Analysis of A8X chip shows eight core design, other unique features

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, 09:33
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, Processors

a8xchip

There may be more to Apple’s A8X processor than was originally thought.

Per 9to5Mac, further analysis of the processor by AnandTech showed that initial guesses as to the GPU specification of the Apple A8X chip, exclusively available in the iPad Air 2, were wrong. In fact, the chip uses a unique 8 cluster design. AnandTech describes the discovery as “even better than I thought”. Although the customizations are limited, this represents a big step for the company as it is now dabbling in both custom CPU and GPU engineering, even if the leap over generally-available components in this instance is small.

Effectively, Apple has engineered a way to stick two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die.

(more…)

Intel launches Broadwell Core M processor, chip could find its way into rumored 12-inch MacBook Air notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 13:30
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

intelcoremicon

Intel’s next generation of processors won’t ship until early 2015, but there’s some interesting news on the processor that could wind up in the 12-inch MacBook Pro notebook.

Per MacRumors, the company began shipping some ultra low-power Broadwell chips known as Core M a couple of months ago. These chips are designed to run at just 4.5 watts and are intended for next-generation fanless PCs and tablets, fitting perfectly with circulating rumors of a thinner, fanless 12-inch MacBook Air, potentially with a Retina display.

The first batch of Core M chips launched in early September consisted of the 5Y10/5Y10a running at a base frequency of 800 MHz with a maximum of 2 GHz turbo, along with the more powerful 5Y70 running at 1.1 GHz with a max turbo of 2.6 GHz. Intel now appears to have quietly added several new processor options to the Core M family. Internal roadmaps had targeted an early 2015 launch for these chips, but Intel’s chip database shows the new chips as having launched this quarter.

(more…)

Rumor: A8X processors allegedly feature three cores, 2GB of RAM

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 17:47
Category: Hardware, iPad, Processors, Rumor, Uncategorized

While Apple has yet to reveal the exact specifications of its A8X processor, it seems to feature some sexy tech traits. Per AppleInsider and Gizmobic, a new benchmark purports to show the horsepower of the CPU, revealing a triple-core processor with 2 gigabytes of RAM.

The purported details on the A8X chip claimed to show a new “iPad5,4″ model. Based on Apple’s IPSW files available to developers, that model would be a LTE-capable iPad Air 2.

A separate test focused on RAM speed also appears to show that the iPad Air 2 has a full 2 gigabytes of RAM. In contrast, the A8 CPU found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is a dual-core processor with 1 gigabyte of RAM.

The benchmarks published represent an out-of-date testing tool not optimized for assessing the performance of Apple’s latest hardware, which may explain why the iPad Air 2 performs poorly in some of the tests.

A8Xprocessor
(more…)

Rumor: Apple’s upcoming “iPad Pro” model could feature A8X processor, other improvements

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014, 12:39
Category: Hardware, iPad, Processors, Rumor

ipadair

The iPad Pro rumors are coming in.

And they’re pointing to some interesting stuff.

Per G for Games and MacRumors, Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet is rumored to be landing as soon as early 2015, reports suggesting that the tablet will feature an improved A8X processor. Similar to Apple’s previous A5X and A6X processors, the A8X would presumably be an graphics-enhanced version of Apple’s current A8 processor that debuted in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple’s shift away from using an “X” version of its base iOS device chip last year, opting to power the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini with the same A7 chip found in the iPhone 5s, albeit clocked slightly faster on the iPad Air. But with a higher-resolution “iPad Pro”, the graphics needs are likely high enough to require an enhanced main chip.

(more…)

A8 processor headed for iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets said to incorporate six-core design, other features

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014, 11:57
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Processors

Apple’s come a long way with its iPhone processors.

And, according to reports, the new A8 processor is more than 84 times faster than the processor found in the first-yen iPhone back in 2007.

Per a hearty investigation by AnandTech and AppleInsider, the A8 processor that will be found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets is likely equipped with Imagination’s six-core PowerVR Series6XT GX6650. The GX6650 is the only PowerVR part that could both match Apple’s claimed performance improvements and supports ARM’s Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression, which Apple developer documents say is available with its next-generation graphics processors.

Apple-A8

ASTC is a relatively new standard for texture compression that allows GPU vendors to make their chips more power efficient, while still maintaining high levels of performance. The codec can compress nearly any texture, no matter the format, and output in a wide variety of bitrates that can be varied based on performance requirements.

(more…)

Rumor: TSMC begins producing A-series processors for Apple’s iOS devices

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 10th, 2014, 10:44
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has finally begun producing Apple’s A-series processors.

Per the Wall Street Journal and AppleInsider, TSMC started production on its 20-nanometer fabrication lines in the first quarter of 2014, with shipments commencing in the second quarter. While Samsung will reportedly remain one of Apple’s top suppliers for now, the company will split orders with TSMC for the near future.

“Apple’s order is a big deal to the company. TSMC has assigned a large team to support Apple as you know this client is very picky,” a source familiar with the Apple deal told the publication.

waferfab

The current rumors have stated that TSMC had begun manufacturing so-called “A8″ chips for Apple’s next-generation iPhones and iPads surfaced in March. Those processors are though to be quad-core models, doubling the dual-core setup of the current-generation A7.

(more…)

iMac speed-bumps next week?

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 13th, 2014, 08:32
Category: Apple, Hardware, iMac, Mac, Processors, Rumor

elthinimacAccording to C|NET, a report sent out on Tuesday from French blog site MacGeneration (use Google Translate) says that the iMac lineup is getting some speed upgrades to be announced as early as next week. Expectations for the base versions of all four of the iMac models are as follows;

  • The $1,499 21.5-inch 2.9 GHz version would see its CPU speed inch up to a full 3 GHz, while its Turbo Boost feature, which automatically manages individual cores of the processor for better performance and power efficiency, would rise from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
  • The $1,299 21.5-inch 2.7 GHz would undergo no changes, according to MacGeneration.
  • The $1,799 27-inch 3.2 GHz variant would increase its processor speed to 3.3 GHz accompanied by a Turbo Speed bump from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
  • The $1,999 27-inch 3.4GHz model would rise in CPU speed to 3.5 GHz, while the Turbo Speed’s performance would grow from 3.8 GHz to 3.9 GHz.

While the information provided showed no evidence of these iMacs sporting Retina Displays, some recent rumors say that code within the early betas of OS X 10.10 Yosemite hints that a Retina Display may find its way into an iMac in the near future.

 

 

OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta hardware requirements released, remain unchanged since OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 11:02
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Processors, Software

os-x-yosemite-logo

If you’re running OS X 10.9 Mavericks, it looks like you’re going to be able to run OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Per AppleInsider, the following system requirements have been released for the first OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta:

- MacBook Pro: mid-2007 or newer

- MacBook Air: late 2008 or newer

- iMac: mid-2007 or newer

- Mac mini: early 2009 or newer

(more…)

Intel announces Core M “Broadwell” processors, could pave way to thinner MacBook Air notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, 10:24
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News, Processors

IntelLogo

Your MacBook Air could get even thinner.

Which is impressive, as the current models are seriously thin already.

Per iMore and Engadget, Intel on Monday announced a new family of Core M “Broadwell” processors, which could possibly cut down even further on power consumption via improved cooling solutions.

Presenting the new chips at Computex, Intel president Renee James showed off a 2-in-1 PC powered by the company’s new 14nm Intel Core M chip, making way into the fifth generation (Broadwell) of Intel processors. The new processors utilize less energy and improve battery life, while providing enough power for consumers to enjoy a smooth experience on supported devices. The 2-in-1 PC shown off at Computex was just 7.2mm thick (see below photo) with no fans to hear or external exhausts to see. Those kind of features would be incredibly nice to see on a MacBook Air.

(more…)

New MacBook Airs sport new processors and cheaper

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, 09:05
Category: Apple, Hardware, Intel, MacBook Air, News, Processors

macbook-air-13-inchApple’s MacBook Air models were quietly updated on Monday, with the only major changes being a slight speed-bump and a lower price. Anyone hoping for Airs with Retina Displays will have to wait a bit longer. At $100 less than the previous models, the starting price for an 11″ Macbook Air is $899 which now uses a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache, and 128 GB of flash storage. Both the 11″ and 13″ models can be configured with the faster 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache.

 

Screenshot 2014-04-29 03.21.17

 

If you’re pinching pennies, now might be a great time to grab a discount on the old models.