Central processing unit Stories January 15, 2015

Apple chip supplier TSMC announces record profits, migrating to more advanced technology

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – better known as TSMC – has posted record Q4 profits after taking around 60% of the orders for the A8 chip in the iPhone 6/Plus. Nasdaq reports the company’s net profits for the quarter rose 79% year-on-year.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker by revenue, said Thursday that net profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 was 79.99 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$2.51 billion), up from NT$44.81 billion a year earlier.

TSMC’s move into 20-nanometer chip production enabled Apple to reduce its reliance on Samsung for the A8 chip, with the chipmaker saying that it is making further investment in more advanced chip-making technology. It plans to increase its capital expenditure this year to $11.5-12B, up from $9.52B last year.

A KGI report yesterday predicted that TSMC would pick up 100% of orders for the A9X chip expected to be used in the next-generation iPad, as well as making all of the A10 chips for the nominal iPhone 7, and all the S2 chips for the second-generation Apple Watch.

Central processing unit Stories January 9, 2015

We noted a couple of days ago that you didn’t have to look far at CES to find the Apple Watch knock-offs, but for those desperate enough to pretend they have one some two months before it’s even launched, they don’t have to dig very deep into their pockets. Mashable’s Karissa Bell was able to buy one for the grand sum of $27.

It even works, kind of. Bell reports that it did, after a few attempts, pair to her iPhone 6 and allow her to make phone calls and play music through the watch. She said that it looks almost like the real thing – “for about three seconds.” Looking at the photo, I think she’s exaggerating by about two-and-a-half seconds …  expand full story

Central processing unit Stories January 5, 2015

NVIDIA sets the bar high for Apple’s A9 chip as early Tegra X1 benchmarks significantly outperform A8X

NVIDIA has thrown down the gauntlet to Apple in the mobile chip power stakes. While the A8X chip used in the iPad Air 2 has so far blown away the competition, NVIDIA has shown off benchmarks indicating that its new mobile superchip, the Tegra X1, leaves it standing.

The benchmark data shared with SlashGear were heavier on graphics than hard data, but appear to show that the chip significantly outperforms the A8X, with NVIDIA saying that it will offer “silky-smooth 60fps 4K video.” The one number the company did share is that when throttled back to match the GPU performance of the Apple chip, power efficiency was 1.7 times better.

Central processing unit Stories July 10, 2014

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Up to this year, all of Apple’s SoC’s have been manufactured by Samsung.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has finally escaped Samsung’s grasp of iOS device CPU production. Although Samsung lost exclusivity last year, there was still doubts that TSMC would be able to follow through with their contract. According to this report, the manufacturer has succeeded and started shipping next-generation microprocessors for Apple’s devices (likely adorned with the ‘A8’ nomenclature) in the second quarter.

This marks a significant point in the production of the iPhone, finally allowing Apple to distance itself from Samsung in such a key area of its devices. The A8 chips use 20-nanometer production processes, according to the report. This compares favorably to the 28-nanometer process used for the A7, which should give better power efficiency and performance per watt. 9to5Mac previously reported that the A8 would focus on significant efficiency enhancements, rather than raw compute performance.

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Central processing unit Stories April 10, 2014

Next-gen faster Haswells chips out as soon as next month, could find their way into upgraded MacBook and iMacs

Intel’s next generation of its Haswell CPUs could be out as soon as next month, according to sources cited by TechPowerUp (via TonyMacx86).

According to sources in the IT retail, Intel could launch these new chips, led by the Core i7-4790K, on May 10th in most markets […]

 Intel Core “Haswell” Refresh processors offer marginally better performance over current Core “Haswell” chips, at existing price points (i.e., they will displace existing chips from their current price-points).The 9-series chipset offers features such as M.2 SSD support, making you ready for a tidal wave of 1000 MB/s SSDs that will launch around Computex.

Apple now uses PCIe SSD interface  even in its base model MacBook Air so the mSATA improvement will only benefit PC users and Hackintoshers but the mildly improved performance might find its way into updated iMac or MacBooks due ’round WWDC.

Central processing unit Stories April 2, 2014

You may still be waiting for your Mac Pro to arrive, but OWC is ready to sell you a CPU upgrade once it does. The company offers a choice of four E5 2600-series processors, ranging from an 8-core 2.6GHz chip with 20MB cache for $950, to a 12-core 2.7GHz processor for $1480.

We first confirmed that CPU upgrades were possible last December. The company says the upgraded processors offer speed gains ranging from 25 percent to 46 percent over Apple’s base model 4-core 1600-series processor. You can get rebates of between $100 and $750 for trading in the processor supplied with your Mac Pro, and also have the option of boosting the RAM from Apple’s maximum of 64GB to 128GB …  expand full story

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