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Apple iPhone 5 To Flaunt New A8 Processor 197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the skip-a-few dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The release of iOS 4.3 beta for developers has revealed updates to gesture-based navigation, AirPlay and Personal Hot Spot in the next edition of iPad and iPhone. However, not all changes are UI-related; it is reported that Apple is due to add an ARM Cortex A8 processor to its iPhone 5. Apple Daily, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, reported that Apple's iPhone 5 will be powered by a dual core processor with SGX543 graphics. It is reported that Apple is in contact with a Taiwanese component maker for the A8 SoC. Currently Apple uses a custom made A4 SoC in its iPad and iPhone 4 and uses SGX535 graphics and video support."
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Apple iPhone 5 To Flaunt New A8 Processor

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  • Flaunt? New? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:51PM (#34905512) Journal
    Uh, the A8 is ARM's old smartphone core. Putting two of them in a package is a little bit clever because, unlike the A9 that everyone else's next generation products are using, the A8 isn't actually designed for multicore applications (the A9 scales to 4 cores).
  • by teh31337one (1590023) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:53PM (#34905538)
    A4 uses a Cortex A8 processor. A4 is the marketing term for their SoC, (Cortex A8 @ 1ghz(800ish mhz on iPhone 4) + PowerVR 430). The next version will probably have a Cortex A9 based chip.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:53PM (#34905556)

    Cortex A8 = single core people. Cortex A9 = dual core.

    It might be that Apple is calling their new processor A8, like the called their old processor A4. These names, though, are arbitrary and don't reflect the underlying Cortex architecture.

  • Re:N900? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Microlith (54737) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:58PM (#34905614)

    Yes, the N900.

    And the Palm Pre.

    And the Motorola DROID, Droid X, DROID 2, and DROID PRO.

    iPhone 3Gs, iPad, iPhone 4, iPods, and Apple TV.

    Pretty much every non-Qualcomm based phone currently runs on Cortex-A8 based CPUs.

  • flaunt? (Score:4, Informative)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:59PM (#34905630) Journal
    flaunt |flônt; flänt|
    verb [ trans. ]
    display (something) ostentatiously, esp. in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance : newly rich consumers eager to flaunt their prosperity. ( flaunt oneself) dress or behave in a sexually provocative way.

    Apple flaunts the UI, not the tech specs (ram, processor, bus speed, etc).
  • Re:Flaunt? New? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:00PM (#34905658)

    Uh, the A8 is ARM's old smartphone core. Putting two of them in a package is a little bit clever because, unlike the A9 that everyone else's next generation products are using, the A8 isn't actually designed for multicore applications (the A9 scales to 4 cores).

    The article was translated a bit poorly. A8 means "Apple's new name for their processor", not "Cortex A8 architecture".

  • Confused (Score:5, Informative)

    by mike260 (224212) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:01PM (#34905680)

    'A4' is Apple's name for a chip based on ARMs Cortex A8 architecture. The next chip will probably be called 'A5', and will probably be based on Cortex A9. A4/A5 and A8/A9 are two seperate nomenclatures.

    Also, to 'flaunt' means to

    display something ostentatiously, esp. in order to provoke envy or admiration

    This is not something an inanimate object like a phone can do.

  • Re:N900? (Score:5, Informative)

    by vbraga (228124) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:04PM (#34905724) Journal
  • BUY BUY BUY! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:23PM (#34905976)
    Good news again! I've totally forgotten that Steve Jobs is leaving Apple. BUY BUY BUY!
  • Re:N900? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:29PM (#34906046) Journal

    A very heavily modified A8. Qualcomm licensed the A8, but then ripped out the floating point pipeline and replaced it with something better, tweaked the rest of the pipeline in a few places and branded it Scorpion. It generally ships in their Snapdragon SoC. It's somewhere between the A8 and A9 in performance for most workloads.

    ARM provides a variety of different licenses. The cheapest just let you take their core, pop it in the middle of a chip and put other cores around out (or fab it by itself). The most expensive ones give you all of the designs and the right to modify them in any way you like. Qualcomm is one of the few companies with the latter kind.

    Most SoC makers get the cheaper ones and differentiate their products by adding different components to the ARM core. For example, the TI OMAP series comes with a TI DSP that provides a lot more performance (and a huge amount more performance-per-Watt) for a lot of media decoding tasks, nVidia's Tegra series comes with an nVidia GPU.

    Qualcomm modifies the ARM core itself, which means that it takes them longer to get to market but gives better performance. It also has the effect that they are out of phase with the rest of the market. Everyone else was shipping A8s before the Snapdragon was out, but then Snapdragon (which outperforms the A8) came out before anyone was shipping A9 cores. They will probably do something similar with the A9 and bring their tweaked version to market just as the A9 is starting to show its age.

    The other interesting company is Marvell. They have a license from ARM that allows them to modify ARM chips or produce their own independently designed ARM-compatible chips. They bought the XScale line from Intel, which is based on the StrongARM design from Digital. They make the chips in the SheevaPlug and similar systems, which are not ARM designs.

  • Re:Not A8 (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:31PM (#34906072)

    The Qualcomm Snapdragon is a (very) heavily modified A8. Qualcomm has one of the most expensive ARM licenses, which allows them to extensively modify the cores, rather than just stamp them into SoCs with other stuff.

    As does Apple and Marvell (who has the original architecture license - DEC (StrongARM) --> Compaq (acquired DEC) --> Intel (through litigation with Compaq, and produced XScale) --> Marvell (purchasing Intel's mobile division)).

    Samsung might have one too - their Cortex A8's were modified by that company Apple acquired as well, unless the A8 licensing allows minor modifications. Still, the A8 core used by Apple and Samsung aren't stock - I think the Apple one is actually a bit more modified as well.

    (Fun fact - Apple was one of the original ARM investors (back when it was Acorn RISC Machines) and pretty much made it popular with Newton...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:55PM (#34906440)

    By that time, Android v17.0 should also be out, possibly also running graphically smooth instead of jerky, laggy and stuttering.

  • Re:Flaunt? New? (Score:5, Informative)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:57PM (#34906474)
    No. A5 is Apple's new processor. The article explicitly states that they're adding an ARM Cortex A8 chip, which weirdly the iPhone 4 already has.
  • by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:27PM (#34906974)
    This is correct. Apple's new processor will be named A5 and is a multi-code Cortex A9 processer. It will reportedly have dual-core SGX543 graphics, up from the A4's single SGX535 GPU, which means that in theory you could do 1080p on the device no problems at all. They are also replacing the Infineon chipset with a Qualcomm chipset that does both CDMA/GSM/UMTS.

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