Why 8 CPU cores in smartphones are a bad idea – an auto industry lesson by Patrick Moorhead, Forbes – TL;DR? Putting 8 cores in a mobile chip is like having 5 blades on a razor. You can also read the rebuttal from Gary Sims (he also makes a few good points).
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- Patrick is a big Apple fan, there is no doubt about that... However to give Apple its due respect, the processors in the iPhone and the iPad are certainly high performance, however since they are just black boxes we have no idea what is happening on the inside. Apple could be using all kinds of tricks and techniques, however we will never know.
Whereas the processors from Samsung, MediaTek and Qualcomm are very much open books, which means we are able to praise or criticize them as much as we want. And people like Patrick can say he thinks the industry is heading in the wrong direction. However, the irony is that we can't do that with Apple as we don't have any details.May 16, 2015
- your article explained it perfectly.
As for Apples processors my understanding is Apple hand ARM a list of requirements then ARM put together some of their reference designs and tweak them slightly to meet the requirements, then (last I heard) Samsung manufacture the chips. Basically all the hard work is done by ARM but they are under an NDA not to say this publicly. How do I know this? Let's just say I live near Cambridge and leave it at that.
With reference to performance the Apple chips are good but not that amazing in the scheme of things, the real gains are because iOS only has to support a limited number of chipsets so its been heavily optimised.May 16, 2015
- http://www.androidauthority.com/arm-cortex-a-72-interview-604568/) and I haven't heard that.That is an interesting view of the relationship between ARM and Apple. I have met with lots of the ARM engineers over the years (for example see my interview with the Chief Architect of the Cortex-A72:
Apple holds an ARM architecture license, which allows it to design ARM compatible processors using its own in-house team, much like Qualcomm does. Under the terms of that license all Apple processors must pass a conformity test to ensure they are 100% compatible with ARM's architecture. Of course ARM and Apple's relationship is very special since Apple was one of the original investors in ARM (see my story: http://www.androidauthority.com/arms-rise-small-acorn-world-leader-376606/)
However Apple hasn't always used its own CPU designs. The Apple A4 chip in the original iPad used a standard ARM Cortex-A8 CPU core. The A5 used a dual-core Cortex-A9. And then the Apple A6, which went into the iPhone 5, used Apple's first custom core.
If you know differently then I would be very interested to speak with you privately.May 16, 2015
- Unfortunately I don't have any hard information as my knowledge is based on what's been let slip during chats with the help of alcoholic lubricant. It certainly seemed to me that the requirements were being "dictated" by Apple and the ARM team were working to meet those requirements. Looking at the earlier chips they almost definitely took that path, would you agree?
I guess the question is does it still stand true with the A6? Often with these questions the reality lies somewhere in the middle and whilst Apple would like people to think its entirely their own work, to me a joint endeavour between Apples in house design team and the ARM team seems much more likely. Certainly from what I've heard I have a very hard time believing Apple are using anything other than modified ARM reference designs. It seems unlikely a company which is heavily biased towards marketing and legal action would suddenly acquire the resources to design a CPU. But who knows ;)May 16, 2015
- http://www.forbes.com/2008/04/23/apple-buys-pasemi-tech-ebiz-cz_eb_0422apple.htmlApple bought a microprocessor design company in 2008:
"The 150-person chip company, P.A. Semi, was founded in 2003 by Dan Dobberpuhl, who was a lead designer for the well-regarded Alpha and StrongARM microprocessors developed by Digital Equipment in the 1990s."May 16, 2015
- Ahhh good point that could change things. Sounds like my info may be dated then.May 16, 2015
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