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MacRumors
Sep 15, 2008, 09:39 AM
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A NY Times blog entry (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/new-iphone-chip-will-cost-an-arm-and-a-missile/) reports that Apple is indeed working on its own variant of the ARM processor for the iPhone. The information verifies what has long been speculated based on Apple's acquisition of P.A. Semi (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/04/23/apple-to-acquire-chipmaker-p-a-semi-for-278-million/) earlier this year and announcements by both ARM and Steve Jobs.

Former P.A. Semi engineer Wei-han Lien lists his current position as "Senior Manager Chip CPU Architect at Apple" in his Linkedin profile (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/1/A3A/469). His specialties include high performance microprocessor architecture/micro-architecture and verification. According to his published profile, his present job is managing the "ARM CPU architecture team for iPhone".

Apple presently uses several ARM processors for the existing iPhones but after the company's acquisition of P.A. Semi, Steve Jobs revealed (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/06/10/p-a-semi-acquisition-for-ipod-and-iphone-chips/) that P.A. Semi would be working on custom chips for iPhones and iPods. Additional speculation pointed to the possibility that Apple had become a major architectural licensee (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/07/30/arm-announces-major-new-licensee-is-it-apple/) of ARM which would allow them to have more control over the design of the handsets. By developing their own versions of the chips found in the iPhone, Apple could benefit from cost savings and competitive advantages:By developing its own ARM variant, Apple could create a processor that meets the specific needs of the iPhone and iPod, building support for functions such as the touch screen or scroll wheel into silicon and possibly savings on costs by reducing the number of processors needed in each device. In addition, Apple’ will be able to maintain tighter controls on who knows what about its future products by disposing of an outside chip supplier.


Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/09/15/apple-developing-arm-processors-for-iphone/)



Moof1904
Sep 15, 2008, 09:41 AM
Cool. This should decrease cost and increase power across the entire handheld product line.

olliebraves20
Sep 15, 2008, 09:43 AM
With the ability to custom make a processor that would be great for Apple. As the article says they can build it to exactly the specs that they want...great acquisition apple!!

kornyboy
Sep 15, 2008, 09:45 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

I really hope this means cost savings transferred to the consumer. It would be nice to see the next iPhone with twice the power for half the price with no contract.

Kilamite
Sep 15, 2008, 09:49 AM
Ah, the joy of a contract phone. I'm still waiting another month or two before diving in for an iPhone because of my current mobile contract, but seeing that a new iPhone could be released come May/June next year, I'd hope it would be a free upgrade (like the iPhone to iPhone 3G was a free upgrade).

rdowns
Sep 15, 2008, 09:52 AM
I really hope this means cost savings transferred to the consumer. It would be nice to see the next iPhone with twice the power for half the price with no contract.

I fail to see what Apple working on their own version of an ARM processor has to do with a contract.

And good luck waiting for half the price. Apple is a for profit company. They didn't buy PA Semi to lower prices.

iSee
Sep 15, 2008, 09:52 AM
I'm pretty sure we already knew this, right?

SJ said they'd be working on custom iPhone/iPod chips.
What would be surprising is if Apple wasn't working on ARM processors.

Full of Win
Sep 15, 2008, 09:56 AM
So... the only new info is this Wei-han Lien fellow, indicating he is working on a project/effort that Steve Jobs has already admitted to.

twoodcc
Sep 15, 2008, 10:04 AM
wow, i think this is great. i can only see good things for Apple from this

Apple Ink
Sep 15, 2008, 10:07 AM
Hmm.... seems like we're going to have more trouble speculating whats new as much can be bundled in one chip! Whats more exciting is the fact that there we're probably heading for a more powerful iPhone with the capability for better graphics and processing so cooler apps!

fastbite
Sep 15, 2008, 10:20 AM
control! Best way to go and as much power as possible please, otherwise playing icopter will suck.

MrCrowbar
Sep 15, 2008, 10:23 AM
Can you say anti-aliasing in cover flow and games?
Seriously, I can't imagine anythingmore than that without Apple discriminating against early iPhone and iPod users. New games wouldn't run on old phones. Or maybe the new one would only have better textures, nicer effects etc. but there would be a version for both the old and new hardware.

Battery life on Apple's pocket devices is pretty good as it is and I don't think the CPU uses a significant amount of power compared to the display, headphones amp and wireless interfaces. So future battery life will depend more on better batteries I guess.

MrCrowbar
Sep 15, 2008, 10:24 AM
Hmm.... seems like we're going to have more trouble speculating whats new as much can be bundled in one chip! Whats more exciting is the fact that there we're probably heading for a more powerful iPhone with the capability for better graphics and processing so cooler apps!

That means more traffic to macrumors and more joy and wonder on the keynotes. Everyone wins! :)

pohl
Sep 15, 2008, 10:25 AM
Battery life on Apple's pocket devices is pretty good as it is and I don't think the CPU uses a significant amount of power compared to the display, headphones amp and wireless interfaces. So future battery life will depend more on better batteries I guess.

If the chip count in the phone is reduced, it is very likely that power consumption would be, too.

retroneo
Sep 15, 2008, 10:28 AM
ARM Cortex A9 + Imagination PowerVR SGX....

MrCrowbar
Sep 15, 2008, 10:32 AM
If the chip count in the phone is reduced, it is very likely that power consumption would be, too.

True, I overlooked that. And things will probably get even smaller. But I think the new nanos are about as small as you want a device with a display to be.
I don't mind having a rather large iPhone in my pocket. Since it replaced two devices (phone and iPod) in a way those walkman phones can't (Sony Ericsson's implementation of a music player is just wrong...), it's all good. I like how thing the new Touch is though...

Firefly2002
Sep 15, 2008, 10:35 AM
Lies. Apple should use G4s ~~

kk1ro
Sep 15, 2008, 10:38 AM
What does this mean for people who are going to buy an iPhone 3G?
I'm from Portugal and here we have Vodafone and Optimus that sell the iPhone without a fixed plan (no monthly charges) for 510€ ($725) and I'm seriously thinking about buying one!
I was already worried about the whole battery replacement issue but now that we have Apple developing chips in-house (and probably releasing them on the new and more powerful iPhone and that will most definitely see the light of day a year from now), I'm starting to think that waiting is the best option...
I will use my iPhone mainly for its phone and iPod capabilities as well as a mobile gaming device, so buying a $725 phone that will be obsolete in one of those functions (referring specifically to gaming, as better hardware will probably mean better games that aren't compatible with today's iPhones) within a year is not something I'm looking forward to...

daneoni
Sep 15, 2008, 10:38 AM
Do people really think Apple/Carrier will let you upgrade for free again...you do realize the original phone wasn't subsidized?. Then again it may be possible although i doubt it. The iPhone is gonna be like the iPod you buy a new one every year

The Tall One
Sep 15, 2008, 10:46 AM
Great. Cheaper iPhones, by January you think? Me want.

macsamillion
Sep 15, 2008, 10:52 AM
Is it possible that Apple is wandering toward a G6 processor of their own devise? It seems there would be advantages using all three types of chipsets, ARM, Intel and PowerPC; not to mention the potential that miniaturization will have on homogenizing their product line—as in a universally networked AirBook. That would be sooo cool.

ztigerpaw
Sep 15, 2008, 10:53 AM
Hope it decreases application crashes and maybe they'll add more memory. Like they did with the Intel Macs. I'd fork over a couple to get that upgrade. ;)

slapppy
Sep 15, 2008, 10:56 AM
I think Apple is wasting money on this. They should be working on building a network so that iPod Touch users can have WiFi everywhere. Watch it really take off if you can buy an iPod Touch and have WiFi available everywhere. Like Satellite WiFi if there is such a thing. You just pay a monthly fee like 10 or 20 bucks a month.

quandmeme
Sep 15, 2008, 11:02 AM
Just connecting the dots on previous info, I have no independent knowledge but the outfit they acquired doesn't have its own fab plant right? They've always designed and then moved their production to whomever has the right production facility. I like the agility, but outsourcing is still good for rumor mongers.

ChrisA
Sep 15, 2008, 11:05 AM
.... so buying a $725 phone that will be obsolete in one of those functions (referring specifically to gaming, as better hardware will probably mean better games that aren't compatible with today's iPhones) within a year is not something I'm looking forward to...

If the above is true today, then it will be true in five years. No matter when you buy there will always be a better one avail later. You will have to wait forever.

The good thing about waiting forever is that you save a lot of money but then you have no phone, no computer, no camera and no car. But lots of cash.

MikeDTyke
Sep 15, 2008, 11:09 AM
I think Apple is wasting money on this. They should be working on building a network so that iPod Touch users can have WiFi everywhere. Watch it really take off if you can buy an iPod Touch and have WiFi available everywhere. Like Satellite WiFi if there is such a thing. You just pay a monthly fee like 10 or 20 bucks a month.

Why on earth would able spend the billions to build such a thing, and only in the US or do you mean like the whole planet.

Wimax is the technology you are looking for, wifi like speeds with cellular range. Unfortunately it's been slow to develop and deploy. Is now competing with a forthcoming 4G GSM standard and no carrier seems to be prepared to spend the big bucks to deploy it as they've already been fleeced alive in purchasing 3G spectrum.

Realistically Apple at some point might release an iPod touch or tablet that supports UMTS and partner with the cell companies for a data only solution. But don't expect that to happen this year. This year they want you buying iPhone.

M.

kk1ro
Sep 15, 2008, 11:15 AM
If the above is true today, then it will be true in five years. No matter when you buy there will always be a better one avail later. You will have to wait forever.

The good thing about waiting forever is that you save a lot of money but then you have no phone, no computer, no camera and no car. But lots of cash.

xD
You're absolutely right!
But it's really hard to fork out a lot of money for something that I'm almost 100% sure will be replaced for something better within a year (if it were 3 years I wouldn't be worried)!
I find it hard to believe that Apple would introduce a new iPhone with better hardware that can play better games, thus alienating anyone that bought the 3G one! And that thought is making me want to buy it!
I hope they just add a little more stuff to the next one, making it almost similar to the current one or, if they want to completely revamp the insides of the phone, wait a couple of years!

MikeDTyke
Sep 15, 2008, 11:22 AM
What PA Semi and the architectural licence gives Apple in the short to medium term is a way to integrate discrete components and reduce chip count.

I know that's been said already but i needed to repeat it so my next sentence made sense.

Currently although the SoC used in the iPhone is capable of driving a touchscreen, camera, lcd display etc. Each function is not best of breed, hence why apple have a dedicated processor to handle the multi-touch panel, a separate AV chip to do image capture & yet another to playback MP3/AAC audio.

What they can do now is either build best of breed into or licence the design of the best solution and integrate it themselves.

There will be significant power savings, certainly ~50% of processor usage and perhaps 30% overall reduction. This is not only due to the reduced chip headcount, but also due to PA Semi's experience in power management being applied in sync with Apple's power requirements. As opposed to how a 3rd party views how power management should be handled.

As Apple will have to pay for this chip in bulk, there will be little to no cost savings.

The integration will allow much smaller circuit boards which should allow greater flash capacities in the same form factor/smaller form factors and greater reliability in production.

It is unlikely that the cellular stack and modem will be part of this integration process as Apple is unlikely to rebuild this themselves (cost/licencing prohibitive). So if you are expecting your 3G signal to be more reliable, that'll still be in the hands of a 3rd party.

M.

Diode
Sep 15, 2008, 11:23 AM
Steve is great at stealing ideas and reducing processor counts. It's how he did so well at Atari you know :-)

JG271
Sep 15, 2008, 11:24 AM
Good news. Cheaper for apple and maybe even cheaper for consumers... if apple feel generous!
I thought this would be the reason they took over PA semi.

Apple Ink
Sep 15, 2008, 11:24 AM
I think Apple is wasting money on this. They should be working on building a network so that iPod Touch users can have WiFi everywhere. Watch it really take off if you can buy an iPod Touch and have WiFi available everywhere. Like Satellite WiFi if there is such a thing. You just pay a monthly fee like 10 or 20 bucks a month.

So where does the iPhone figure in this?
Besides any satellite equipment is too expensive and power consuming to be included in a $230 iPod! Also, the satellite services are too darn expensive at the moment... for eg: an iridium call is aound $20/min! (citation required)

pomus
Sep 15, 2008, 11:28 AM
What this ultimately means is that the chips they make will be exclusive to Apple products :cool:

Apple Ink
Sep 15, 2008, 11:48 AM
What this ultimately means is that the chips they make will be exclusive to Apple products :cool:

LOL... good one!

And we'll have SJ come on stage and tell all to stay clear "Boy have we patented it"!

thecartoonguy
Sep 15, 2008, 12:02 PM
Did Apple stop making computers? What the hell is with all iPhone news for the past months? :mad:

Hooka
Sep 15, 2008, 12:18 PM
The guy at the AT&T store said the iPhone cost :apple: $850.00 to make. I didn't believe him, those AT&T employees are so full of it. I doubt that The Iphone is going to get any cheeper.

This last round of products being exposed before Apple announced them really ticked Steve Jobs off. So keeping more thing in house makes so much sense.

Does anyone know what the equivalent to the "P1,P2,P3, etc..." chipset the iphone is? Just wondering.

kornyboy
Sep 15, 2008, 12:20 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)





I really hope this means cost savings transferred to the consumer. It would be nice to see the next iPhone with twice the power for half the price with no contract.



I fail to see what Apple working on their own version of an ARM processor has to do with a contract.



And good luck waiting for half the price. Apple is a for profit company. They didn't buy PA Semi to lower prices.

Basically, I was saying that if they are making the phone for cheaper, they may pass some of the savings on to the consumer. In other words the cost of a phone without a contract would be less. I wasn't saying that it has anything to do with a contract. Also, yes Apple is a for profit corporation but it is not as simple as that since their profit margin would be higher if they can make it for less and sold it at the same price. If they make it for less they can keep their current margin on each phone sold (or slightly higher) and still make more profit than if they left the price the same with a larger margin. Essentially they could sell more units at the current profit margin and by extension make more money than with fewer units sold and a larger margin. Every "for profit" company plans profit margins on everything they sell and I am in no way inferring that Apple is not going to profit from this but I wouldn't be surprised if Apple did lower the price to sell more phones.

137489
Sep 15, 2008, 01:43 PM
I for one am a little sick of all the iphone news. iphone needs some improvement to be a real PDA/smart phone before I could adopt it - although it is close (copy/cut and paste; being able to view PDF's and having iwork and CP notebook).

I agree mac news has been slim. I love my macbook, over the past 5 months it has been the best computer I have had in a long time -which is why I replaced my aging HP with a mini for my wife and she has been extremely happy.

I read an article a few months ago (unfortunately I cannot find it anymore- wonder if it was a leak and it got pulled, or it got pulled as being total hogwash [I always read everything with a grain of salt]), where it states that this would lead to more secrecy and the possibility of dumping intel, now that most applications are universal binary (the whole point of universal binary was to be able to support multiple platforms). I have mixed feelings about that...

1. AMD was the best (at one time), then they slipped, then they came back, then slipped again - not sure I would trust AMD; which is why most PC makers use Intel. I had an HP running an AMD and never had much complaints (hardware wise).

3. I love my mac and since most of my personal applications are now native mac apps, I could really care less (unless price is effected negatively) and would hopes the 3rd party app software companies can support the platforms.

I know it would make some people happy to have a PowerPC mac again. I say "do what you gotta", just keep or improve stability, make it easy for the software writers to adapt, and lower the prices a bit.

Number 3 is the gotcha...

3. there are a few specialized applications I use for my job that only run on Windows. If I can't run windows, then that means I would have to buy a PC just for those apps. I cannot afford both, and I am not sure a cheap $500 or less laptop would have the power to run them (ie multiple windows/linux virtual machines running at once, MS-SQL server [MSSQL is a CPU and memory hog]).... I cannot see my self having 2 laptops that cost over $1000 each. Heck, I cannot see myself having 2 laptops period. :rolleyes:

My wishes - a happy medium that supports what we have now (windows and os X on mac), better support of USB in parallels and VMware (so I can run my livescribe pulse smart pen - still waiting on the mac version).

Now on another note.... I confused what to get as my next mac in a few years. If they come out with a reasonable priced tablet - I would buy now as I come to need that functionality. If they do not and we keep waiting, my next macbook will probably be a macbook pro and really juice the CPU and RAM so I can run all my VPC's under windows (not sure if I could; but I would really like to run windows in parallels/VM and have that instance run all my other VPC's (my job has us running multiple Windows based VPC's [each does something different] - although my wish would probably put too much of a drain on CPU/RAM and may have to resort to bootcamp). :confused:

137489
Sep 15, 2008, 01:55 PM
"......like the previous five victims, was found folded neatly in the glove box."

i am just wondering, how is he going to fit? i thought the trend was toward slimmer products?

LOL - while pictures do not tell the true story, it appears ARN is a big boy....

I just love how someone can run on with a typo

wizard
Sep 15, 2008, 02:04 PM
Can you say anti-aliasing in cover flow and games?
Seriously, I can't imagine anythingmore than that without Apple discriminating against early iPhone and iPod users.

Apple will do what ever is required to keep the initiative in the cell phone market. They really can't afford to be complacent.

New games wouldn't run on old phones. Or maybe the new one would only have better textures, nicer effects etc. but there would be a version for both the old and new hardware.

So what is different about this compared to software development on the PC. Old hardware always gets out moded by new faster hardware. It is not an issue of discrimination but rather one of technology moving forward.

In any event I don't think it will be as bad as you are implying, if developers make use of the Open GL libraries then the only impact hardware will have is in performance. You do expect things to get faster in the future don't you?


Battery life on Apple's pocket devices is pretty good as it is and I don't think the CPU uses a significant amount of power compared to the display, headphones amp and wireless interfaces.

I have to disagree with all of the above. Battery life sucks. Even with the new update to iPhone battery life could use some improvement. As to the processor how much that impacts performance is entirely up to the application at hand. This should be pretty obvious as different apps put different loads on the CPU.

So future battery life will depend more on better batteries I guess.

Well there is a lot of interesting research going on with respect to batteries. How soon such tech is ready for adoption by companies like Apple is unclear at the moment. What is clear is that custom SoC allow Apple to tailor that SoC to the very specific circumstance of the device it is going in. That means the objective could be very low power, or performance. Effectively you don't know what you will get unless you know the specific trade offs made by the engineering team.

I'm actually excited about the prospects here. Even with all of its software issues I've been very pleased with my iPhone. A device like this can always use more performance any way you measure it, so my hope is that they increase that performance in every way. That is faster, cooler, lower power and more features. If Apple can deliver an iPhone next year that runs a processor that is at least twice as fast and has double the RAM available to it that little handheld package will be very impressive indeed. Notably with the latest Cortex processor they may be able to achieve that without the need to double the clock rate. The other thing that wouldn't surprise me is a dual core approach.

Now admittedly the iPhone has a number of ARM cores in it already but by dual core I mean application processors. The only trouble here is that many competitive platforms went dual core so that one processor was always handling the Radios, so in effect still one Applications processor. That is not what I want to see from Apple, the need to innovate by putting true SMP performance in the hand.

Dave

jackfrost123
Sep 15, 2008, 02:06 PM
Hey apple how abou that ultra portable, air or other, turning back to arm (or p.a. semi's power pc) and away from the ****** heat and core shutdown infested intel cpus. YOU CAN DO IT...!!!:apple:

wizard
Sep 15, 2008, 02:28 PM
I for one am a little sick of all the iphone news. iphone needs some improvement to be a real PDA/smart phone before I could adopt it - although it is close (copy/cut and paste; being able to view PDF's and having iwork and CP notebook).

I wouldn't dismiss IPhone completely based on those issues. I've just moved to iPhone and frankly would love to have the features you mentioned above. The thing is iPhone is still extremely useful even without.


I agree mac news has been slim. I love my macbook, over the past 5 months it has been the best computer I have had in a long time -which is why I replaced my aging HP with a mini for my wife and she has been extremely happy.

I purchased a MBP in the spring and frankly feel the same way. It was a very good investment and iPhone works well with it. Frankly I suspect that the MAC team is a bit relieved that they don't have a lot of attention focused on them right now. It should make for better product development and hopefully more robust hardware. IPhone 3G has shown that rushing out products to meet a deadline is often a train wreck waiting to happen.


I read an article a few months ago (unfortunately I cannot find it anymore- wonder if it was a leak and it got pulled, or it got pulled as being total hogwash [I always read everything with a grain of salt]), where it states that this would lead to more secrecy and the possibility of dumping intel, now that most applications are universal binary (the whole point of universal binary was to be able to support multiple platforms). I have mixed feelings about that...

I give that zero credibility at least if you look at it from the standpoint of X86_64.


1. AMD was the best (at one time), then they slipped, then they came back, then slipped again - not sure I would trust AMD; which is why most PC makers use Intel. I had an HP running an AMD and never had much complaints (hardware wise).

The user environment on AMD is the same as Intel. Apple could offer both with no problem. In the case of AMD they may actually have better value for certain platforms.


3. I love my mac and since most of my personal applications are now native mac apps, I could really care less (unless price is effected negatively) and would hopes the 3rd party app software companies can support the platforms.

I use free or low cost apps when it makes sense. Third party commercial apps are another issue and if you are selective should not be a problem. A well managed company should have no problem supporting Mac software. That is as long as they can stay in business.


I know it would make some people happy to have a PowerPC mac again. I say "do what you gotta", just keep or improve stability, make it easy for the software writers to adapt, and lower the prices a bit.

The reality is that PPC is so far behind the performance curve right now that I don't think anybody would really want that for a general purpose platform. Frankly PPC was behind the curve when the G5 came out. Only questionable marketing lead people to believe they had something hot.


Number 3 is the gotcha...

3. there are a few specialized applications I use for my job that only run on Windows. If I can't run windows, then that means I would have to buy a PC just for those apps. I cannot afford both, and I am not sure a cheap $500 or less laptop would have the power to run them (ie multiple windows/linux virtual machines running at once, MS-SQL server [MSSQL is a CPU and memory hog]).... I cannot see my self having 2 laptops that cost over $1000 each. Heck, I cannot see myself having 2 laptops period. :rolleyes:

You seem distracted by something that is not going to happen, that is a move away from X86. Just put that out of your mind.

As to having two laptops that is easy just don't sell the old ones when you buy new. Even though it sat in a closet for years it took me forever to get rid of my Mac Plus, same with the Vic20 and a 486 laptop I had. Sure they weren't good for much but I had a lot of computers at one time.


My wishes - a happy medium that supports what we have now (windows and os X on mac), better support of USB in parallels and VMware (so I can run my livescribe pulse smart pen - still waiting on the mac version).

Now on another note.... I confused what to get as my next mac in a few years. If they come out with a reasonable priced tablet - I would buy now as I come to need that functionality. If they do not and we keep waiting, my next macbook will probably be a macbook pro and really juice the CPU and RAM so I can run all my VPC's under windows (not sure if I could; but I would really like to run windows in parallels/VM and have that instance run all my other VPC's (my job has us running multiple Windows based VPC's [each does something different] - although my wish would probably put too much of a drain on CPU/RAM and may have to resort to bootcamp). :confused:

I've been running Linux in VirtualBox which seems to work well. As to the next Mac your best bet is to put off any sort of purchase for as long as possible. Then one day it will become instantly obvious to you what the best machine is.


Dave

wizard
Sep 15, 2008, 02:51 PM
What PA Semi and the architectural licence gives Apple in the short to medium term is a way to integrate discrete components and reduce chip count.

I know that's been said already but i needed to repeat it so my next sentence made sense.

Currently although the SoC used in the iPhone is capable of driving a touchscreen, camera, lcd display etc. Each function is not best of breed, hence why apple have a dedicated processor to handle the multi-touch panel, a separate AV chip to do image capture & yet another to playback MP3/AAC audio.

I'm not sure if I'd say they aren't best of the breed but rather they are what was available at the time. You rightfully point out the extra chips in the old Touch but my question is where did they go to in the second generation Touch. I'm beginning to wonder if we are already seeing some PA designed chips in Apple hardware.


What they can do now is either build best of breed into or licence the design of the best solution and integrate it themselves.

Yep yielding a much smaller processor board. If they are smart at least some of what gets built in will be their own IP.


There will be significant power savings, certainly ~50% of processor usage and perhaps 30% overall reduction. This is not only due to the reduced chip headcount, but also due to PA Semi's experience in power management being applied in sync with Apple's power requirements. As opposed to how a 3rd party views how power management should be handled.

Related to chip count is the power used when going off chip which is very significant. Also they may move to different process technology to lower power. In an event power reduction could be very significant when all the advantages are added up.


As Apple will have to pay for this chip in bulk, there will be little to no cost savings.

I beg to differ here there is a very good possibility that the chip itself will be cheaper. Further the overall board that the chip goes on should be a lot cheaper.


The integration will allow much smaller circuit boards which should allow greater flash capacities in the same form factor/smaller form factors and greater reliability in production.

Yeah that was what I was expecting with Touch second gen. Obviously we didn't get that! The reality is that higher integration gives Apple a lot of options and sometimes they choose the wrong ones. For the life of me I don't know why they dropped the extra flash position from the Touch. I was actually hoping that three flash positions could be had with higher integrations, instead we get one.

I guess even Apple can make mistakes (cough) but in this case it borders on stupidity as everybody and their brother was looking for a higher capacity Touch. Higher integration may mean that Apple gets what it wants but that doesn't mean the rest of us are going to get what we want.


It is unlikely that the cellular stack and modem will be part of this integration process as Apple is unlikely to rebuild this themselves (cost/licencing prohibitive). So if you are expecting your 3G signal to be more reliable, that'll still be in the hands of a 3rd party.

M.

Parts of that stack will certainly remain with third parties as does a lot of parts in IPhone. The problem I have here is that you are making an assumption that the issues on 3G are hardware related which frankly I doubt very much.

The trick for Apple is to find the right mix of hardware and software to partition between their IP and the vendors IP. Not an easy task but with everybody going to software defined radios Apple might be able to throw more processor power at signal handling then would be possible in a dedicated chip. As in al things electronic software provides a lot of flexibility you cant get from hardware.

Dave

fabianjj
Sep 15, 2008, 02:53 PM
In Sweden Telia is the only provider that sells iPhone and it can be bought for 4420 SEK (although with a contract, but that contract costs the same wether you buy a phone or not so that's all they charge you for the actual phone)

4420 SEK translates directly into 654.09 USD, but considering VAT and other factors comparing prices with other products a 4420 SEK swedish price would translate to an about 470 USD american price.

So (I forgot to use the quoting feature and I'm lazy) someone said some AT&T (am i mistaken?) employee claimed it cost 850$ to produce, you're probably right about him lying.

Oh, and by the way, why the hell does apple keep insisting the price is 199$ and 299$ that BS, The Initial fee for the phone is 199 but the price is way higher

chrmjenkins
Sep 15, 2008, 03:34 PM
Can you say anti-aliasing in cover flow and games?
Seriously, I can't imagine anythingmore than that without Apple discriminating against early iPhone and iPod users. New games wouldn't run on old phones. Or maybe the new one would only have better textures, nicer effects etc. but there would be a version for both the old and new hardware.

Battery life on Apple's pocket devices is pretty good as it is and I don't think the CPU uses a significant amount of power compared to the display, headphones amp and wireless interfaces. So future battery life will depend more on better batteries I guess.

Anti-aliasing would be a waste of resources. The DPI on the screen is so high that the benefits of the technique would be wasted.

ARM Cortex A9 + Imagination PowerVR SGX....

Not unless you don't want to see it until almost 2010. Maybe a Cortex A8, though. Something similar to TI's OMAP 3530 isn't far-fetched.

tobyw7
Sep 15, 2008, 03:35 PM
Did Apple stop making computers? What the hell is with all iPhone news for the past months? :mad:

If you hadn't noticed the iPhone is now also a major part of Apple's line. That's why they changed their name, to show that they're not just a manufacturer of Computers but a more general electronics company too.

Also, thought I'd point out that the Linkedin profile Link doesn't come up with what it's supposed to.

Eso
Sep 15, 2008, 03:52 PM
xD
You're absolutely right!
But it's really hard to fork out a lot of money for something that I'm almost 100% sure will be replaced for something better within a year (if it were 3 years I wouldn't be worried)!
I find it hard to believe that Apple would introduce a new iPhone with better hardware that can play better games, thus alienating anyone that bought the 3G one! And that thought is making me want to buy it!
I hope they just add a little more stuff to the next one, making it almost similar to the current one or, if they want to completely revamp the insides of the phone, wait a couple of years!

You forget that apple still is the minority in the celluar and smart phone market. Better and better iPhones won't alienate any new customers, and those "stuck" with 3G's still have a pretty cool device. If newer models are that much more improved than a lot of 3G owners will upgrade, just like a few million people forked out full price for the original phone (and some even paid ETFs to switch to AT&T).

So no, Apple is not concerned in the least with releasing a new phone next year that has much better hardware than the 3G.

firewood
Sep 15, 2008, 04:31 PM
Did Apple stop making computers? What the hell is with all iPhone news for the past months? :mad:

Apple didn't stop making computers. An iPhone is a computer that's about 100X more powerful than a Mac Plus and a lot of other computers made by Apple.

jackfrost123
Sep 15, 2008, 05:01 PM
If you hadn't noticed the iPhone is now also a major part of Apple's line. That's why they changed their name, to show that they're not just a manufacturer of Computers but a more general electronics company too.

Also, thought I'd point out that the Linkedin profile Link doesn't come up with what it's supposed to.

Yes but undenyably computers are and will always be their backbone. The 50/50 pos. neg. votes here in terms of iphones and ipods and the 70-3 ones for macs goes a long way to show that. Apple is STILL a computers company that has branched out to A FEW other electronic devices still very closely related to computers, if not mini computers themselves such as the iphone. So it's not like apple all of a sudden became sony or jvc or nec or whatever...

137489
Sep 15, 2008, 05:58 PM
I wouldn't dismiss IPhone completely based on those issues. I've just moved to iPhone and frankly would love to have the features you mentioned above. The thing is iPhone is still extremely useful even without.

I purchased a MBP in the spring and frankly feel the same way. It was a very good investment and iPhone works well with it. Frankly I suspect that the MAC team is a bit relieved that they don't have a lot of attention focused on them right now. It should make for better product development and hopefully more robust hardware. IPhone 3G has shown that rushing out products to meet a deadline is often a train wreck waiting to happen.

I give that zero credibility at least if you look at it from the standpoint of X86_64.

The user environment on AMD is the same as Intel. Apple could offer both with no problem. In the case of AMD they may actually have better value for certain platforms.

I use free or low cost apps when it makes sense. Third party commercial apps are another issue and if you are selective should not be a problem. A well managed company should have no problem supporting Mac software. That is as long as they can stay in business.

The reality is that PPC is so far behind the performance curve right now that I don't think anybody would really want that for a general purpose platform. Frankly PPC was behind the curve when the G5 came out. Only questionable marketing lead people to believe they had something hot.

You seem distracted by something that is not going to happen, that is a move away from X86. Just put that out of your mind.

As to having two laptops that is easy just don't sell the old ones when you buy new. Even though it sat in a closet for years it took me forever to get rid of my Mac Plus, same with the Vic20 and a 486 laptop I had. Sure they weren't good for much but I had a lot of computers at one time.


I've been running Linux in VirtualBox which seems to work well. As to the next Mac your best bet is to put off any sort of purchase for as long as possible. Then one day it will become instantly obvious to you what the best machine is.


Dave


I agree with you on most points except 1, and that is keeping the old laptop. my problem is I only buy new when the old one breaks or becomes really too old to support anything I run on it. My macbook purchase was more of a hobby type of purchase. Now that i use it alot, it is indespensible.

mdriftmeyer
Sep 15, 2008, 06:29 PM
Just connecting the dots on previous info, I have no independent knowledge but the outfit they acquired doesn't have its own fab plant right? They've always designed and then moved their production to whomever has the right production facility. I like the agility, but outsourcing is still good for rumor mongers.

They've got plenty of cash to buy AMD's fabrication plants.

cyberakuma
Sep 15, 2008, 07:13 PM
What they can do now is either build best of breed into or licence the design of the best solution and integrate it themselves.

There will be significant power savings, certainly ~50% of processor usage and perhaps 30% overall reduction. This is not only due to the reduced chip headcount, but also due to PA Semi's experience in power management being applied in sync with Apple's power requirements. As opposed to how a 3rd party views how power management should be handled.

The space savings not only would be useful for cramming more flash memory in, but more battery. I estimate next year's model will have one new nice feature and double the battery life. I also bet they will use the same chip in both the ipod touch and iphone. I also am fairly certain they will continue to only increase memory as its available to Apple for an equivalent price (otherwise, they would be selling a $500 phone under contract)

cyberakuma
Sep 15, 2008, 07:16 PM
I for one am a little sick of all the iphone news. iphone needs some improvement to be a real PDA/smart phone before I could adopt it - although it is close (copy/cut and paste; being able to view PDF's and having iwork and CP notebook).

you could view PDF on the original phone release; you can read iwork files as well. Copy and paste will be nice, but luckily I haven't needed it.

happydude
Sep 15, 2008, 07:57 PM
you could view PDF on the original phone release; you can read iwork files as well. Copy and paste will be nice, but luckily I haven't needed it.

yeah, but having a lite version of iwork and copy and paste will mean the world to winning over business customers. exchange support went half way, apple needs finish down the homestretch.

gnasher729
Sep 15, 2008, 08:16 PM
They've got plenty of cash to buy AMD's fabrication plants.

But that would be rather pointless. All that Apple needs is low tens of millions of tiny ARM chips for its iPhones; that doesn't require a fab. If Apple wants to build chips, they can just give TSMC a call and get any amount of chips they want in 45 nm technology. Costs maybe a million dollars to get production running instead of a few billion for a modern fabrication plant.

Mastidon
Sep 15, 2008, 11:57 PM
His profile is now gone. My guess is somebody got upset with him announcing his job title and made him delete it....

MattInOz
Sep 16, 2008, 12:10 AM
If apple had a single chip/processor that could drive a multi-touch trackpad, 480x320 screen, connections to usb and wireless (wifi/bluetooth/cell) networks or the chips required, not to mention data storage flash or HD. And all the things that Apple might look to stream line in a iPod Touch SoC.

We also know in Mac side processors are moving towards CPU's and GPU's with there own memory controlers and direct interface to the PCI base, so all the devices just need to also hang off that bus.

I wonder if Apple might design future Macbooks (generation after the one we are waiting for now) to include these iPod SoC as a sort of pseudo southbridge base allow an always connected super low footprint system, that could play music, collect push messages, or run any touch apps without the need to run the whole system.

Would sure make that Intel prototype with e-ink screen on the outside.

jameskatt
Sep 16, 2008, 01:04 AM
Think about this:

If Apple adds custom ARM Processor to the Mac, then they can run some Mac OS X code through the ARM Processor, rather than the Intel Processor.

This would completely prevent Mac Clones.

Mac OS X would become dependent on custom ARM coprocessors coupled with Intel Processors. These would not be present on generic Intel boards - of course.

The ARM coprocessors could do anything - including doing video decryption, etc. Off-loading work from the Intel Processors and GPUs.

But Clones would become nearly impossible since the Cloners would have to have the same processors.

SPUY767
Sep 16, 2008, 06:49 AM
wow, i think this is great. i can only see good things for Apple from this

This should work out much better than Apple's last foray into processor manufacturing as they don't have to worry about someone deciding that it wasn't worth it and slacking off. I just hope that Intel doesn't get pissed off, though it's doubful that Intel would forsake the exposure that Apple's machines give them.

Hattig
Sep 16, 2008, 08:26 AM
If PA are making an ARM CPU (as it seems they are), then it will probably be a single CPU that can be used for all of Apple's next generation iPod/iPhone devices. Just look at what goes into such a SoC these days!

- ARM CPU Core
- (Second ARM CPU Core for high-end devices using MPCore, can be disabled in the iPod nano)
- GPU (PowerVR SGX from Imagination)
- DSP (Audio and Video decode, Imagination have a suitable product)
- Wireless a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.1 with Low Power Support
- Multitouch Driver
- Flash controller
- Memory controller
- Audio subsystem
- USB
- all that other SoC stuff like UARTs, JTAG, LPC buses

Bubba Satori
Sep 16, 2008, 08:31 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

I really hope this means cost savings transferred to the consumer. It would be nice to see the next iPhone with twice the power for half the price with no contract.


No, it would mean higher margins for Apple. Apple never passes cost savings on to customers. Even on computers with 2 year old video cards, Apple doesn't cut prices.

Bubba Satori
Sep 16, 2008, 08:34 AM
Think about this:

If Apple adds custom ARM Processor to the Mac, then they can run some Mac OS X code through the ARM Processor, rather than the Intel Processor.

This would completely prevent Mac Clones.

Mac OS X would become dependent on custom ARM coprocessors coupled with Intel Processors. These would not be present on generic Intel boards - of course.

The ARM coprocessors could do anything - including doing video decryption, etc. Off-loading work from the Intel Processors and GPUs.

But Clones would become nearly impossible since the Cloners would have to have the same processors.


That would be absurd and extremely expensive. Apple can never have Intel's economies of scale.

Hattig
Sep 16, 2008, 11:17 AM
That would be absurd and extremely expensive. Apple can never have Intel's economies of scale.

Well if Apple gave their chip (or one of their chips, who knows what their plans are) a PCIe interface, then it would be relatively simple to add one to the system as a slave device for offloading certain tasks, or running even when the computer is otherwise asleep. This has been done before (last year I think) but the idea of external displays on laptops hasn't taken off.

Scales of economy might be a valid issue if you were talking about going from 1000 units to 100000 units, but we're talking about going from 50000000 units to 55000000 units.

Just in case you think that I think that Apple is going to do this, I must be clear that I don't think Apple would want to sully their machines with auxiliary low-power music/email notification screens, nor is there much point to offloading music playing when standard CPUs are so powerful anyway.

MattInOz
Sep 16, 2008, 06:12 PM
who said it needs a second screen?
They only need a way to isolated part of the main screen.
At the Resolution of the current MacBook it's would use 5" of the screen.
Sure Apple aren't going to be happy with that and would find away to get to work full screen.

The big advantage would be battery life when just playing music, using email, or safari. An iPod touch gets 6 hours of video out of a ~4WattHour Battery so a MacBook with it's 55WattHour battery could get maybe 60hours running in this basic mode. Sure it full power mode your only going to get the same as current.