The thing is iPhone could use a lower power, as in energy , processor than the iPad. IPhone performance isn't to bad for what it does but the IPad on the other hand pretty much sucks.

    Quote:



    Apple seems to have grasped the obvious, which is that when it comes to the design of tablets there isn't a lot to differentiate one product from another in terms of exterior hardware like the screen, the ports or the shape. It's the software experience, and the performance of the chip that's going to be key.



    They have the potential to implement hardware that is markably faster than competing systems for the same amount of energy consumed. Especially if code is kept as native while the competition is running some sort of VM. In the end you are right the winner will be the company delivering the best performance at the lowest power point. There is little else to distinguish hardware.
  • Reply 38 of 169
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,893member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You're blindly missing the point.



    OS X may not be available for installation on non-Apple computers, but it's possible.

    Windows may not be made for installation on Macs, but it's possible.



    If Apple makes its own architecture, it will be physically impossible within the fundamental laws of the universe for it to work.



    I think you missed something here, no one has indicated that they are getting rid of i86 hardware in Macs.
  • Reply 39 of 169
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,893member
    That is before the purchase of PA Semi.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Apple is already working on the successor to the A4 (The A5? The B4?) They started the moment the iphone 4 went into production. Prototype silicon of its successor are likely already in prototypes of the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 on Apple's campus right now. Needing to hire someone for this team is not news. It's obvious.



    One doesn't need to be an insider to know these things. They are obvious requirements to Apple's design cycle. I don't need to know any details about them. The chip will be faster, more powerful, etc.



    Duh!



    It is very likely that A4 is a stop gap processor that fortunately was fast enough to deliver an iPad on. I would imagine at this point Apple has had 3 years into designing a custom ARM derived processor for the iPad.



    Lets face it they need to deliver far better hardware on iPad simply due to the competition. It would be pretty pathetic if iPad 2 arrived with a single core processor.
  • Reply 40 of 169
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post


    Not sure which universe you're in, but in this universe there were several Windows emulators for PowerPC Macs. Google "windows emulator powerpc mac" for some examples.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    MS Windows is made to run on any PC and Macs are PCs. Even when Macs used PowerPC you could have Windows installed through Virtual PC. Right now we have Parallels, VMWare, and Sandbox VM. This is not an issue.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by technohermit View Post


    I get more use out of Fusion than I ever did of Bootcamp. Just saying that it might not be the doom and gloom you are trying to put out there.



    I apologize, I apologize. I meant only for native installation, not virtualization. That's always possible.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tsadler View Post


    Um, ok so basically you're saying you won't be able to install Mac OS on unsupported devices. Who, besides a fraction of a percentage, gives a damn?



    "I don't care about it, so it's obviously not worth caring about."



    Quote:

    Have you ever owned a Mac? Do you know what Bootcamp is? Get educated.



    I'd like to get educated as to what the frick this has to do with anything.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So are we talking about all this cost and effort to prevent a few Hackintoshes? And I can?t see how allow Windows as dual-boot or VM has increased Mac sales. So the reason for Apple working on it?s own chip designs tells me that it?s something considerably more profound that what you seem to be inferring.



    I'm inferring that they'd create their own architecture separate from ARM, X86, or PowerPC. It's either that or making very, VERY low-power X86 chips, but Intel seems to have a hegemony on that sort of thing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    I fail to see any mention in the article that would suggest this ARM design will be use in Mac's. Its for mobile iOS devices...



    Nor did I say anything about ARM.



    In the late 90s, I thought to myself, "you know, if Apple made all of their own hardware for computers, they'd be able to write whatever software they want without any hardware restrictions, as they'd just be able to build the restrictions out of the hardware itself." This is contemplations on an LC 575, so take that with a mound of salt.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The whole reason Macs have been so successful as of late is that they have no restrictions on what can run on the machines. Why would Apple screw with that?



    No software restrictions, perhaps. Hardware? They've always had restrictions.



    Quote:

    Even though I tire of dilger writing style he was pretty clear that this was about mobile device.



    "And now we're bringing what we've learned on the iPad back to the Mac." \



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I think you missed something here, no one has indicated that they are getting rid of i86 hardware in Macs.



    Not yet, anyway.
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