Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Sep 2013 18:25 UTC
Apple Apple's event is going on right now - and most of the new stuff already leaked weeks and months ahead of time. So, we're getting an iPhone 5S, an iPhone 5C, and iOS7 will be available later this month. I like the design of the 5C more than of the 5S; it's more playful, colourful - harking back to the coloured iMacs and PowerMac G3s. Too bad it doesn't come in red.

The fingerprint sensor in the 5S is interesting, but I wonder how accurate it will be in the real world; on top of that, with all the NSA news, I'm not particularly keen on Apple reading my fingerprint all the time. Supposedly, applications don't have access to it and it's not stored in the cloud, but I have little to no trust for companies.

The biggest news for me is the fact that the iPhone 5S has a new chip - the A7 - which has the honour of being the first 64bit chip inside a smartphone. iOS7 and first party Apple applications are all 64bit, and Xcode obviously supports it. While this obviously future-proofs the platform for more RAM, I wonder what other motives are involved here. ARM desktops and laptops, perhaps?

I doubt 64bit will provide much benefit today, but you have to hand it to Apple: at least they're done with the transition before it's even needed.

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RE[4]: Coprocessor
by tylerdurden on Thu 12th Sep 2013 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Coprocessor"
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

Why did you come to this conclusion?
If they wanted this one integrated, they would do.


Not really, if they could have done so they most definitively would have done so. Lower chip count means lower power consumption (longer running phone on same battery), lower overall manufacturing cost and higher margins. Which for a margin "obsessed" company like Apple is everything.


M7 is always ON low power core, probably made on different process node.


I don't know if Samsung does support mixed node fabrication.

Apple do not care about die sizes.


That a rather ridiculous and uniformed statement. Lower die sizes mean lower costs and larger margins. Higher integration levels lead to fewer chips required, and as such lower prices. Even if the die ends up slightly larger, the savings on packaging alone are significant. That also leads to reduced production and design costs for the motherboard. Which is the whole point of Systems On Chip (SOCs) to begin with.


Keep in mind, A7 is very big by mobile standards, A7x would be huge. They're near the size of Ivy Bridge (and with higher transistor density assuming 28nm node), except Intel selling these for $300.


The A7 and the Ivy Bridge are two very different types of processors. The Ivy Bride M-2 is actually slightly smaller 94 mm^2 vs 102 mm^2 for the A7. With far higher performance, the price is probably higher for the intel part vs the apple one, but no where near the $300 mark.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Coprocessor
by viton on Thu 12th Sep 2013 19:18 in reply to "RE[4]: Coprocessor"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Not really, if they could have done so they most definitively would have done so.
So you're insist that a company who did first commercially available 64bit ARM processor a year before anyone, could not add one more block to the SoC?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Coprocessor
by tylerdurden on Thu 12th Sep 2013 19:52 in reply to "RE[5]: Coprocessor"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

So you're insist that a company who did first commercially available 64bit ARM processor a year before anyone, could not add one more block to the SoC?


Yes, 64 bit at this point on mobile devices is irrelevant (it will be until there are a significant number of apps that can use it or require it). Level of integration on a SOC is not.

If apple could have added that block(s), they most definitively would have done so. As I already told you: higher integration, leads to lower production costs (less chips, less packaging, less components on the motherboard, lower overall power consumption) which leads to increased profit margins, which are a integral component in Apple's main strategy.

Some of you don't seem to understand the economic factors that drive the semiconductor industry. If you have the ability and capacity to integrate as much functionality as possible on a SOC design, you most definitively do that. No design team ever has gone "We could totally implement this on a single chip, but instead we will just put this functionality on an external separated chip, just for the hell of it."

Reply Parent Score: 2