Apple at CES

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    Posted: 13 January 2012 06:11 PM

    Didn’t get to visit CES this year, but we have a number of announcements which are helpful to Apple

    Thunderbolt at CES

    Airplay at CES

    And of course we have intel announcing details on Medfield


    You may wonder about the Apple/Intel link.

    Dave Whalen, vice president of Intel?s architecture group, said that the company was ?talking to everybody? and that they had spoken to Apple among other manufacturers about the use of Intel?s ?Medfield? chips in mobile devices.

    ?When we took over [development] in April we took a conscious decision to focus on Android,? he said. ?Windows, other operating systems ? we recognize that there will be opportunities. It?s not a ?no?, it?s just not now. When the time?s appropriate we?ll look at other OSs.?

    Anad Tech had a nice article on the Atom roadmap and we had intel back in May via Reuters

    “There are certain customers that would be interesting to us and certain customers that wouldn’t,” Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith told journalists after an investor event in London on Thursday.

    He said Intel would be happy to produce chip cores based on its own architecture for other companies but that allowing rival architectures to be manufactured in its plants would be a tough decision.

    “If Apple or Sony came to us and said ‘I want to do a product that involves your IA (Intel architecture) core and put some of my IP around it’, I wouldn’t blink. That would be fantastic business for us.”

    If you look at the functional blocks in the medfield SOC, Apple also uses Imagination for the Graphics, video encode/decode.  They have custom IP for the image processor so really we are talking about swapping the ARM Cortex A9 for the new Intel core at 22nm in 2013.  I’ll stick with my prediction.  iOS on Intel in 2013.  Apple can’t let Google have the advantage of Intel’s advanced manufacturing process and iOS already runs on X86 in the simulator.  I wait to have egg on my face in 2013 :-o

    [ Edited: 13 January 2012 06:15 PM by pats ]      
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    Posted: 15 January 2012 01:53 PM #1

    The I’m Watch made an appearance at CES, an android smart watch.  Will in be able to compete with the iPod Nano of 2012?


    Apple is obviously pointing the nano toward use as a watch.  The LunaTik kickstart project gives the nano a finished watch look

    Where will Apple go in 2012.  The Nano would make the perfect watch for the sports enthusiast.

    Broadcomm announced back in Feb 2011, the BCM 2076 a combo chip with Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM.  Seems like it was built with Apple’s nano as a target.  Apple is actively researching sports in patent applications smartbike, extreme sports, Nike +

         
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    Posted: 15 January 2012 02:04 PM #2

    Somehow put Siri in the sports watch to give you your split times, pace, etc., 

    It would be great

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    Posted: 15 January 2012 04:03 PM #3

    iOS on Intel?  Really?

    Now, iOS as we all know always could run Intel based on the simulator.  But it’s all about performance per watt.  What has Atom done to prove it’s worthy in an ARM-dominated space?

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    Posted: 15 January 2012 07:12 PM #4

    Mav - 15 January 2012 08:03 PM

    iOS on Intel?  Really?

    Now, iOS as we all know always could run Intel based on the simulator.  But it’s all about performance per watt.  What has Atom done to prove it’s worthy in an ARM-dominated space?

    A far as medfield goes the power consumption is comparable to the Apple A5 via AnandTech

    The Intel provided values are pretty astonishing . Sub 20mW idle, sub 750mW during a call on 3G and although not pictured here, Intel’s internal data suggests ~1W power consumption while browsing the web compared to ~1.3W on the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S 2. I’ve done my own measurements on 4S web browsing and came up with a very similar value.

    The current Medfield will not match the Apple A6 but the follow on intel chip will be a major redesign of the ATOM architecture and will be built on 22NM using Intel’s 3D transistor.  If you remember back to the trigate announcement they showed two slides on performance

    At the same switching speed, Intel’s 22nm 3D Tri-Gate transistors can run at 75 - 80% of the operating voltage of Intel’s 32nm transistors. This results in lower active power at the same frequency, or the same active power at a higher performance level. Intel claims that the reduction in active power can be more than 50% compared to its 32nm process.

    At lower voltages Intel is claiming a 37% increase in performance vs. its 32nm process and an 18% increase in performance at 1V. High end desktop and mobile parts fall into the latter category. Ivy Bridge is likely to see gains on the order of 18% vs. Sandy Bridge, however Intel may put those gains to use by reducing overall power consumption of the chip as well as pushing for higher frequencies. The other end of that curve is really for the ultra mobile chips, this should mean big news for the 22nm Atom which I’m guessing we’ll see around 2013.

    I’m of the opinion that Apple should be be the lead customer for an Apple/Intel SOC built on 22NM in 2013.  Apple’s other choice will be the ARM A15 on 28NM from TSCM or Samsung.  Apple has been working the compiler end with LLVM and Clang so swapping out the CPU block from ARM to Atom is realistic and it would legitimize intel’s effort.  It also would make a nice processor for the Macbook Air series in 2013.

         
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    Posted: 15 January 2012 07:33 PM #5

    Assuming Intel can keep its promises (*cough Itanium* *double cough Intel graphics*), you never know.  IF Atom can really deliver, the best part is, Apple isn’t particularly wedded to any one CPU design, although I’m sure it’d much prefer to stick to the ARM roadmap for now since it’s most heavily customized.

    Intel has an uphill battle ahead of it to wrest any meaningful control in the tablet/smartphone space from ARM.

    Btw, isn’t AAPL shooting _way over_ the SGX 540 for the next-gen iPad and maybe iPhone?  They’re already using the SGX 543MP2 for iPad 2 and presumably iPhone 4S.

    [ Edited: 15 January 2012 07:37 PM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 15 January 2012 08:01 PM #6

    Mav - 15 January 2012 11:33 PM

    Assuming Intel can keep its promises (*cough Itanium* *double cough Intel graphics*), you never know.  IF Atom can really deliver, the best part is, Apple isn’t particularly wedded to any one CPU design, although I’m sure it’d much prefer to stick to the ARM roadmap for now since it’s most heavily customized.

    Intel has an uphill battle ahead of it to wrest any meaningful control in the tablet/smartphone space from ARM.

    Btw, isn’t AAPL shooting _way over_ the SGX 540 for the next-gen iPad and maybe iPhone?  They’re already using the SGX 543MP2 for iPad 2 and presumably iPhone 4S.

    I would expect the A6 will have a 543MP4, but the Intel SOC is much smaller then Apple’s A5 so in 2013 if I was designing an A7 the graphics would be the Imagination Rogue multicore , and either an ARM A15/A7 big little combo or whatever Intel/Apple engineers can dream up.  The key to intel is the lead in manufacturing.  They will have a one to two year lead on all the other foundries at 22NM & 14NM and there is nothing like a die shrink to gain advantage over all competitors.  As far as the Apple/Intel thing, Intel needs a major customer and MOTO doesn’t sell enough SOCs to fill a FAB, but between all the iOS devices Apple can fill a fab and when a fab runs at capacity everyone can make money.

         
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    Posted: 15 January 2012 08:08 PM #7

    Don’t get me wrong - Apple and Intel can do some amazing things in the mobile space if they put their heads together.  In a way, MacBook Air is a semi-testament to that, even though the graphics are definitely not up to par.  Considering that Apple is more than double Intel’s revenue, I’d like to see Apple be able to take advantage of Intel’s superior lower-nm processes where it makes sense.

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    Posted: 24 January 2012 11:51 PM #8

    9 to 5  had more info on Anobit .  Funny that Apple is moving one of their key microprocessor guys over to Israel.  Wondering if they are really working a deal with intel on future 22NM products.

    Notably, Anobit?s top executives are said to not be leading the center in Israel, but rather Apple Vice President Johny Srouji is heading the team.?Srouji, Apple?s VP of?VLSI, specializes in microprocessor design according to his Linkedin?profile. Also notable, Srouji was a Senior Manager at Intel?s Israel-based research and development firm in his?years prior to working at senior levels at Apple. While, as Cook said, Mansfield is technically in charge of Anobit now, Srouji is actively leading Anobit?s staff and resources, reporting to Mansfield, and is Apple?s highest-ranking employee working out of Israel .

    Apple? Israel group talent expands beyond Srouji with the company employing a former Chief Technology Officer from Texas Instruments, Etai Zaltsman as a high-level employee in their Israel offices. Something also interesting about the Anobit acquisition is that the company?s co-founder, Chairman, and CEO Ehud Weinstein is apparently not going to stay with Apple. He plans to stick around initially during the transition, but will depart soon after

    [ Edited: 24 January 2012 11:55 PM by pats ]      
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    Posted: 25 January 2012 01:02 AM #9

    That CEOs of the acquired firms sometimes go is no big surprise.  Apple always anticipates these kinds of things, I’m sure.  And sometimes, some firms may not necessarily give Apple the amount of ROI it’s looking for.  Not so big a deal when the acquisitions are so easily covered by cash flow, never mind cash on hand.

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    AFB Night Owl Team™
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