Tag Archives: GPU

Apple’s A5 will continue to power iDevices into 2012-2013, exist alongside A6

Apple’s next generation of mobile iDevices will be powered principally by A5-class System-on-a-Chip (SoC) hardware, according to Rumors’ sources. The A6 will indeed be introduced next year, as has been long rumored, but may be exclusive to the family of next-generation AppleTV devices at first.

According to sources, the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5 and iPad 3 will all be powered by a series of chips that, regardless of how they will be marketed by Apple, will be essentially unchanged from the A5 except for clock speed differences and a possible switch of suppliers (thusly, also possibly a switch in manufacturing processes but with little functional effect). Unless the iPad is split into two or more tiers as has been considered for the entire iOS device family more than once in the past and is expected to happen with the AppleTV’s next generation, the A6 is expected to be exclusive in its initial production run to the new AppleTV family. Read more

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Apple buys second ARM chip design firm, Intrinsity

Readers who have their ears to the grapevine will remember the excitement over Apple’s acquisition two years ago of PA Semi, which led directly to the production of its first in-house ARM CPU, the 1GHz A4 which is at the heart of every iPad.

Now, indications are that Apple has made a second acquisition to bolster its in-house ARM SoC development efforts: Intrinsity, formerly a close partner of major ARM manufacturer Samsung. What does this mean for the future of Apple’s iDevice hardware?

Among many other specialties in ARM SoC design, Intrinsity is well known for its engineering talents in the area of power efficiency optimization. Particularly for ultra-compact iDevices, power efficiency doesn’t just mean long battery life….it means that faster, more powerful ARM chips with higher clock speeds can be packed into the same package. Read more

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Roadmap 2010: Macbook Pro

UPDATE 4/3/10 2:30PM Eastern: Added mention of IPS display panels to specs page.

For about 3 months now, Intel’s new “Arrandale” mobile Core i3/i5/i7 processors have been on the market — offered by many of the major PC makers in their latest laptops — but have not yet been integrated into Apple’s products. These CPUs are part of Intel’s “Nehalem” family, a major generational leap from previous Core 2 technology. Nehalem-class chips have been at the heart of the Mac Pro and quad-core iMacs for some time, and offer numerous advantages.

Arrandale, though only a two-core design versus the quads in current Core i5/i7 desktops, is ahead of those desktop chips in a few areas. Notably, it is one of Intel’s first Nehalem chips built on a 32-nanometer manufacturing process; each step in shrinking silicon chip manufacturing processes brings about greater energy efficiency, better price/performance, and allows more transistors to be packed onto a smaller chip footprint. Read more

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Major updates to Mac Pro and Macbook/Air/Pro lineups imminent

As Rumors has previously reported, a new generation of 32-nanometer Intel chips (Arrandale for mobile, Gulftown/Westmere-EP on the desktop) are ready for Apple to build several new Macs around. Several factors have kept Apple from being the first to adopt these chips, but sources now report that the time for their announcement is approaching.

Some widely published reports about the 2010 Mac Pro were based on information deliberately falsified by a single source, but other than the specific date given, much of the information that has been reported is essentially accurate: a new lineup of Mac Pros with a high-end 12-core (dual sockets, 6 physical/12 logical cores per chip) model have been under development in Cupertino for some time and are now close to being ready to ship. Read more

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Impressive Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” build 10A335 seeded

Despite being a mere 21 builds apart from the previous seed, 10A314, released earlier this month….the latest Snow Leopard seed (simultaneously released in both Standard and Server versions) has definitely taken a big step forward in many areas.

Several elements of the full internal Mac OS X 10.6 code tree, such as the “Marble” interface revamp and overhauled Finder as well as the entire PowerPC version of the operating system, continue to be withheld from the developer builds — but even absent those more visible features, Snow Leopard is truly beginning to shine and show full potential with the advent of 10A335.

Performance is a notable area of big improvement since build 314 was released at the beginning of April; already stunningly fast, sources confirm that 335 removes a significant amount of debug code which always bogs down developmental versions of OS X as compared to their final-release counterparts. Read more

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