Exynos 4 Quad - what does it bode for Apples A6 soc?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MacAttacka, May 4, 2012.

  1. MacAttacka macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    The Samsung galaxy 3 has just been launched with the mega Exynos 4 Quad soc. The Exynos 4 Quad is built on Samsung's 32nm HKMG process and consists of 4 ARM Cortex A9s running at up to 1.4 GHz. Supposedly even with 4 cores it uses 20% less power than the Exynos 4 Dual (4210).

    I speculate the Apple A6 soc will be build around similar technology and will debut on the iPhone 5. We may see lower clocks and gpu performance on that device compared to the iPad 4 which will likely use the quad core CPU and gpu at higher clocks. As Samsung are Apples primary chip partners I see the Exynos 4 quad as being the forebearer of the iPad 4s A6 processor

  2. mzjin macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    Not going to happen. The iPhone 5 will use the A5x, perhaps clocked at 1ghz and with 1GB RAM. Phones have no need for quad core processing speeds, most Apps are written for single core and are designed to perform well for a broad range of devices.

    The iPhone 5 will already sport a bigger screen, LTE, new design, and IOS 6 is likely. It doesn't need anymore to make people flock to it.

    The iPad 4 will use the A6 and have quad core for sure, but that's next year.
  3. nickn macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Apple most certainly could, and should, use either a quad A9 or dual A15, but they wont. They need something to sell on the next iPhone, so they cant make any model perfect, as there would be no reason to upgrade. As for the guy who says a faster CPU is not needed, are you saying you don't want the device to be faster? The reason app developers haven't put in the time to mutithread their apps is because the are few devices to take advantage of it. The other point I would like to make, is what about longevity? Right now a dual core A8 might be fine for your uses, but what about in a few years? Stuff keeps getting more advanced every week it seems, while using more and more power.
  4. MacAttacka thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    Do you realise the A5X SOC processor uses more power than the entire iPhone 4S? That includes the screen and everything? The A5X has been designed for the iPad retina. There is nothing in the A5x that makes it remotely suitable for the iPhone 5.

    I think we could see soc tech lead on the iPhones and get a speed and gpu bump on the iPad.


    I think it's too early for A15 as much as I'd like to see it. A9 is still a big deal. If Samsung are sticking to A9 for their flagship so might Apple. The key seller for the iPhone is likely to be a brand spankng new form factor. No one will care less whether it has an A9 or A15 under the hood. iPad A6 still has room to shrink and crank up the clocks. A15 will probably be pioneered by Texas instruments this year, possibly nvidia too but it will be a shoddy second rate iteration. By the time apple and samsung roll it out in 2013 with the galaxy s4 and iphone 6 it will really be something to behold.
  5. Redjericho macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2011
    Apple should just skip the 4 core and go to 16 cores, who's with me?
  6. MacAttacka thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    Give me one good reason why. iDevices struggle to make good use of two devices and you want to throw 4 into the mix? These cores aren't free you know. They cost precious silicon and money and at the expense of other systems such as the gpu and memory. Think before you speak:mad:
  7. robbie12345 macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2011
    United States
    with the a5x taking the same as an iPhone, that is true the resin for this is that the processor is basically an a5 with a 20% higher clock but then with double gnu and the gnu is being pressed at all times,

    the new iPhone will most likely be like the phone 1 to 3g apple will put out another terrible upgrade where they will say they improved the camera, which they will not, they will give it 4g let which is over a year overdue, and they will give it a new design which should've been done last year, I'm not falling for it though, apple you aren't getting my money this time.
  8. TheSuperSteve macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2011
    Puerto Rico
    He was trolling. Calm down.:rolleyes:
  9. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Slightly off topic, but I wonder when manufacturing processes will be measured in picometres, and even femtometres...if quanta that small are even a physical possibility?
  10. mzjin macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    Um, the iPHone 5 is practically GUARANTEED to have the A5X. Of course, it will not be the exact same A5X as in the iPad 3, but like all iterations of Apple's devices, the iPhones always use a lower powered and lower clocked version of the iPad's SoC.

    And YES, it will likely even remain quad core SGX 543MP4 with 2 cores disabled or all cores running at much lower speeds.

    And yes, the iPhone 5 WILL have LTE.

    And yes, the iPhone 5 will almost certainly have a MUCH bigger batter to accommodate LTE and a faster A5X.

    iPhone 5S (or similar), we'll be looking at a cut-down version of what's in the iPad 4, at that point next year where there will indeed likely be Apple A6 running a Quad Core CPU.
  11. nuckinfutz, May 5, 2012
    Last edited: May 5, 2012

    nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Ideal solution

    A6 - Quad Core A9 with some custom design.

    A6x - Cortex A15 debuts in new iPad 2013 (if we're all still alive after Dec 21st)

    In truth it may make the most sense to call the next processor A6 and the A15 based product A7 since the cores are so vastly different architecturally.
  12. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    The A5X doesn't make much sense to me in an iPhone. The whole point of that chip was to give it a massively overpowered GPU to deal with the huge screen res on the iPad 3. The iPhone has nothing like that screen to deal with, so it doesn't need that much power.

    It doesn't need quad core really either. Not yet, at least. I'm not saying quad core CPU + GPU wouldn't be great (as a dev that likes to push these parts nice and hard it would be fantastic), but realistically I don't see either as high priority.

    What I'd like to see is this: A smaller, cheaper part. 32nm manufacturing, otherwise pretty similar to the A5. Clocked higher, so there's a noticeable speed increase, but nothing amazing. 1GB would be nice, but it's not necessary at all so maybe leave that out.

    So why am I suggesting such a minor upgrade? Because it would use a LOT less power. The new enyxos is using less power than the dual core part it replaced despite having quad core - imagine what it would be like with dual core CPU + dual core GPU. Now think what that means for battery life. Then imagine that you just want the battery life to be better, but not amazing - you can throw out a big piece of battery.

    Now there's a big empty hole in the phone. What's the hole for? Nothing! Get rid of it, and you have an amazing iPhone upgrade: Thinner, faster, lighter, better battery life. It would be cheaper too, which could mean upgrades elsewhere in the phone without raising the cost (more flash perhaps? Slightly bigger screen?) or it could mean a cheaper phone to buy... or it could be just more cash in apple's pocket. We're probably talking <$10 anyway.
  13. mzjin macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    Next iPhone is NOT going to be lighter, it will be larger, perhaps marginal thinner.

    The GPU for the iPhone 4 was also fine, but they put the iPad 2's GPU in the iPhone 4S. They will do the same for the iPhone 5.

    No, the iPhone 5 will not need to drive 2048-by-1536, BUT, to stay at a Retina level, it looks like a 1024x768 with a 4" screen and a 4:3 ratio (same as the iPad 2), which stays Retina, or possibly 1280x720 which would need more driving power.

    Either way, for improved graphics performance and the expected bump in resolution, the A5X does the job with lowered clocks, and it's going to be what goes in the iPhone 5.

    That's the way Apple will do it, just like they have historically done it for years.

    The fast Quad Core GPU in an iPhone 5 is arguable essential for marking its dominance in mobile gaming and games that can utilize its powerful 3D graphics capability.
  14. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Outside of apple, nobody knows. It could be bigger and heavier or it could be smaller and lighter. We'll find out in a few months.

    Yep, I'm not saying they should stick at current levels forever. But remember what they've done in the past: some years it's barely changed, the next year gave a big update. iPhone 2g->3g? No change. 3g->3gs? Big speed increase, new GPU. 3gs->4? Big speed increase, same GPU. 4->4S? Move to dual core, new GPU. 4S->5?

    It just doesn't make sense to put the A5X GPU in the iPhone, at least at this point. Even at 32nm, it would likely eat up battery power too fast and get too hot. In an iPad with lots of aluminium to soak up the heat and a massive battery that's OK, in a very thin phone with a small battery it isn't. I can't see this changing before the iPhone 6 (or 5S).

    Also, note that what I suggested (a clock speed increase) would still give a decent speed up.

    4:3 on a phone? AND a bigger screen? That would make it seriously weird. It'd be like a mini-ipad! 16:9 makes more sense for a phone that 4:3. But why change the aspect ratio? All existing apps would have to be re-written to work properly with it. You'd get a black border all the way round current apps - it would be horrible.

    The only way I can see a screen size /aspect change is if they make it just a little bigger (they said 'retina' is 300ppi on a phone, and the current screen is 326 - so they can stretch it a little without changing res, and it's still retina). Some rumours said they would go to 3.7", and the phone size would barely change because the side bezels would be thinner. This would work very well.

    The other way is to go wider (maybe 16:9), but keep the current width. This way current apps will run normally, but there will be an empty space at one end of the screen (which could be used for notifications or something, without interrupting the app).

    If they do that, I'm pretty sure it will have worse battery life than the current model. And it might be bigger. Most apps won't see any speed increase (because it's still a dual core A9, probably at the exact same speed to keep the power use down). A (very few) games will have better graphics.

    That doesn't sound like a good upgrade to me at all ;)

    No they haven't. They've given good performance upgrades when it was practical, without compromising something else too much. Other times they've given us a minor speed bump but with other benefits (like the iPhone 4 - much better screen + battery life, but the A4 wasn't a massive improvement and the GPU was the same as the 3GS!)

    Again, no it isn't. Want to know what they should do to dominate mobile gaming? Ensure a massive number of devices have pretty much the same CPU + GPU power. This way us developers can optimise heavily for it, and push the platform to do amazing things. Look at the consoles - the platform is fixed, and developers can push it right to the limit. Games on a console look many times better than they do on a PC with equivalent hardware, this is why. You don't have lots of different configs to support, just one - and you learn it inside out, find every last trick to squeeze more performance from it.

    If we have to support the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 with an A5X, we have to make 3 different versions of the game to support 3 platforms with very different levels of CPU + GPU power. In practice, we make it for the iPhone 4 and add a few fancy features for the rest (if you're lucky!). You're playing iPhone 4 games on your iPhone 5. Games built for hardware 2 generations old. This isn't how you dominate mobile games ;)

    If you look at the iPhone + iPad in the last few years there's a pattern: The iPhone 4s has roughly 80% of the pixels the iPad 2 has. The iPhone 4s is 80% of the speed of the iPad 2. For graphics, they're actually equally powerful.

    The iPad 3 keeps the same CPU, but doubles the GPU power. I suspect quadrupling it wasn't possible, but actually you don't need 4x the power to draw 4x the pixels when the screen size is the same. 2x is pushing it, but it's more or less enough.
  15. mzjin, May 5, 2012
    Last edited: May 5, 2012

    mzjin macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    It won't have worse battery life, it will be around the same. LTE + A5X means the iPhone 4S will just mean it will get a humongous battery in it. Similar to the way the iPad 3 gained slightly in thickness and heft, but remained same size overall.

    The iPhone 5 is going to be a HUGE upgrade.

    Bigger Screen - Yes please
    LTE - This is the best part
    Twice the RAM
    Faster GPU, maybe increase in CPU clock speeds
    NFC is a possibility
    True world phone? Much like a Verizon iPad.
  16. MacAttacka thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    I do like this idea. The A9 could still go quad offering double the performance of the A5x on the new die shrink Apple have. Quad Gpu quad CPU however this only just matches the vita and of course it has to power the retina.

    The more I read of the A15 the more delayed it seems. iOS isnt particularly suited to multithreaded apps. I can see a quad A9 being a viable option if Apple allows more multitasking. For example, allowing YouTube to buffer in the background while I'm playing music and reading a book. If iPhoto, iMovie GarageBand, games like infinity blade, real racing started multithreading it could work.

    The best way to second guess apples designs is to look at how useful theyd be in actual applications. Apple won't build a quad A9 or dual A15 unless they have some nifty wares to show off on it.
  17. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The A5X is 45nm. They could well make a 32nm A5X for the iPhone, and bring a 32nm A6 for the iPad.

    The iPhone could make good use of the A5X for 3D games, graphics is not just about fill rate.

    The thing is that now they have the SIII competition, and dual-core would look weak.
  18. MacAttacka thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    No the A5x won't be in the iPhone 5. The It's just the same A5 processor with quad gpu for the retina screen. Why would the iPhone need a quad gpu? It could do with quad CPU and dual gpu making it the A6 processor and the iPad 4 would have the A6x - quad CPU quad gpu with higher clocks.

    Tegra 3 was also a quad A9 part but what a load of junk that was. Exynos4 quad looks like the real deal. iPhone 5 will have an enhanced version of that processor.


    I beg to differ. You say iPhone 5 will have dual CPU and quad gpu. I say quad CPU and dual gpu. If the iPhone 5 has quad gpu how on earth are apple going to match the perforce on the iPad 4 without some insane octocore gpu. It's not even a remote possibility
  19. mzjin macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    You couldn't be more wrong. You are thinking like an Android fanboy. Apple is not about your Quad Core specs, it's about user experience. Quad Core CPS are 100% useless for user experience.

    NO quad core in iPhone 5, BECAUSE A5x exists. Apple WILL use the A5X again. It's a BUSINESS decision. If the A5x was Quad Core, then you would be right, but it's not.

  20. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I also have a problem with the idea of a die shrunk A5X in a future iPhone
    The primary advantage of an A5X is the GPU that is powerful enough to run a very high resolution. The iPhone doesn't need this.
  21. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    It wouldn't need octo because the 3D load would be the same and the fill capacity would be underutilized on the iPhone.
  22. Pressure, May 6, 2012
    Last edited: May 6, 2012

    Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Because technology evolves?

    The lower-end PowerVR G6200 (aka series 6 'Rogue') is faster than the SGX543MP4 in the current iPad.
  23. MacAttacka thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    So developers have to support MP2, MP4 and rouge to meet the demands of currently produced devices? MP4 is overkill for the iPhone both in battery drain and silicon space, it's far more likely to have rouge and that's not likely before iPad 4.

    Both MP2 and MP4 have the same performance except the MP4 feeds the retina. Ok even if iPhone 5 has quad core it shouldn't be at the expense of CPU. iOS works great for single apps but I'd like to see even broader multitasking that only more cores could deliver, not just faster cores but more of them. Smaller, power efficient cores are the future.

    I'd like to see A15 and rouge debut on the iPad 4. I think if I was to bet, it's more likey the iPhone 5 would have a die shrunk A5 processor than and A5x processor
  24. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Developers program in OpenGL ES.
  25. mzjin macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
    Quad Core CPU iPhone 5 is simply not going to happen. It'll take years for developers to even utilize dual core.

    Single threaded performance is FAR more critical to application performance at this point. This is true even on the Desktop for many applications, and we've had quad cores for many years.

    Quad Core iPhone 5S, yes, that is feasible in 2013.

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