verne arase

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verne arase
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  • Arm's new chip architecture will power future devices, possibly including Apple's

    cloudguy said:
    Wait what? I thought Apple was an ARM Holdings co-founder, had a permanent architectural license and their own custom design for PCs that was radically different from - and better than - the small core design for embedded systems that the ARM pushes for Cortex-A for smartphones and the somewhat better (but still not very good) Marvell and N1 core designs that are used on servers (which again aren't very good as they constitute 3% of the market, forcing Amazon, Microsoft, Google etc. to also make their own core designs and causing Marvell, HP and most other ARM server vendors to drop out of the market leaving Ampere as the only player)? Even Fujitsu, who makes ARM supercomputers, relies on a custom design (a combination of the RISC license based on SPARC that they bought from Sun back in the day and things they licensed from ARM). 

    While the M1 chip has a single core score that rivals Intel Core i7 and i9, the best Cortex Core for PCs and mobile barely surpasses the Intel Pentium. (Qualcomm is hyping up the multicore score, but even there it takes 8 performance cores to merely rival the Geekbench 5 score for the quad core Intel i5). I thought that Apple having their own big core design that ARM Holdings can't come close to was why Nvidia's purchase of ARM Holdings is like "meh" for Apple as their custom CPU and GPU designs are much better - by several times - than Cortex, Mali (the ARM Holdings GPU) and even Nvidia (either their old GPU architecture or their new Ampere one) anyway.
    The best I've seen from ARM is the Cortex-X1 which is used in the Snapdragon 888 which at 5nm ran neck-and-neck with A11's 7nm Lightning cores - Lightning won overall but the X1 won at floating point. The 888 is a triple tier SoC with a single X1 at the top as its single, highest performance core, and I believe it's a five wide design.

    In 2008, Apple acquired PA Semi and worked with cash strapped Intrinsity and Samsung to produce a FastCore Cortex-A8; the frenemies famously split and Apple used their IP and Imagination's PowerVR to create the A4 and Samsung took their tech to produce the Exynos 3. Apple acquired Intrinsity and continued to hire engineering talent from IBM's Cell and XCPU design teams, and hired Johny Srouji from IBM who worked on the POWER7 line to direct the effort.

    This divergence from standard ARM designs was continued by Apple who continued to nurture and build their Silicon Design Team (capitalized out of respect) for a decade, ignoring standard ARM designs building their own architecture, improving and optimizing it year by year for the last decade.

    Whereas other ARM processor makers like Qualcomm and Samsung pretty much now use standard ARM designed cores - Apple has their own designs and architecture and has greatly expanded their own processor acumen to the point where the Firestorm cores in the A14 and M1 are the most sophisticated processors in the world with an eight wide processor design with a 690 instruction execution queue with a massive reorder buffer and the arithmetic units to back it up - which means its out-of-order execution unit can execute up to eight instructions _simultaneously._

    x86 processor makers are hampered by the CISC design and a variable instruction length. This means that at most they can produce a three wide design and even for that the decoder would have to be fiendishly clever, as it would have to guess where one instruction ended and the next began.

    There's a problem shared with x86-64 processor makers and Windows - they never met an instruction or feature they didn't like. What happens then is you get a build-up of crud that no one uses, but it still consumes energy and engineering time to keep working.

    AMD can get better single core speed by pushing up clocks (and dealing with the exponentially increased heat though chiplets are probably much harder to cool), and Intel by reducing the number of cores (the top of the 10 core 20 thread 10900K actually had to be shaved to achieve enough surface area to cool the chip so it at 14nm had reached the limits of physics). Both run so hot they are soon in danger of running into Moore's Wall.

    Apple OTOH ruthlessly pares underused or unoptimizable features.

    When Apple determined that ARMv7 (32 bit ARM) was unoptimizable, they wrote it out of iOS, and removed those logic blocks from their CPUs in two years, repurposing the silicon real estate for more productive things. Intel,  AMD, and yes even Qualcomm couldn't do that in a decade.

    Apple continues that with everything - not enough people using Force Touch - deprecate it, remove it from the hardware, and replace it with Haptic Touch. Gone.

    Here's another secret of efficiency - make it a goal. Last year on the A13 Bionic used in the iPhone 11s, the Apple Silicon Team introduced hundreds of voltage domains so they could turn off parts of the chip not in use. Following their annual cadence, they increased the speed of the Lightning high performance and the Thunder high efficiency cores by 20% despite no change in the 7nm mask size. As an aside, they increased the speed of matrix multiplication and division by six times (used in machine learning).

    This year they increased the speed of the Firestorm high performance and Icestorm high efficiency cores by another 20% while dropping the mask size from 7nm to 5nm. That's a hell of a compounding rate and explains how they got to where they are. Rumor has it they've bought all the 3nm capacity from TSMC for the A16 (and probably M2) next year.

    Wintel fans would deny the efficacy of the A series processors and say they were mobile chips, as if they used slower silicon with wheels on the bottom or more sluggish electrons.

    What they were were high efficiency chips which were passively cooled and living in a glass sandwich. Remove them from that environment where they could breathe more easily and boost the clocks a tad and they became a raging beast.

    People say that the other processor makers will catch up in a couple of years, but that's really tough to see. Apple Silicon is the culmination of a decade of intense processor design financed by a company with very deep pockets - who is fully cognizant of the competitive advantage Apple Silicon affords. Here's an article in Anandtech comparing the Firestorm cores to the competing ARM and x86 cores. It's very readable for an article of its ilk:


    Of course these are the Firestorm cores used in the A14, and are not as performant as the cores in the M1 due to the M1's higher 3.2 ghz clock speed.

    tmayjdb8167mobirdAlex_Vtenthousandthingswatto_cobrasphericlibertyforall
  • Report suggests Apple's A15 Bionic lacks significant CPU upgrades due to chip team brain d...

    While brain drain is certainly possible, another possibility is that the CPU has gone as wide as possible, and further increasing the number of decoders would yield little benefit. As it is, the silicon design team probably raised a toast when they got eight instructions to run in parallel.

    Once you get past a certain point, you're counting on higher clocks, eliminating bottlenecks, or better manufacturing techniques (like mask shrink) to achieve faster speed, and as your scale gets smaller you have quantum effects disrupting the works.

    At that point, it would make sense to look for other areas to improve your workflow like optimizing ASICs (IP blocks) and other more specialized processors.

    Apple doesn't design their computers to improve their SPECMARK numbers - they've always been about implementing new features in their products.
    williamlondontmaygregoriusmradarthekatmagman1979rinosaurnarwhalFileMakerFellerbageljoeywatto_cobra
  • Medical records company Epic partners with Apple on a Mac tool

    rob53 said:
    I dislike dealing with Epic health records systems but I've also seen more Macs and iOS devices being used in medical offices so Epic needs to accept the fact Apple is around and stop ignoring them, making only garbage Windows systems. Epic, and many other Windows-based health records systems, have gotten away with forcing health care providers to use their systems that are as open as Windows wants them to be. Windows is still the least secure and most heavily and easily attacked operating system in the world and they've probably bought off regulators and members of Congress to keep rules and regulations limited so they can't be held responsible for data loss. I wish this article would have included any data loss by Epic systems.
    Actually, it's worse than that.

    Most enterprises which run Epic have found it's so difficult to keep Windows up to a set maintenance level that they have to run the Epic client on a set of specially maintained virtual desktop servers, and use RDP Windows or thin linux-based clients on user desktops to peer into those virtual clients.
    baconstanglolliverFileMakerFellerAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • China power cuts interrupt Apple production lines

    China today is kind of a disaster.

    Between increasing arrogance, militarism, wolf warrior diplomacy, and territorial claims of the entire South China Sea, its increasing isolation from the world at large is leading to things like retaliatory stopping the import of Australian coal which is crippling its economy.

    China was given significant economic advantages by liberal western democracies hoping that bring them into world organizations would liberalize the country and bring western values to China, but instead China has taken and used its assets and position to subjugate lesser economies through things like the Belt and Roads Initiative to export uneconomical large capital projects to poorer nations placing them in enormous debt, and bought their votes in international organizations enabling them leverage undue influence in things like the World Health Organization and United Nations committees on Human Rights despite a total suppression of freedom of the press and massive human rights violations against dissidents and minorities.

    Heck, they were only narrowly averted from taking over the committee on Intellectual Property despite their IP raids on foreign companies and failure to license IP they use every  day, and counterfeit companies and products.

    Their one child policy crippled its population growth in a country where there are few social support structure, and the increasingly aging population is supported by only a single offspring. The economy is rife with corruption caused by laws which require party members on any large corporation's board, with little or no accountability which means those party members loot the company's coffers - and there's no meaningful auditing of finances which leads to disasters like Lukin Coffee and Evergrande.

    Xi Jinping has suppressed all dissent and through multiple purges has diminished any chance that he could be toppled, and as more and more things go wrong with the Chinese economy he's prematurely taken Hong Kong and been building his military forces and greedily eyeing prosperous Taiwan.
    h4y3sdarkvaderApple-a-dayelijahg
  • Microsoft says that if Apple isn't stopped now, its antitrust behavior will just get worse...

    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    mark fearingBeatswilliamlondonronnseanjmagman1979StrangeDaysbloggerblogviclauyycols
  • M1 Pro and M1 Max GPU performance versus Nvidia and AMD

    Simply comparing GPU internal speeds also ignores the Wintel copy overhead.

    Using the discrete GPU model, requests and data are formatted in main memory by the CPU, compressed, transmitted by the CPU over PCIe, received by the GPU into GPU memory, decompressed, then executed by the GPU. All this results in realtime clock tick loss which has nothing to do with putting pixels on screen.

    Compute tasks returning results have to go through the same process in the opposite direction.

    All this overhead means that despite the possibly superior speed of a discrete GPU, the actual speed can come surprisingly close the the M1's 7 or 8 cores.

    This applies to all Wintel graphics workflows, no mater the internal speed of the GPU.

    For integrated GPUs, the same basic process involves copying data from main memory to the GPU's memory partition, replacing the compress, transfer over PCIe, and decompress portions of the cycle.
    jeroenhmgFileMakerFellerbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Apple 'M1X' chip specification prediction appears on benchmark site

    cloudguy said:
     
    With all due respect why do you believe that this is even possible? As I have stated numerous times, the idea that ARM is inherently superior to x86 was wishful thinking. If it were true, ARM would have more than 3% of the server market. As I have also stated, most of the benchmarking was skewed: it only compared the M1 to the Intel chips that it replaced in macOS devices. Those were mostly 2 and 4 core "mobile" chips. They were also outdated chips: 9th and 10th gen. There were already 11th gen Intel chips on the market when the M1 Macs were introduced.
    You can design any CPU with fixed length instructions much wider than a x86 CPU due to lower decoder complexity.

    M1 has 4 high performance Firestorm and 4 high efficiency Icestorm cores - it was designed for the low-end MacBook Air (fanless) and 13" MacBook Pro models as part of their annual spec bump.

    Rumor has it the M1x slated for later this year will have 8-16 Firestorm cores (depending on binning) and will be targeted at machines like the 14" and 16" MacBook Pros and possibly the low end iMac (and maybe a high end Mac Mini).

    In 2008, Apple acquired PA Semi and worked with cash strapped Intrinsity and Samsung to produce a FastCore Cortex-A8; the frenemies famously split and Apple used their IP and Imagination's PowerVR to create the A4 and Samsung took their tech to produce the Exynos 3. Apple acquired Intrinsity and continued to hire engineering talent from IBM's Cell and XCPU design teams, and hired Johny Srouji from IBM who worked on the POWER7 line to direct the effort.

    This divergence from standard ARM designs was continued by Apple who continued to nurture and build their Silicon Design Team (capitalized out of respect) for a decade, ignoring standard ARM designs building their own architecture, improving and optimizing it year by year for the last decade.

    Whereas other ARM processor makers like Qualcomm and Samsung pretty much now use standard ARM designed cores - Apple has their own designs and architecture and has greatly expanded their own processor acumen to the point where the Firestorm cores in the A14 and M1 are the most sophisticated processors in the world with an eight wide processor design with a 690 instruction execution queue with a massive reorder buffer and the arithmetic units to back it up - which means its out-of-order execution unit can execute up to eight instructions simultaneously.

    x86 processor makers are hampered by the CISC design and a variable instruction length. This means that at most they can produce a three wide general design and even for that the decoder would have to be fiendishly clever, as it would have to guess where one instruction ended and the next began.

    There's a problem shared with x86-64 processor makers and Windows - they never met an instruction or feature they didn't like. What happens then is you get a build-up of crud that no one uses, but it still consumes energy and engineering time to keep working.

    AMD can get better single core speed by pushing up clocks (and dealing with the exponentially increased heat though chiplets are probably much harder to cool), and Intel by reducing the number of cores (the top of 10 core 20 thread 10900K actually had to be shaved to achieve enough surface area to cool the chip so it at 14nm had reached the limits of physics). Both run so hot they are soon in danger of running into Moore's Wall.

    Apple OTOH ruthlessly pares underused or unoptimizable features.

    When Apple determined that ARMv7 (32 bit ARM) was unoptimizable, they wrote it out of iOS, and removed those logic blocks from their CPUs in two years, repurposing the silicon real estate for more productive things. Intel,  AMD, and yes even Qualcomm couldn't do that in a decade.

    Apple continues that with everything - not enough people using Force Touch - deprecate it, remove it from the hardware, and replace it with Haptic Touch. Gone.

    Here's another secret of efficiency - make it a goal. Last year on the A13 Bionic used in the iPhone 11s, the Apple Silicon Team introduced hundreds of voltage domains so they could turn off parts of the chip not in use. Following their annual cadence, they increased the speed of the Lightning high performance and the Thunder high efficiency cores by 20% despite no change in the 7nm mask size. As an aside, they increased the speed of matrix multiplication and division by six times (used in machine learning).

    This year they increased the speed of the Firestorm high performance and Icestorm high efficiency cores by another 20% while dropping the mask size from 7nm to 5nm. That's a hell of a compounding rate and explains how they got to where they are. Rumor has it they've bought all the 3nm capacity from TSMC for the A16 (and probably M2) next year.

    Wintel fans would deny the efficacy of the A series processors and say they were mobile chips, as if they used slower silicon with wheels on the bottom or more sluggish electrons.

    What they were were high efficiency chips which were passively cooled and living in a glass sandwich. Remove them from that environment where they could breathe more easily and boost the clocks a tad and they became a raging beast.

    People say that the other processor makers will catch up in a couple of years, but that's really tough to see. Apple Silicon is the culmination of a decade of intense processor design financed by a company with very deep pockets - who is fully cognizant of the competitive advantage Apple Silicon affords. Here's an article in Anandtech comparing the Firestorm cores to the competing ARM and x86 cores. It's very readable for an article of its ilk.

    Of course these are the Firestorm cores used in the A14, and are not as performant as the cores in the M1 due to the M1's higher 3.2 ghz clock speed.

    tmaytechconcsaarekhypoluxawatto_cobraDetnator
  • Samsung mocks iPhone 14 in latest ad campaign

    rezwits said:
    Guys come on, quit playing Fox and the Grapes...

    I am a 100% macFanBoy, have purchased over 100 apple product in my lifetime, since 1985!

    If they don't get a Flip and/or Fold next year for the 2023, "iPhone 15"

    That's that... Samsung kicked our ASS.  I am not gonna sit here in denial!

    I had a Motorola Flip (2-3 of um) back in the day and it's NiiiCCCCEEEE...

    Sorry, face facts dawgs...  They have the SCREEN TECH, and Apple can't do an F-ing thing!

    Get real boys...  BUT we kick their ass on EVERYTHING else, so... you know the saying:

    You can't win um all...
    This is … on the Z-Flip.

    As for Samsung's glass slab offering: I'm buying an iPhone 14 Pro Max next week. Only decisions are color and storage - the latter being dictated by whether they increase lightning speed or not. I'm currently driving a 13 Pro Max 512GB which will be going to my wife - my daughter will be taking my 12 Pro Max (and maybe my Apple Watch 5).

    There's just no getting around the synergies of the Apple ecosystem.

    With Applecare+ with loss and theft, I no longer need a backup iPhone, and with Focus I no longer need to keep a zeroed out iPhone to fly my drone.
    JaiOh81radarthekatdewmewatto_cobrarezwits
  • More USB-C speed won't fix users' problems with cables

    Despite claims here that there's nothing wrong with the USB-C connector, I find that it really sucks.

    I have Thunderbolt cables coming out of the back of my 2020 iMac 5K going to two storage units, and find that if I think about going near them they disconnect with dispiriting frequency.

    If USB plugs had a simple spade connector like lightning I think the cables would be reliable - but with that stupid female connector within a sleeve design, you just don't get a durable and reliable connection.
    tmayblastdoorlkruppnrg2
  • Facebook tells business users that iOS 14 privacy features will impact marketing

    Perhaps even more scary for Facebook and all the ad sellers selling targeted ads is if the collapse of their entire business model in the iOS arena doesn't cause havoc, and the emperor suddenly appears naked in public.

    I've always had serious doubts about the efficacy of targeted ads - I tend to see them primarily after I've bought an item (and am no longer in the market).

    I suppose if you're the type who hems and haws and takes days or weeks to make a purchase this could have an effect on you, but once I've decided to pull the trigger I go in, visit a few sites, and simply do it.

    It's not like all those targeted ads get you a better deal or something.


    badmonkbshanksvanstromviclauyycpumpkin_kingJaiOh81applguyDetnatorMplsPwatto_cobra