Tag Archives: GPUs/Graphics Cards

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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October 20th Apple Event preview

Steve Jobs will once again take to the stage tomorrow, Wednesday October 20th at the “Town Hall” on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California to unveil a new round of products and technology previews with his infamous headline-grabbing presentation style. What will be announced? Grapevine consensus appears to have a firm grasp of the big picture, but as to the details….

With a few notable exceptions (the small number of people working on certain projects within Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion,” internal code name ‘Barolo,’ force us to sit on details of those projects until after the Event when even if those projects aren’t mentioned during the Event, they will be known to a wider group within Infinite Loop and leaks can no longer be tied so easily to our sources), what we’ve been told by some of our oldest and most reliable contacts in Cupertino comports very closely with the grapevine’s consensus of what to expect tomorrow:

*Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” as hinted by Apple’s logo for the Event:

Apple's Back to the Mac October 20th Apple Event logo

….Lion is a collection of long-standing projects, many of them held back from the Leopard and Snow Leopard development cycles because they were too ambitious and too out of sync with Apple’s priorities at the time to make the cut for those releases. Read more

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WWDC 2010 Preview

Today, Apple will present several new products to its third party developer community…and through the tremendous press scrunity — not to mention what Steve Jobs recently called (an undesirable) “nation of bloggers” (ahem) — by extension the larger world of its users, enthusiasts and curious potential ‘switchers.’

Some of them will be software, some will be hardware, but most if not all will likely manage to attract their own little cyclonic orbits of controversy.

Here are some of the grapevine’s expectations; stay with us over the week ahead for post-event analysis and fresh dirt on what’s next from Infinite Loop. 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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Roadmap 2010: Mac Pro

Although supplies of some components Apple wants to use in the 2010 Mac Pro may cause further delays that cannot yet be precisely anticipated even by senior executives at Infinite Loop itself, a considerable leap forward for Cupertino’s high-end workstation is widely anticipated in the next few weeks.

As is typical among seasoned rumor-mongers, we are hesitant to try to predict in anything but general terms when to expect this update; Apple has extremely high standards for predictable supplies of components (brought about by snafus like the major delay in availability of PowerPC G4 processors when they were first introduced), and is quite willing to push back its own planned announcement dates if there is the slightest question of availability or quality-control problems. 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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Latest Mac OS X 10.6.3 beta suggests release imminent

A new test build of Mac OS X 10.6.3 has been seeded to developers, with known issues listed as “none.” This typically means that the build is a final test seed and barring major surprises, can be expected to be released in a matter of days. Read more

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What’s next for iPhone & other iDevices?

There are many new features and pieces of core hardware that we expect to see in future iDevices — some of which (iPod Touch S) could be announced in a matter of weeks, others (iTablet, higher screen resolutions, 802.11N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, etc) which we think may reach the market early next year and the truly next-generation stuff (4G cellular network chips, dual core ARM Cortex 9 processors, even more powerful GPUs, 5-megapixel camera with 1080P HD video and so on) that almost certainly won’t be announced until mid-2010.

And that’s just a short list.

But even Apple itself doesn’t necessarily know for certain whether suppliers will hit road-map targets for the components/chipsets that will bring these capabilities to the iDevice platform….nor whether the internally-developed technologies being engineered at Infinite Loop will hit their own. Read more

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WWDC Preview Part 3: iPod Touch, Other iDevices, One More Thing?

As Rumors has previously reported, we expect an entirely new family of iDevices to be shipping by the end of the summer — and although expectations for an announcement of new 2009 iPhones are running high today, the actual shipping date of those new phones is most likely at least a few (3-4?) weeks in the future.

We also believe that at least one other group of iDevices, most probably and expanded/upgraded iPod Touch lineup, will be announced today….with at least some models paralleling the feature set of the high-end 2009 iPhone, including:

*One proposed marketing name for the new iDevices was “iPhone/iPod Touch X2,” denoting the “twice as fast, twice as much, twice the features” advancements over 2007/2008 models….

*Faster CPU (~600MHz ARM Cortex A8/similar, or perhaps a slight upgrade to the existing 412MHz ARM11 in the 500-600MHz range) competitive with the Palm Pre’s 620MHz Cortex A8 chip….and faster GPU (PowerVR multi-core, 5X+ performance gain over today’s iDevices) which supports Anti-Aliasing/Anisotropic Filtering, greatly improving visual quality at the same display resolution.

Read more
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Mac OS X 10.5.7 release imminent

With the latest series of seeds — no less than three in the past week, culminating in yesterday’s distribution of build 9J50, and with one more possible prior to release — numerous indications have been given that the approximately 450-megabyte update package (or ~780MB “Combo Update”) will be hitting Software Update within the next week or so….possibly as soon as Friday.

Next Monday (4/20) has been mentioned as a possible release date by two separate sources familiar with Mac OS X & “iPhone OS” development at Infinite Loop, but according to these sources — who are generally quite reliable — the timing is now entirely dependent on how long it takes to quash current bugs as well as what if any new ones are submitted by developers in the interim. Read more

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Next-gen iDevice picture coming together

Already, the grapevine has sussed out a tremendous number of details about the four (planned, if not necessarily all shipped at the same time this summer) new iDevices:

*A huge order of NAND Flash memory storage chips, the same (but of higher density & performance — even lower power draw, in most cases) used in current iDevices for data storage, has been placed by Apple with several suppliers including Samsung. That in and of itself isn’t news….Apple has become a key buyer of these chips. What’s news is that the order is so incredibly massive that it will strain the market and might even make it challenging for the entire market for this class of Flash memory to become “constrained.” It could even have a significant effect on the market pricing of these chips going forward. Read more

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Apple updates iMac, Mini today with nVIDIA chipsets instead of Intel

In a move that surprised even some of our sources and was in several key ways quite (but not entirely) contrary to our published projections as to the iMac’s specs, Apple announced new iMacs and Mac Minis today.

Although we are quite confident that Core i7 (“Nehalem” and “Gainestown” for desktop and Xeon products respectively) will indeed make its way into the Mac platform over the rest of the year, clearly the issues we’ve previously reported with Intel’s chipsets and the outstanding issues with some of the prototypes we’ve had the chance to examine (bugs, largely — though supply and timing were also reportedly issues; we had some internal debates over whether March 24th was really a remotely realistic announcement date, no less ship date) convinced the company’s decision makers to go with a Core 2 Duo based lineup using basically identical processors to previous models….merely adding more powerful memory, graphics, and nVIDIA chipsets. Read more

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iMac and possibly Mini to be updated at March 24th Apple Event

The grapevine has been set on fire this weekend by a breaking rumor, strongly suggesting from multiple quarters/sources that the much awaited “Nehalem” Core i7 iMac, and perhaps also a revamped Mac Mini, will be announced at an Apple Event on the 24th of this month.

Although there is less certainty about whether or not the Mini, despite being quite long in the tooth, will be updated at the event….a consensus is rapidly forming across the entire Grapevine to the effect that this event is confirmed (though not yet officially announced; that will most likely take place later this week or early in the next) and that the new iMacs as we have envisioned them here on Rumors will indeed be introduced there. Read more

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Mac OS X 10.5.7 enters beta; broadly seeded to devs

As Rumors has recently reported, the development of Mac OS X 10.5.7 has been proceeding at a slow but steady pace…and in the past few days, has crossed over into “beta” status with a new build that has been seeded to the full developer community.

Seeded to devs in a full distribution Apple Developer Connection (ADC) release earlier this week, Mac OS X 10.5.7 build 9J22 weighs in at a hefty 400MB (770MB for “Combo” version) and continues to grow in size at a blistering pace — particularly given the relatively small number of builds that have been made of 10.5.7 to date (a mere 22, apparently).

As usual, the OS X Server variant of the 10.5.7 package will be significantly larger and is expected to end up close to a full gigabyte in its Combo version. Read more

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Will my GPU be fully supported by Snow Leopard’s OpenCL?

According to reliable sources, if you own an Intel Mac other than the Mini or an original Macbook — either of which shipped with Intel’s GMA950 integrated GPU — then you are already good to go for support of the full range of OpenCL acceleration features.

If you have a Mac with the Intel GMA950, then you will get most of the benefits of OpenCL though the performance level of those functions will be significantly lessened due to the lack of dedicated graphics RAM and absence of support for many programmable GPU features that exist in other chips/cards going back to the ATi X1000 series.

To get that full support, GPUs as “old” as the ATi X1600, X1800 and X1900 (the latter of which was available for PowerMac G5s with PCI Express slots, based on the PowerPC 970MP dual-core processor while the former shipped in early Intel iMacs and its X1600M cousins in Macbook Pros) will do the job….but certain nVIDIA cards from the GeForce 7000 series, which shipped in iMacs and PowerMacs during the G5 era, most likely will not. Read more

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