A8 Stories October 16, 2015

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Earlier this week, Apple was found guilty in an ongoing patent lawsuit initiated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, Apple was said to potentially owe the university’s patent licensing arm $862 million in damages. Today, however, Reuters reports that the jury in the case, after much deliberation, has ordered Apple to pay $234 million in damages.

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A8 Stories October 13, 2015

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A jury today in Madison, Wisconsin has found Apple guilty of using technology owned by the University of Wisconsin without permission. According to a report from Reuters, Apple used chip technology owned by the university in its A7, A8, and A8X processors, which are found in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and several iPad variants.

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A8 Stories August 14, 2015

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Less than a month from now, Apple is expected to officially unveil its new A9 chip. This will be the ninth A-Series processor including the original A4, which powered the first iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, and second-generation Apple TV. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the A-series chips to Apple’s devices, as they’ve helped the company to achieve everything from major processing leaps to impressive power efficiency and — often taken for granted — guaranteed UI smoothness for every year’s newly-launched devices.

With the iPhone 6S just around the corner, we’ve started to receive tips purporting to reveal how much better the A9 will perform than the A8 processors found in the latest iPhones, iPad Air 2, and iPod touch. While we wouldn’t characterize the numbers we’ve seen as reliable, they led us to look back at the history of A-series chips, and consider what can reasonably be expected from the A9. Read on for our thoughts…

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A8 Stories November 17, 2014

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Korea Times is claiming that a deal has been struck with Apple for Samsung to supply 80% of the chips for next year’s iPhones and iPads, with TSMC picking up the balance of orders.

Samsung Electronics agreed with Apple to produce application processors (APs) from next year for iPhones and iPads, sources said Monday.

The agreement means Samsung will become a primary supplier of APs to Apple, pushing its chief Taiwanese rival TSMC back to second place. From 2016, the company will supply 80 percent of APs used in Apple devices, and TSMC the remainder.

The paper suggests that Samsung will split production of the A9 chip across its Korean and Texas plants, partnering with New York-based GlobalFoundries for additional capacity … expand full story

A8 Stories September 25, 2014

Rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro said to feature A8X chip w/ enhanced performance

While recent reports have pegged Apple’s rumored larger display tablet for debut early next year, a new report from Asian site Technews.tw (via GforGames) claims the rumored 12.9-inch iPad will run on an “enhanced version” of the A8 chip introduced with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

According to the site, the iPad Pro, an unofficial name given to the expected larger model, will rely on a new A8X chip to power the largest iOS device yet. Although the next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are both expected to include the same processor as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has introduced higher performance versions of its chips in the past with the iPad in mind.

A8 Stories September 23, 2014

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A product teardown of both the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus devices last week confirmed earlier reports that Apple is indeed opting for TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) to produce the 20nm, second generation 64-bit A8 chip that drives the new iPhones. Research firm IHS, however, has shared a teardown analysis report with Re/code that claims Samsung is still responsible for a fraction of Apple’s A8 chips produced.

Rassweiler said the processor he saw during the teardown was manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the massive chip-factory-for-hire based in Taipei. […] Rassweiler says TSMC is manufacturing about 60 percent of the chips for Apple, while Samsung is still turning about about 40 percent.

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A8 Stories September 19, 2014

Chipworks A8 TSMC iPhone 6

As the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hits retail and reaches customers today, the teardown process to find out exactly what’s inside of the new iPhones this year has already begun with iFixit kicking off their live stream of the process this morning and comparing the new battery sizes for the new devices. In addition to the usual list of internals you would expect to find in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, though, and a more nuanced detail iFixit notes as discovered Chipworks.

The second-generation 64-bit chip powering the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that Apple calls the A8 is confirmed by Chipworks to have been fabricated by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) as we told you The Wall Street Journal reported in July. expand full story

A8 Stories September 18, 2014

Demoed at WWDC, Epic Zen Garden is now available to download in the App Store

First shown at WWDC to demonstrate Metal (Apple’s new graphics API), Epic Zen Garden is now available in the App Store to download and try out on your newly-updated iOS 8 device. Although this is more of a tech demo than a fully-fledged game, you can still get some enjoyment out of raking the sand or playing with the fish in the pond. There are several different areas to explore which show off the power of the GPU in your iOS device. It does look good.

A8 Stories August 25, 2014

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Update: Rather than being the next-generation M7 chip, the ‘Phosphorus’ chip shown in the schematics is likely the barometer/air pressure sensor 9to5Mac reported in June. A MacRumors forum member noted the likeliness. Original story below:

Following on from their previous reports, GeekBar is today highlighting a new set of schematics for a chip codenamed ‘Phosphorus’. The site claims the chip will serve similar roles to the M7 in the current iPhone 5s, but with additional functionality. It is very unlikely that Phosphorus will be used in official Apple marketing as it seems to be an internal codename for the chip.

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A8 Stories July 1, 2014

Samsung reportedly takes early lead in possible three-way battle to make Apple’s A9 processor

A report from DigiTimes claims that Samsung has received orders from Apple for chips made using its new 14nm process, with volume production set to ramp up in the course of next year.

The Samsung Electronics and Globalfoundries team reportedly has landed orders for its 14nm FinFET process from Qualcomm and Apple, with related foundry services to begin in early 2015, according to industry sources in Taiwan …

A8 Stories June 11, 2014

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Apple is reportedly set to begin production of its next-generation iPad Air this month with display components going into mass production in the middle of this month and components such as the processor and camera sensors going into production next month. The design of the sixth-generation full sized iPad will mimic that of the current model and the display resolution will stay at 2048 x 1536, according to ETNews.

The new iPad Air will sport a more advanced A8 processor, which sources previously noted focuses on efficiency and battery performance for the iPhone (likely for the iPad too):

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A8 Stories May 12, 2014

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The court battles between the two companies doesn’t seem to have harmed Samsung’s position as a key supplier of components to Apple. DisplaySearch figures show that Apple switched from LG to Samsung as the primary supplier of its display panels for iPad Air and iPad with Retina display last quarter, reports CNET.

Samsung Display reclaimed its position as the top iPad display panel supplier, shipping 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048×1,536, accounting for 62 percent of total shipments of that display size and resolution […]

LG Display […] saw its share of that display size/resolution plunge to 38 percent in the first quarter from about 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 …

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A8 Stories December 13, 2013

Expect even better 3D gaming from A8 chip as ARM acquires Geomerics

If you thought the gaming performance of Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip was good, there is likely even better to come in future following ARM’s acquisition of 3D gaming specialist Geomerics.

Geomerics specialises in photo-realistic graphics, and its technology is used in games like Battlefield 4, Inquisition and Primal Carnage. The company’s Enlighten system means that once a light-source like the sun has been positioned in a scene, Enlighten takes care of generating all the shadows, reports VentureBeat.

“Enlighten has helped EA provide new levels of realism and gameplay experience in titles such as our highly popular Battlefield franchise,” said Carl Almgren, Head of Development, Frostbite Game Engine. “We’re delighted that ARM is committed to on-going development on all the key game console platforms and graphics architectures, as well as the on-going development of Geomerics’ technologies.”

The company will be a subsidiary of ARM, but continue to operate independently.

A8 Stories June 24, 2013

tsmc-560x369-560x300A report out of DigiTimes this morning claims that TSMC has reached a deal with Apple to supply 20nm, 16nm and 10nm chips for future Apple devices. However, as is often the case with DigiTimes, there are a few causes for concern surrounding the report. Leaving the site’s track record on other rumors aside, we must point out that rumors of TSMC supplying chips for Apple’s device are nothing new. In fact, DigiTimes itself reported back in 2011 that Apple would tap the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in a move away from its long-time supplier and biggest rival Samsung. Needless to say, it hasn’t happened yet, and there’s no proof as of yet to back up follow up reports from last year claiming Apple entered an agreement with the company. DigiTimes isn’t even the first to report it this year: expand full story

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