Dual Core A15?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by tpavur, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. tpavur macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Got a friend at apple that is pretty high up in the food chain and has been hit or miss in the past, he's telling me word he is hearing go round is DC A15 for the new iPad w/1GB RAM. Is this possable? I'm trying to do some research and see if the price of these units would even make sence for Apple.

    I'm not BSing so please don't flame, I'm thinking the same thing you guys are.
  2. The Great Boony macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2010
  3. tpavur thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
  4. VforVelveta macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    I don't have any info to confirm or deny, but my own opinion is it's a strong possibility.

    I think it's a possibility for a few reasons. First, RIM has been talking up the fact that the Playbook has a dual-core proc in it, so the technology has seemingly matured enough that it's feasible to put it in a consumer product, plus it would knock one more talking point off RIM's list. Second, the current A4 in the iPad is just a custom Cortex A8, who's successor is the Cortex A9, a chip that can be multi-core. So I think that's the direction Apple would go anyway. (Maybe A15 means tri-core, basically 3 A5s, but I'm stretching a bit on that one :) )

    If they did go this route, my guess is the iPhone and iPod touch would follow suit in 2011, and to really take advantage of multi-core chips maybe iOS 5 will introduce Grand Central Dispatch for iOS. Just some random thoughts, but ones I think are at least reasonable.
  5. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    What effect would multi core have on battery life?
  6. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Doubt it will be a A15, a Dual Core A9 is very possible, Most Chip manufacture are already testing it, (TI, ST, Atmel), I can see PA Semi (Apple) being on the right time frame for a Dual A9, a A15 would need a lot more testing and development time specially for an embedded system like the iPad.
  7. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Minimal for average use. A multi-core CPU wouldn't really be utilized by most software but, if it can be done and keep the prices the same, apple will likely do it. Battery technologies are also improving. Most of the time little of that CPU would actually be used, however more graphically intensive games and things like that WOULD drain your battery quicker on a dual core chip, but not much.

    I'm quite positive that Apple, if including a more-power-consuming processor, would compensate for larger batteries if the engineers deemed it necessary. They would stick with their 10 hour battery life, or go longer.

    My only concern with these dual core CPU's is heat. I don't think apple would ever put a heatsink and fan on the iPad, doing so would negate a major function of the iPad in terms of portability. As processors get faster, they get hotter. For example, I remember when I built a PC (a long time ago, haha) with an Intel 286SX CPU, it has in big letters "Heat Sink Required" because it was the first intel chip to require a heat sink. It was very small and had no fan, however. Now, the i7's and AMD Phenom chips have big heat sinks with copper heat pipes and powerful fans, just to run at stock speeds. Technology has a come a long way, though, considering that 286SX was 33MHz and we run A4 processors at 1GHz(ish) without the need for a fan, just a small heat spreader. I just don't know if the technology is there to do the same with two cores.

    They will definitely have to beef up the GPU to handle a higher res display, however. They may or may not increase the resolution, but if they do I don't think the A4 will cut it.
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    I was under the impression heat is less when using more cores because the voltages and clock speeds can be lower while still maintaining the same, if not better, performance.
  9. wikoogle, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

    wikoogle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    A Dual A9 is the next iPad is quite possible (the current Apple uses a modified single A8). The Tegra 2 is based on the Dual A9 set up. So is the even better, Marvell Tri-Core 628. Both options use very little power and are extremely fast.

    The Cortex a15 however isn't likely to show up in products until 2011 at the earliest, so maybe in the iPad 3.
  10. Xeperu, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010

    Xeperu macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2010
    Apple is all about marketing semi-technobabble to the masses while keeping product cost down these days.

    "iPad with "revolutionary" Apple (tm) DUAL CORE A5"

    sounds the same as

    "iPad with "revolutionary" Apple (tm) DUAL CORE A5"

    Where the first one can be an A9 and the second one an A15. Out of 1 million prospect users maybe 10K will actually care about the true tech specs.

    Not all of us are nerds. If a dual core A9 (or even a single core Cortex A8) is enough for the user experience Apple envisions, then that is what they'll use. Apple walked away from bleeding edge hardware some time ago and went to true and tested concepts that provide the experience they want their users to have.

    Frankly, while I'm pretty much a specs geek and am always looking at "the next thing" and am eagerly waiting the arrival of the iPad 2 I've learned in the past years that sticker specs are becoming more and more irrelevant on mobile devices. It's all about user experience. To give an example. Currently the most bleeding edge phone on the market in Europe is the HTC Desire HD. Running with the most ram, the second fastest GPU and the fasted mobile (bar Tegra 2) CPU found in any phone right now, the user experience is that of being run over by a lag train. I was messing around with my 3Gs the other day next to an Desire HD and my old 3Gs was much snappier in the menus.

    Apple knows this and will manage to bring a great experience with just the right hardware.

    A15 no, A9 dual core, maybe, A8 single core, likely. (with more ram in any case). Perhaps baked on a die with a faster GPU.

    >Written by a Windows fanboy on a Lenovo Thinkpad.
  11. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Most of iOS (OS X) has been heavily optimized for multicore for many years (and continues to be). So they should be able to get immediate benefits from a multicore CPU with very little special work being done. Of course they could further optimize to chip-specific things (ARM instructions and architecture), but right out of the gate you should see big improvements, especially now with multitasking apps (and system resources). In fact, it may actually be a better experience for them to down-clock a multicore CPU to save battery. Look at the 11" MacBook Air, for example. It's an old Core2Duo CPU running at a very slow 1.4 GHz (slow for a laptop, anyway), yet it's still pretty snappy and responsive. At last year's WWDC (developer conference), Apple was emphasizing very heavily the use of "blocks" in iOS programming, which essentially are small chunks of code and data that can easily spread work around to multiple cores (there's benefits in a single core system too, but multicore is where the real benefits are). So it is definitely coming.
  12. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Yes IF voltages are lowered and clock speeds are lowered. A core i7 is not two under-clocked Core 2 Duo's, so the clock speed difference isn't because it's been slowed. It's running full-steam, so it produces more heat than a C2D. If it were under clocked however, yeah it could probably produce the same performance as a C2D with less heat. Now that you mention it, it sounds very apple to underclock that dual core chip to slightly-above A4 performance, to keep heat the same. (Regardless, the dual GPU's will make a notable improvement in games and things, plus the ability to increase the resolution of the screen. It would still be a win-win.)

  13. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    Cortex A15 uses 32nm process --- only the $1000 i7 chips use this 32nm process. So, no A15.

    Considering that Apple's silicon partner Samsung --- has just been rumored to be using Nvidia Tegra 2 for their Galaxy Tab 2 --- it means that Samsung's own dual core A9 chip is not ready. And if Samsung is not ready, then Apple is probably not ready with their dual core A9 chip.

    Apple can go the RIM route --- get the dual core A9 OMAP4430 (which powers the Playbook). It's shipping, but not in big quantities yet.
  14. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    No. The i5 that I bought 10 months ago for about $170 new is a 32nm CPU core with a 45nm GPU die co-packaged. Cost isn't the issue with going 32nm, various fabs have already invested in the technology. I suspect it's just too soon after ARM released the A15 design for it to be appearing in an Apple custom SoC in 2011 so it will probably be A9 based.

    ARM have announced a 32nm shrink for the A9 (http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/arm-announces-32nm-cortex-a9-processor-optimizations.php) and it is for the Samsung process so my prediction is a 32nm A9 based system; I'm unsure whether it will be single or dual core though.

    - Julian

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