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Old Apr 23, 2008, 02:44 AM   #26
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The smaller chip package used in the MacBook Air was an existing part of the roadmap, Apple just accelerated its release because, well, its Steve Jobs and Steve gets what Steve wants (or he starts cussing a storm and makes people feel really uncomfortable).

The iPhone is not just a product, its a platform. The iPhone/iPod Touch are just the first glimpses of what will be a completely new platform for Apple (Touch OS X).

It makes sense in the grand scheme of things; Apple is already producing its own custom chips outside of the CPU for the iPhone/iPod Touch (graphics acceleration *cough*).
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 02:47 AM   #27
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I think there's a few things to bear in mind here:

1) The chip Intel developed was at Apple's suggestion but it was always Intel's property and theirs to sell to who they wanted to.
2) This is a small specialist chip maker and in no way has the scale to compete with Intel in the CPU market.
3) To move away from Intel architecture would be a backward step considering it's one of the main reasons for Apple's increased market share.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:32 AM   #28
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It's a bit unclear why Apple is acquiring this company, but being able to get thier own chips in the future might have a bad side - they will have more control and can keep things closed to others. Sound pretty Appleish to me.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:33 AM   #29
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Apple obviously is placing a stake in the ground with this purchase.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:34 AM   #30
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I'm not a processor expert, so I'd like to solicit the knowledge of others here. I have a few questions/misunderstandings about all this:

1. Are P.A.'s chips still based on PowerPC architecture?
2. If so, why would Apple want to step back to that platform?
3. Is the current iPhone running on an x86 chip?
4. Wouldn't it be wise for Apple to move everything running OS X onto the same chip architecture so they don't have to keep multiple versions of OS X in development? (although, they always will...as a backup)
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:37 AM   #31
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I would put money in buying patents related to multi-touch to make it more difficult for others to adopt its use.

This is interesting, but how much better are these babies than the Intel offering?
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:38 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by shoulin333 View Post
Well it looks like all those waiting for the next revision of macs will need to wait a bit longer (about a year) before Apple leaves intel to use it's own CPU's in it's computers...

http://www.forbes.com/technology/200...0422apple.html


Also one of the best ways for apple to get rid of the nasty osX86 scene....
I thought the article read low powered chips. Hopefully this means less drain on laptop batteries, but does not mean lower performance. I seriously doubt that Apple will use these as the main CPU in its Macbook/Imac lines ups. Many software companies are still re-writing its software to make better use of Intel. this would be a major blow to those companies and cause some blow-back if they have to re-write software again. Beside since MS runs on Intel, many of us who still have to rely on MS in the business world can now run Windows in either bootcamp, VM, or (like Me) using Parallels. If it was not for that I would be stuck on a PC. But thanks to companies like VM and Parallels and with the switch to Intel, I can now own the Mac I always wanted, use it for both work and my pleasure, and dumped 1/2 of the software I had (since iLife and Mac OS X has it all built in). I think a switch off of Intel at this point would be a major mistake.

With that said - not knowing the types of chips this company makes; it could be possible that they will now integrate those low power chips along with intel CPUs on the logic board, and give us a powerful intel computer that does not suck the life out of batteries. Since about 2000, this has been the major complaint of laptops. My Toshiba I had (Pentium III 900mhz Celeron) used to get 5 hrs on the battery. Now every laptop since then only gets 1-2 hrs max.

Knowing Apple, they will get it right and continue to make everyone happy.

Last edited by 137489; Apr 23, 2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:40 AM   #33
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new rumors

I predict this will be the start of,

new powerbook G5/tablet rumors!
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:42 AM   #34
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An attempt to keep android ports off of future iPhones?

I guess Apples trying to drive the low power portable platform of the future and Intels not moving fast enough...

I certainly hope they don't target the Laptop / iMac market with this chip...
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:45 AM   #35
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It seems like a lot of you are in panic mode right now. Do you really think that after 1-2 year transition, Apple would move any part of their line back to PPC?

Seriously, think about it... the time and effort that would go into that.

Most likely, these are going to make their ways into future products... maybe iPhones, touches and regular iPods.

Relax...
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:46 AM   #36
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Not really sure what this move means but just like a lot of other apple things we will just have to sit back and wait
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:49 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by kresh View Post
I wonder if this is a result of the small package C2D used in the MacBook Air? Apple went to Intel and requested the package. Apple created an awesome product and Intel started shopping the chip around to different PC manufacturers to cut Apple's throat after Apple proved that it was worth something.
Why would Apple care who else Intel sold it to?
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:49 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by mozmac View Post
I'm not a processor expert, so I'd like to solicit the knowledge of others here. I have a few questions/misunderstandings about all this:

1. Are P.A.'s chips still based on PowerPC architecture?
2. If so, why would Apple want to step back to that platform?
3. Is the current iPhone running on an x86 chip?
4. Wouldn't it be wise for Apple to move everything running OS X onto the same chip architecture so they don't have to keep multiple versions of OS X in development? (although, they always will...as a backup)
1. Yes, most likely. Unless they have an unannounced product.
2. Because PPC is one of the best architectures out there and does tremendous business in embedded and video game apps. The intel advantage is not the x86 architecture, but the intel manufacturing capabilities.
3. No, ARM.
4. No, there are no savings. They already have to maintain separate versions of OS X on these different platforms, so it really is no trouble to have that platform also be a different architecture. As you point out, they already do it, and always will. Besides, Apple already does OS X on PowerPC, so this is not any greater complexity for them.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:53 AM   #39
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If you take a moment to actually read the PA Semi website and Forbes article you quickly learn PA Semi is a "fabless" company. So Apple could continue its relationship with Intel and cross-license elements of Intel, PowerPC and PA Semi and even internal Apple design elements into a single chip that could be fabricated in sufficient quantity by Intel, the largest, highest quality, and highest volume CISC chip maker in the world.

Considering Apple invisions selling about 40 million palmtop computers (ATN and ATNN) a year at some point in the next couple of years, that certainly seems like a critical need right now.

Also being PowerPC, it is kernel compatible with OSX right now.

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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:53 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Amdahl View Post
2. Because PPC is one of the best architectures out there and does tremendous business in embedded and video game apps. The intel advantage is not the x86 architecture, but the intel manufacturing capabilities.
All true. Nevertheless, there is virtually no chance that Apple will abandon X86 for Macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebomberman View Post
Hard to evaluate this maneuver. The idea of Apple buying a chip manufacturer isn't a clear win by any means
PA Semi is not a chip manufacturer.

Last edited by jouster; Apr 23, 2008 at 09:54 AM. Reason: tags
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:55 AM   #41
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Apple needs a way to boost battery life in the iPhone, and a way to differentiate the Macbook from the Macbook Pro. Keeping the pro lines with an x86 chip which allows them to run Windows, while using PPC to halt the use of Windows would further differentiate the two lines.

Or, it could just be Apple realizing that the EULA is unenforceable and the transition back to PPC is their way of stopping Psystar wannabes.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 09:59 AM   #42
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Apple needs a way to boost battery life in the iPhone, and a way to differentiate the Macbook from the Macbook Pro. Keeping the pro lines with an x86 chip which allows them to run Windows, while using PPC to halt the use of Windows would further differentiate the two lines.

Or, it could just be Apple realizing that the EULA is unenforceable and the transition back to PPC is their way of stopping Psystar wannabes.
PA Semi's products are low-power, but not yet close to what the iPhone needs. As for Psystar, I don't see how going to PPC would help; why would Psystar not be able to produce PPC-based clones?
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:00 AM   #43
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I'm afraid you are right

Or, it could just be Apple realizing that the EULA is unenforceable and the transition back to PPC is their way of stopping Psystar wannabes.


You hit the nail on the head!
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:01 AM   #44
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meh

intel..the #1 chipmaker in the world by far..can make better chips than P.A. Semi..a company i've never even heard of. Didn't you learn your lesson already apple by going with powerpc instead of intel to begin with..

atom>whatever these guys can come up with
The guy behind P.A. Semi is responsible for what are perhaps the two best chips ever made.

The fact that you "never heard of them" is irrelevant.

Apple has acquired some hugely relevant and high quality IP here, (as well as some of the best chip designers around) for what amounts to chump change.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:03 AM   #45
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I wonder if this is a result of the small package C2D used in the MacBook Air? Apple went to Intel and requested the package. Apple created an awesome product and Intel started shopping the chip around to different PC manufacturers to cut Apple's throat after Apple proved that it was worth something.
they did. i never heard of this, any links. just curious.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:04 AM   #46
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Network devices !

This is a product brief about P.A.'s top performance chip.

http://www.pasemi.com/downloads/PA_Semi_PA6T_1682M.pdf

This includes:
- 2 Cores, PPC 64 Bit, 2 GHz.
- two onchip ports for 10 gigabit Ethernet.
- four onchip ports for Gigabit Ehternet (so onchip support for 6 Ethernet ports)
- onchip hardware acceleration for TCP/IP
- onchip hardware support for RAID
- onchip hardware for several crypto capabilities. Including support for hardware accelerated VPN protocols.
- A lot of PCIe lanes for additional IO.
- Two onchip memory controllers (one for each core), each supporting up to 32 GB RAM at 533 (*2=1066) MHz. So 32 GB max memory.


This doesn't exactly sound like a chip for iPhone. What could they build with this? Maybe some kind of server or other networking equipment? Maybe a network attached storage with a lot of capacity, several high speed ports and hw crypto?

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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:05 AM   #47
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All true. Nevertheless, there is virtually no chance that Apple will abandon X86 for Macs.
Ya, right! No chance Apple is going to put their own CPU in their own computer, that their OS has been running on(and still does) since day zero! Whatever.

Last edited by Amdahl; Apr 23, 2008 at 10:10 AM. Reason: day zero
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:09 AM   #48
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An attempt to keep android ports off of future iPhones?

I guess Apples trying to drive the low power portable platform of the future and Intels not moving fast enough...

I certainly hope they don't target the Laptop / iMac market with this chip...
I agree with the hopes of not targetting laptop/Imac with these (unless the main CPU's are still intel). The move to Intel and being compatible with the rest of the world is what is driving sales right now, and why people are switching to Apple faster. With Intel, you get the best from Microsoft (little as it maybe, but MS still does have some nice apps), and the best from Apple and the Unix platform. If they could integrate the Intel and Semi chips, they may be able to lower the price of the mac line-ups, since they will own a good portion of the chip maker (which would really boost the market share for those who need something better than a mini but cannot afford the higher up models). Although with ownership comes overhead.

I seriously think this should and would be used in the portable hand-held/PDA market. Apple only has the iPhone, but many people still use Palm or some knock off to just do the basics (which is good enough for them and only runs $50 to $300 depending on what you buy and use it for).

Just think an affordable hand held that is Palm compatible, OSX, and MS compatible - now there is a market to tap into.

Plus, with Apple also venturing into other consumer electronics (TV, etc) - this maybe what these chips would be used for. Gives them more opportunities. Just don't mess with the Mac lineups - please Apple don't you finally got it 90% right and the world is loving you for it.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:09 AM   #49
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Or, it could just be Apple realizing that the EULA is unenforceable and the transition back to PPC is their way of stopping Psystar wannabes.


You hit the nail on the head!
It has nothing to do with Psystar or wanting to stop OSX from running on generic PC's. Moving back to PowerPC wouldn't stop osx86 anyway because Apple would still have to support Intel chips with future OS releases so there would still have to be x86 compatible versions of OS X released.

Last edited by powderblue17; Apr 23, 2008 at 10:14 AM.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 10:19 AM   #50
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Speculation

PA Semi, seems to be a leader in performance-per-watt sector.

Maybe Apple bought the company for its IP and not to create its own chips. It did help create the ARM chips and now it can license (make money) the IP from PA Semi to a a chip manufacture. (I don't know, maybe intel)
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