User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Speculation and Rumors »

Own chips again?


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Own chips again?
Page 2 of 2 Previous 1 [2]  Thread Tools
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
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.
  quote
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)
Kings Island Site, Horribly Outdated Flickr
  quote
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?

AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
P.S. We do not tolerate spammers, so save yourself the trouble.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
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.
  quote
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.

AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
P.S. We do not tolerate spammers, so save yourself the trouble.
  quote
Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2020-02-25, 02:52

So everybody was buzzing today about the ARM switch leak/projection.

This report still doesn't make sense to me. Or to be more precise, the timing doesn't make sense.

ARM chips in Macs are definitely coming, but Apple will have 5nm chips in hand this June. Obviously there needs to be lead-time for developers, but those same developers will also need a reference machine to test with. And anyone who is paying attention knows that Apple has been testing this idea for quite a while.

I think a new ARM-based Mac Mini gets unveiled at WWDC, and is pitched as a testbed for developers. If it's going to be really close to a 'one-click to recompile apps' (followed by a couple months of tweaking... ) it makes no sense to wait. This is different from the PowerPC or Intel transitions, all the major apps' codebases are relatively new. There's no need for a six-month wait to see an ARM machine.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2020-02-25, 06:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I think a new ARM-based Mac Mini gets unveiled at WWDC, and is pitched as a testbed for developers. If it's going to be really close to a 'one-click to recompile apps' (followed by a couple months of tweaking... ) it makes no sense to wait. This is different from the PowerPC or Intel transitions, all the major apps' codebases are relatively new. There's no need for a six-month wait to see an ARM machine.
Maybe.

I kind of only see ARM-based Macs on the low end for now — the MacBook Air, for example. (Maybe the reintroduction of a smaller Air.)

The Intel transition came at a time when PowerPC CPUs, particular in mobile, were significantly slower than what Intel Core had to offer, in part because Intel Core offered two cores, even on laptops (with the exception of the oddball Mac mini Core Solo), whereas on PowerPC, a multi-core setup had only been feasible on the Power Mac tower. That meant for the iMac and MacBook Pro that were first released that even at emulation, apps still felt reasonably usable.

We are unlikely to see this kind of leap again. Apple's ARM CPUs offer Apple more control, and they also seem to do a better job offering high single-core performance at low power draw than Intel has been doing. But I've seen no evidence that, at higher TDPs, Apple would far significantly better at Intel. People seem to extrapolate this, but there's simply little basis.

That means that:
  • ARM isn't — for now — very compelling for the higher-end Macs in terms of performance. It's unlikely to do much better than Comet Lake-H. It's very unlikely to do much better than Cascade Lake-W.
  • assuming there even is emulation at all: on those higher ends, where performance-critical apps matter more, and are likely not to be compiled for ARM, an ARM-based Mac would actually be a significantly worse product than its predecessor

But on the low end? Those apps matter less, and the power advantage matters more. So if ARM Macs happen at all, I'd say the first one will be a MacBook Air. As for Pro models, I'm not sure that will ever happen. It's a solution in search of a problem.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-02-25, 11:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
But on the low end? Those apps matter less, and the power advantage matters more. So if ARM Macs happen at all, I'd say the first one will be a MacBook Air. As for Pro models, I'm not sure that will ever happen. It's a solution in search of a problem.
Two things to say about this:

1) Yes, the MacBook Air is a great place to start, and so is the Mac Mini. However, neither of them is likely to be called that.

2) It is not a problem in search of a solution any more than it was for iPhone. Intel is not giving Apple what they want, and Apple is going to take matters into their own hands. Plus, Apple will develop ARM-X and Mac OS-X alongside each other and optimize performance just as they have on iPhone. This will give them a future performance advantage—and it may take ten years or more. It won't be right away, but it will happen eventually. They have the best chip design team on Earth, and I bet they already have it (Air/Mini at least) running in the labs.

AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
P.S. We do not tolerate spammers, so save yourself the trouble.
  quote
Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2020-02-25, 14:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Apple's ARM CPUs offer Apple more control, and they also seem to do a better job offering high single-core performance at low power draw than Intel has been doing. But I've seen no evidence that, at higher TDPs, Apple would far significantly better at Intel. People seem to extrapolate this, but there's simply little basis.
They would also save Apple a kazillion dollars. And this is a company that does practically anything to increase or hold on to its profit margins.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2020-02-25, 15:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Two things to say about this:

1) Yes, the MacBook Air is a great place to start, and so is the Mac Mini. However, neither of them is likely to be called that.
I don't see why not. Nothing about either product name screams Intel. They may not even want to emphasize the architecture change in marketing at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
2) It is not a problem in search of a solution any more than it was for iPhone. Intel is not giving Apple what they want, and Apple is going to take matters into their own hands. Plus, Apple will develop ARM-X and Mac OS-X alongside each other and optimize performance just as they have on iPhone.
I think you have a very different vision there. I don't think there will be an "ARM-X" any more than there was an "Intel-X". It will simply be another architecture. Some old apps won't run. Some might run in an emulator. Some new stuff might happen (honestly, probably not that much, since T2 is already a thing).

iOS was different in part because the original iPhone was so severely resource-constrained (at this point, I'm certain they regret some of its early design decisions!), and in part because they wanted a clean break. How do you market a clean break on the Mac? And why, for that matter? No amount of marketing will significantly grow the Mac ever again (that ship has sailed for any PC manufacturer), so you want to gradually modernize as they have been, not radically alter things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
This will give them a future performance advantage—and it may take ten years or more. It won't be right away, but it will happen eventually. They have the best chip design team on Earth, and I bet they already have it (Air/Mini at least) running in the labs.
Of course they have Macs running on ARM. (They might also have Macs running on RISC-V. Heck, they might move from ARM to that at some point, if only to save on licensing costs.)

But there's simply zero outside knowledge on how Apple's chips scale to the needs of a MacBook Pro, let alone a Mac Pro. And even if it does scale great, what's the point of manufacturing a CPU with such low volume as that on the Mac Pro? At best, you're angering your existing customers because you broke their stuff again. At worst, you also don't really deliver a performance advantage.

"Best chip design team on earth"? Well, these things come and go. One of the key designers of Apple Ax is now at Intel.

They've been doing terrific work. Don't jinx it by having expectations that cannot realistically be met.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-02-25, 20:52

Then again there are also rumors that Apple is testing AMD Ryzen chips, so who knows what they'll do. Of course a move from Intel to AMD for the high end system would be easy, being that they are still X86.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2020-02-26, 05:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Then again there are also rumors that Apple is testing AMD Ryzen chips, so who knows what they'll do. Of course a move from Intel to AMD for the high end system would be easy, being that they are still X86.
Yeah. They wouldn’t have to announce it at all. Maybe some tooling at WWDC for optimizations.

But then simply a 13-inch 8-core Ryzen 4000.
  quote
Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2020-03-06, 12:33

Those A-chip Macs can't get here soon enough.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-03-06, 13:13

Keep in mind that Spectre and others also affected A-series chips, so there is no guarantee that custom ARM-X will be invulnerable.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2020-03-06, 15:45

The thing about this new vulnerability is that physical access is required. That almost always in limited and mitigates most of the vulnerability. Sure if someone has access to your machine you're going to be screwed anyway. Access and time is all it takes to break any encryption.

Sure this looks bad, but where the rubber meets the road there is so little real world threat that it really is a non-issue... at least as I read the vulnerability works.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2020-03-06, 15:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Those A-chip Macs can't get here soon enough.
There have been Apple A series chips with unpatchable security flaws. It happens.
  quote
Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2020-03-13, 16:06

Anyone have thoughts on whether the current world situation will impact an A-chip-for-Mac announcement?

Apple is moving WWDC to a streaming-only format, much of which will get drowned out by Covid19 coverage.

I can't imagine this is how they would want to roll out a major architecture change.
But they might be too far down the (assembly) line to delay for a year.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-03-13, 19:15

Considering that TSMC makes the chips for Apple, the current situation very much could change things.
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 2 of 2 Previous 1 [2] 

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is iMac likely to be updated with new chips? AubreyL Apple Products 1 2007-09-21 21:26
Any use for the new Core ULV chips? Anthem Speculation and Rumors 5 2006-06-07 17:19
New Chips in New Macbooks already Mikegrenwick Speculation and Rumors 1 2006-05-03 16:23
IBM making all 3 videogame consoles chips! chaos123x Speculation and Rumors 17 2005-03-17 16:25


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:36.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2020, AppleNova