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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-07-27, 18:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Intel likely could not (because they are using their own fab processes rather than Asian fab techniques)
TSMC manufactures Intel’s cellular modems.
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PKIDelirium
Nobody bumps my lock
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Xenia, Ohio
 
2019-07-27, 20:34

I expect it's more likely that SpaceX's Starlink constellation will provide a global network via wifi than it is Apple will build a "traditional" cellular network at this point.

Early '09 Mac mini (El Capitan), iPhone 7 (iOS 12.3), iPad Air 2 (iOS 12.3), Mid '10 MacBook Unibody (High Sierra), Mid '05 14" iBook G4 (Tiger)
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-09-19, 11:45

Well, this Apple processor thing continues onward. The A13 carries on the aggressive annual upgrade cycle. And I was wondering something:

Are we counting "cores" properly? What I mean is that the core-count in the A-series chips is … off? Apple claims 6 CPU cores, and that is, of course, true. But, Is that all the "cores" there are? And is Apple thinking about "cores" the same way the rest of the industry is? I was just looking at the CPU image Apple posted during the keynote, and I think the answer is "no".

The actual cores look like this:
  • CPU - 6 cores (4 efficiency cores; 2 power cores)
  • Neural Engine - 8 cores
  • Machine Learning - 2 cores
  • GPU - 4 cores (yes, I know the GPU is "separate" except that it no longer is, even in Android land)

Technically, the A13 has 20 identifiable processor cores, each of which is serving specialized tasks. Now, I'm not trying to make argument or overstretch my knowledge, here. I'm just wondering if the concept of "cores" is changing as far as Apple's efforts are concerned. With control over the entire product, we know they are creating cores in direct support of software functionality. And Apple directly calls these areas out as cores.

What you guys think?

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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-09-19, 14:44

(Disclaimer: IANA hardware engineer)

This gets tricky fast. For example, the MacBook Air has an Ambery Lake-Y processor. It has two cores, right? Except it kind of doesn't. For one, there's the whole hyperthreading deal that gives it four "virtual" cores. But secondly, it comes with the UHD Graphics 617 GPU, which has 24 "execution units" and 192 "shading units". Let's ignore shaders for now; that still doesn't really make the 8210Y a 26-core chip. (Except it kind of does; see below.)

The way you split it in categories makes sense to me. Assuming execution units are roughly equal to "cores", that would give it:
  • 2 CPU cores
  • 24 GPU cores

If you take an algorithm that runs in a GPGPU setting like OpenCL/CUDA/Metal, you can in fact make that code run on 26 cores, in parallel.

Just, in practice, you'll rarely run into that scenario. Little code is parallelizable at all, and way less code is equally well-suited for the CPU as it is for the GPU.

So your question is interesting, but hard to answer. Safari isn't gonna use those Neural Engine cores to render the AppleNova site any time soon.

And just as adding cores has diminishing returns, pointing out the core count has diminishing usefulness when those cores are increasingly specialized.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-09-19, 15:45

Yeah, that's kinda my thinking. Apple seems well poised to continue adding very specialized "cores" as the software dictates. We know that certain apps (like the camera app) already take advantage of this specialty separation, which means developers should also have access to at least some of that tech.

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