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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Waiting for the iPhone 5, aka The New iPhone

Waiting for the iPhone 5, aka The New iPhone (Page 2)
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Eug
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Sep 18, 2012, 02:14 PM
 
     
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Sep 18, 2012, 06:01 PM
 
Linley Group: Apple Designed Own CPU For A6

the company’s interest in CPU design dates back to its $278 million acquisition of PA Semi in April 2008. That acquisition included a CPU design team that had developed a high-performance PowerPC processor under the leadership of Jim Keller and Pete Bannon. More important, some of the team members had previously worked on low-power StrongArm processors under PA Semi CEO Dan Dobberpuhl at Digital Equipment (DEC) in the 1990s. Within a month of that deal, Apple secretly signed an architecture license with ARM that allowed the company to develop its own ARM-compatible CPUs, becoming one of the few companies in the world with that right.

While one group of PA Semi employees set to work on the Apple A4 processor using an ARM CPU core, another group began defining the microarchitecture for the new CPU. According to one source at Apple, Steve Jobs initially set an “insanely great” bar for the performance of the new CPU, but he eventually realized that his CPU team was limited by the same laws of physics that apply to everyone else. For whatever reason, the project took a long time to get through the initial definition and design phase.

In early 2010, the team had completed the A6 microarchitecture design and started the physical-design phase. To bolster its physical-design capabilities, Apple spent an estimated $120 million in April 2010 to acquire Intrinsity. This deal brought in an experienced team of chip designers that specialized in high-speed physical design, having just finished boosting the speed of Samsung’s Hummingbird CPU (which Apple used in its A4 processor). The A6 taped out about a year later, and Apple received the first samples last summer. To support the iPhone 5 launch, the new processor must have been cleared for production around June.
     
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Sep 18, 2012, 07:44 PM
 
If all of that is true, then Apple might as well develop an exclusive, alternative-lacking, desktop class ARM and run all x86 binaries in emulation, painting itself in a corner not unlike PowerPC in 1997. Then, when Apple's cpu team runs out of steam and lags behind the leagues of samsung, hitachi, freescale, and arm holdings themselves, Apple might have to return and bow down to the CPU big boys.
     
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Sep 18, 2012, 07:56 PM
 
I really don't know what you're talking about...

Non-sequitor...
     
Brien
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Sep 18, 2012, 08:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The one thing that bugs me about the new iPhone 5's specs is its 640 pixel width with that form factor. I would have actually preferred a slightly wider phone, even if it meant a slightly lower pixel density, although even better would be say a 720 pixel width with an increased physical width. To accomplish that increased screen width would be hard, but if say it increased by 6 mm from its current 50 mm, to 56 mm. it could be done by reducing the bezel size by 1.5 mm on each side, and then increasing the overall phone width by 3 mm, bringing it to 61.6 mm, which is actually still narrower than the iPhone 3G.
I think that's where the justification comes from for the new huge Android phones. However, they're going too far IMO. The 4.8" Samsung Galaxy S III is 70.6 mm wide, a full 9 mm wider than my hypothetical 720p iPhone. It feels awkward. The fact that they have 4.8" phone isn't a problem. The problem is they don't have a flagship 4.3" phone.
Yeah. I threw this together a few days ago, we sorta had the same idea:


Wouldn't be that hard to make a 4.5" iPhone that's only marginally taller/wider than the 5. Heck, they could make a 5"+ iPhone and it'd still be fairly usable (but not one-handed, the horror).
     
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Sep 18, 2012, 08:31 PM
 
Nice pic, although I was thinking more along the lines of 4.3" max, but after going through the numbers, it seems your 4.5" iPhone could make sense width-wise, with a smaller bezel as you've shown.

The 640p 4" iPhone 5 has a screen width of 1.96" (50 mm).
My 720p 4.3" phone would have a screen width of 2.11" (54 mm).
Your 720p 4.5" phone would have a screen width of 2.20" (56 mm).

I think I'd be happy with a bezel at 64 mm or less, although 61ish would be preferable.

With my 720p 4.3" iPhone and a smaller bezel, it would be barely wider than the iPhone 5.
With your 720p 4.5" iPhone and that same smaller bezel, it would be as narrow as the iPhone 3G.

If you kept the pixel density exactly the same, the 720p screen would be 56.25 mm wide, with a screen size of just over 4.5".

P.S. Your ppi measurements for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S should be same. It should be noted that the iPhone 4S is slightly bigger than 3.5".
     
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Sep 18, 2012, 10:14 PM
 
Yeah, I made that before the official specs were released.
     
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Sep 18, 2012, 11:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post

Speaking of which... Here is a new Android phone running a 2 GHz single-core but hyperthreaded Atom:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/18/motorolas-razr-i-benchmarks-intel-2ghz-medfield/
Performance is variable, but it blows away the dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 in SunSpider, and Motorola is claiming it has excellent power characteristics. It scores below 1100 in SunSpider, which is outrageous. In comparison, the new iPad 3 scores at about 1700. (Lower is better.)
Here's Sunspider tests including the iPhone 5.

Spoiler alert: 914.7. Anand has the same reaction I did: What did they DO with that memory interface?!?! We know the RAM they used, and it's bog-standard 2x32-bit LDDR2-1066. We know the L2 cache, and it's the same 1 MB. They must have made a completely new memory controller. It would be easy to assume that this is all they did, but we know that they modified the core as well since it supports VFP4.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 04:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Here's Sunspider tests including the iPhone 5.

Spoiler alert: 914.7. Anand has the same reaction I did: What did they DO with that memory interface?!?! We know the RAM they used, and it's bog-standard 2x32-bit LDDR2-1066. We know the L2 cache, and it's the same 1 MB. They must have made a completely new memory controller. It would be easy to assume that this is all they did, but we know that they modified the core as well since it supports VFP4.
Yeah, engadget also gave us a bench of 924 ms. They also published at exactly 9 pm, when the embargo lifted. Their Geekbench score was 1628, so it looks like the early 1601 Geekbench score leak was real.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/18/apple-iphone-5-review

I wonder how much of a SunSpider speedup iOS 6 will give for our older iPhones, since I'm sure some of the speed is due to iOS 6 optimizations. I also wonder what the die size is, and what the iPad mini will get. I'm thinking the ipad mini will get a 32 nm A5 (non-X) for size/cost reasons, but who knows.

P.S. These are SunSpider results running on a 3 GHz Core 2 Duo, as published by Microsoft:


.
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 05:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post

Yeah, engadget also gave us a bench of 924 ms. They also published at exactly 9 pm, when the embargo lifted. Their Geekbench score was 1628, so it looks like the early 1601 Geekbench score leak was real.
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/18/apple-iphone-5-review
I wonder how much of a SunSpider speedup iOS 6 will give for our older iPhones, since I'm sure some of the speed is due to iOS 6 optimizations. I also wonder what the die size is, and what the iPad mini will get. I'm thinking the ipad mini will get a 32 nm A5 (non-X) for size/cost reasons, but who knows..
Anand says that Sunspider is highly dependent of the memory interface, and some of the analysis of Geekbench scores also show that its the memory scores are what is driving the total up, but the integer and floating point steps are also better by much more than clockspeed increase. It seems like the FPU has a longer pipeline and it is more capable. Here's a crazy thought: The A9 integer units, but with a third unit added, and the floats from the A15 or at least something of that class, and a very wide issue port structure so everything can be kept fed.

Everyone seems to agree that the die size is just under 100 mm2 - 96 mm2 is a figure I've seen mentioned - but we don't know how much is GPU and how much is the CPU. We know that the L2 and L1 didn't grow and we know that there are only 2 cores. Even with a SGX543MP4, that leaves quite a bit of space to grow those CPU cores, and if they stayed with MP3 and a higher clock (Anandtech's guess, but I like it), that leaves a good chunk of real estate to make the cores wider.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Eug
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Sep 19, 2012, 05:41 AM
 
iOS 6 speeds up Safari significantly.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1385461

Running a Sunspider JavaScript benchmark on my iPhone 4S in iOS 5.1.1 was giving me 22XXms and now it's around 18XXms.

So we're talking about a 20-25% speedup going from iOS 5 to iOS 6 alone. Still, in this limited benchmark, the iPhone 5 is indeed still about twice as fast as the 4S, even with the 4S on iOS 6. We do need a new benchmark though.
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 07:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
That might be the word unboxing I've ever seen. 3 pictures?? and the quality...
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 08:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I really don't know what you're talking about...
Non-sequitor...
I read the article describing Apple diverging onto a non-standard CPU that might ultimately cause a lot of pain because the standard off the shelf CPUs will ultimately be a lot faster.
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post

I read the article describing Apple diverging onto a non-standard CPU that might ultimately cause a lot of pain because the standard off the shelf CPUs will ultimately be a lot faster.
At that point they'll just switch to that standard CPU. There is no cost involved in doing so, since they use the same ISA. If they have indeed done what I proposed above - used some A9 pieces and mixed and matched with some of their own - they can upgrade those A9 pieces in the future.


Not sure how much everyone know about CPU design, but reading some comments from people who ought to know, it seems that the A15 design has a quite long pipeline and is mainly focused on higher clockspeeds - and thus higher TDP - than you'd get in a smartphone. It was intended to attack Intel in microservers rather than defend the mobile space. If that is indeed the case, ARM's plan might be to rely on the A9 for the mainstream phones for now and rely on big.LITTLE for the more powerful phones and tablets while making an improved A9 in a year or two. In that case, Apple might stand to gain from that gambit for some time.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 01:42 PM
 
So, Apple is treading into the non-standard CPU design waters that only Qualcomm dared to enter (Snapdragon). If this wikipedia description is true:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Ax#Apple_A6
"The CPU uses a modified ARM instruction set called ARMv7s"
I hope Apple will maintain their compilers so that there's a way out back into the mainstream ARM-holdings-made ARM cores, if necessary.
     
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Sep 19, 2012, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
I read the article describing Apple diverging onto a non-standard CPU that might ultimately cause a lot of pain because the standard off the shelf CPUs will ultimately be a lot faster.
I thought the move to Intel was interesting, because it gave them two potential competitors to supply them chips if necessary. If Intel ever imploded, they could go to AMD. For a time actually AMD had a slight upper hand in desktop chips. Now it's AMD that's probably imploding, but they're still on Intel.

This was in stark contrast to PowerPC. Their only viable source was IBM for high performance chips. Motorola/Freescale didn't count, because the chips were so much slower.

In the case of Apple, if their own designs ever implode, they can simply switch to using whatever off the shelf is available.

Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
So, Apple is treading into the non-standard CPU design waters that only Qualcomm dared to enter (Snapdragon). If this wikipedia description is true:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Ax#Apple_A6
"The CPU uses a modified ARM instruction set called ARMv7s"
I hope Apple will maintain their compilers so that there's a way out back into the mainstream ARM-holdings-made ARM cores, if necessary.
I'm not an expert, but AFAIK ARMv7s is a standard ARM instruction set, but only supported on the newest cores like ARM7 and ARM15.

And don't they just use gcc? Sure they contribute to gcc's development, but it's not as if they've have some supersekrit special Apple compiler that's completely different from everything else, compiling for some supersekrit Apple core that isn't ARM compatible. A6 is a true ARM chip, which understands the same language, with the capability of understanding a more complex version of it if necessary.

P.S. Wouldn't developers just target ARMv7 for now anyway? It's not as if most iPhones out there understand ARMv7s.
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 01:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
So, Apple is treading into the non-standard CPU design waters that only Qualcomm dared to enter (Snapdragon). If this wikipedia description is true:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Ax#Apple_A6
"The CPU uses a modified ARM instruction set called ARMv7s"
I hope Apple will maintain their compilers so that there's a way out back into the mainstream ARM-holdings-made ARM cores, if necessary.
It's not a new ISA. Wikipedia has been updated by someone who doesn't quite understand what they're talking about - again. ARM does not include a floating point instruction set by default, but there is an optional set called VFP (Vector Floating Point). Apple has always included VFP3 (version 3 of the floating point instruction set for ARM) with their ARMv7 CPUs. ARMv7 actually requires a hardware FPU, but does not seem to specify the version of the instruction set, and in ARMv6 and below, it was completely optional. In the A6, they include support for VFP4, the next version of it, so they added a new deployment target.

In any case, ARMv8 makes both VFP3 and VFP4 mandatory, so any ARMv8 CPU will be able to run code compiled for "ARMv7s".

Besides, porting between variants of the ARM ISA is not too hard. There was a paper a while back where some student got Apple's support to port Mac OS X top Thumb (a subset of ARM) as a thesis project. Not really a big deal.

EDIT: For correctness sake: VFP2 was added as a requirement to ARMv6 - it was optional for ARMv5.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 04:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
And don't they just use gcc? Sure they contribute to gcc's development, but it's not as if they've have some supersekrit special Apple compiler that's completely different from everything else, compiling for some supersekrit Apple core that isn't ARM compatible. A6 is a true ARM chip, which understands the same language, with the capability of understanding a more complex version of it if necessary.
They're actually using LLVM now. GCC has moved to GPL3, which scares everyone in the business, so LLVM is gaining lots of ground.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 06:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
They're actually using LLVM now. GCC has moved to GPL3, which scares everyone in the business, so LLVM is gaining lots of ground.
OK, thx, but either way the concept is the same.

---

I'm only getting a limited view of iOS 6 on my iPhone 4, but after an evening with it I was just "meh". Admittedly I'm missing several features, but:

Siri: I don't care. I think it's a useless feature for the most part, except maybe in the car. I have Google's version on my Nexus 7 and never use it.
Turn-by-turn: I don't care, as I have a dedicated GPS in my car.
Panorama: That would have been nice, but it isn't a make-or-break feature.
Flyover: I don't know if I'd like it or not, but it's not a feature I think I'd use much.
Facetime over cellular: I don't use Facetime anyway, and if I did, it'd be over WiFi 98% of the time.

So, I've decided I'm buying nothing until the next round of Android phones come out, which should be in the next month or two. Then I'll make a decision. I may have to downgrade to an iPhone 3G in the meantime though, since the wife has been clamouring to get my iPhone 4.
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 09:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post

I'm only getting a limited view of iOS 6 on my iPhone 4, but after an evening with it I was just "meh". Admittedly I'm missing several features...
It is not IMO about missing several features so much as it is the fact that as of late 2012 the iP4 itself is what is meh. After using both in the same household I can unequivocally state that the 4s was a big improvement over the 4, just like the specs suggested. No new iOS will change the fact that the 4 is basically old and lame, even though of course it works for basic core smartphone operation. Moving forward into 4G LTE the iP4 is a dinosaur.

The 4s was much faster than the 4 and the 5 doubles the speed of the 4s. If one's frame of reference is an iP4 any new high end phone will feel relatively very fast. My expectation is that iP5 is state of the art at least into 2013.

Always having a decent point-and-shoot camera with you turns out to be very convenient, and the 4s was the first iPhone that provided a camera of adequate quality to fulfill that function well. The 4 camera is marginal at best, the 4s camera is very good. And the 5 camera alleges to be at least as good.


Siri: I don't care. I think it's a useless feature for the most part, except maybe in the car. I have Google's version on my Nexus 7 and never use it.
Many folks seem to think Siri is simple voice recognition software, which is untrue. Siri includes a voice recognition module that equates to other voice-recognition apps like Google's, but Siri (still in Beta) is the world's first large scale cloud-based AI implementation. IMO on the much less competent 4s Siri already is very cool when it works, and "when it works" is largely a function a] clean voice (headset/mic helps a lot) and b] of the quality and bandwidth of the connection to Apple's servers. My guess is that with the much stronger iP5 and as 4G LTE becomes mainstream Siri will be more and more valuable.

Indeed Siri is particularly useful in the car: text messaging hands free, for instance. But in any event we should not fall into the trap of thinking that Siri is just simple voice recognition. I think we will see Siri become really useful in 2013, and droid voice recognition will not even remotely be the same thing.


Turn-by-turn: I don't care, as I have a dedicated GPS in my car.
Panorama: That would have been nice, but it isn't a make-or-break feature.
Flyover: I don't know if I'd like it or not, but it's not a feature I think I'd use much.
Facetime over cellular: I don't use Facetime anyway, and if I did, it'd be over WiFi 98% of the time.
We agree that many of the bells and whistles have little meaning. IMO ecosystem/OS competence, build quality, hardware performance and core features (speed, 4G, camera, ergonomics) are what really matter. And IMO Siri when it is out of Beta and adequately carrier-supported will be a very major feature, not just another a bell/whistle.


So, I've decided I'm buying nothing until the next round of Android phones come out, which should be in the next month or two. Then I'll make a decision. I may have to downgrade to an iPhone 3G in the meantime though, since the wife has been clamouring to get my iPhone 4.
Be careful your wife does not preempt you and snag herself a thin/light/fast 4G LTE iP5 while you are thinking about it...

Me, I am waiting to see what capabilities a mini iPad may have before I upgrade my 4s.

-Allen
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 01:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
It is not IMO about missing several features so much as it is the fact that as of late 2012 the iP4 itself is what is meh. After using both in the same household I can unequivocally state that the 4s was a big improvement over the 4, just like the specs suggested. No new iOS will change the fact that the 4 is basically old and lame, even though of course it works for basic core smartphone operation. Moving forward into 4G LTE the iP4 is a dinosaur.
The 4s was much faster than the 4 and the 5 doubles the speed of the 4s. If one's frame of reference is an iP4 any new high end phone will feel relatively very fast. My expectation is that iP5 is state of the art at least into 2013.
I think it's both. The issue is not the speed. The issue is that the iOS 6 improvements are mostly not very interesting, and in some cases they aren't improvements at all (Maps).

Many folks seem to think Siri is simple voice recognition software, which is untrue. Siri includes a voice recognition module that equates to other voice-recognition apps like Google's, but Siri (still in Beta) is the world's first large scale cloud-based AI implementation.
I get the impression you don't quite understand Google's implementation. It's a large scale cloud-based AI implementation, and many reviews have it as being either on-par with or else superior to Siri, in speed, accuracy, and quality of responses. Maybe you're thinking of some of the older versions of Google's voice recognition work, but that's not what is being compared to Siri in 2012.

However, the whole concept is just kinda dumb in some ways. In any place in public, just about nobody in their right mind is using it. Indeed, not a single person I know with a 4S actually uses Siri in public. It's just too embarrassing. Further, few are even using it at home, except to generate those amusing quotes to post online.

Be careful your wife does not preempt you and snag herself a thin/light/fast 4G LTE iP5 while you are thinking about it...
There's nothing wrong with both of us getting new phones, but she doesn't want to spend the cash on a new one.
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 01:40 PM
 
I don't have too much problem using Siri in public. You don't have to yell for her to hear you.

I do have a problem with shitacular AT&T bandwidth. This kills Siri in public because there's only a 20% chance it'll work.
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 03:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I get the impression you don't quite understand Google's implementation. It's a large scale cloud-based AI implementation...
You are right, I did not know that. Thanks for that.

-Allen
     
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Sep 20, 2012, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I don't have too much problem using Siri in public. You don't have to yell for her to hear you.

I do have a problem with shitacular AT&T bandwidth. This kills Siri in public because there's only a 20% chance it'll work.
Exactly my experience on both counts. When you use Siri it is not like folks know you are talking to an AI engine. But maybe I just do not realize it because I have been surreptitiously talking into voice dictation devices for decades.

Siri is spectacular when it works, but fails a lot. And when it breaks it almost always feels like a failure of bandwidth. Obviously I am just guessing, but half the time it seems like failed carrier bandwidth and half the time it seems like failed AI-server bandwidth.

-Allen
     
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Sep 21, 2012, 12:46 PM
 
UBM TechInsights diffusion images confirm Anand's speculation was correct, 3 core GPU (probably PowerVR SGX 543MP3) at a slightly higher clock (266Mhz):
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6323/apple-a6-die-revealed-3core-gpu-100mm2
     
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Sep 21, 2012, 01:10 PM
 
I found an old floor plan for the A5X. On that one, the CPU part was slightly smaller than two GPUs. In the new shot, the CPU is slightly larger than two GPUs. The CPU cores seem to have grown slightly without modifying the caches, which might suggest a wider core.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 21, 2012, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I've decided I'm buying nothing until the next round of Android phones come out
Teh Steve has smote me down from the grave.

I make this statement, and suddenly, my Nexus 7 gets destroyed.



Sidewalks are a bitch.
     
Eug
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Sep 21, 2012, 09:16 PM
 
A6 smokes everything out there. It's like it's an entire generation (or two) ahead.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-preview

Clock speed is up to 1.2 GHz.
     
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Sep 21, 2012, 10:32 PM
 
Today I spent an hour at the Apple Store A/B comparing the 4s/5. The iP5 rocks, literally smokes the 4s. Siri was especially interesting; way faster and more competent on the 5 than on the 4s with both running iOS 6. The comparison was lamed by the store background noise, but was demonstrative nevertheless.

The camera pix look superior too, but I remain unconvinced the pix are actually better and not simply software whoop-de-whoops.

-Allen
     
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Sep 21, 2012, 11:44 PM
 
F-stop is 2.2 vs. 2.4, but more importantly, the iPhone 5 is capable of displaying the entire sRGB color gamut, so photos are gonna look better on there, anyway.
     
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Sep 22, 2012, 02:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
quote-block">Originally Posted by Eug

A6 smokes everything out there. It's like it's an entire generation (or two) ahead.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-preview
Clock speed is up to 1.2 GHz.
That explains some of it, anyway - they have a powerful turbo boost, so in effect they're running at 1.2 GHz when testing. Besting dual 1.5 GHz A9 is still impressive, but not quite as impressive as doing so with a 1 GHz clockspeed.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
AppKing
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Sep 23, 2012, 01:44 AM
 
Can't wait to get my new iPhone 5.
     
mduell
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Sep 23, 2012, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
A6 smokes everything out there. It's like it's an entire generation (or two) ahead.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-preview
Clock speed is up to 1.2 GHz.
I don't see even one generation, much less two.

It's not that far ahead of the latest phones, like the Galaxy S3 or One X.
BrowserMark is 30% faster
Sunspider is 25% faster
Google V8 is a dead heat
Google Octane is 30% faster

0-30% is half generation at best. Look at the BrowserMark or Sunspider graphs since they have so many comparisons and you can see a generation is 2x not 1.3x.
     
subego
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Sep 23, 2012, 07:18 PM
 
Is a generation Galaxy S3 to iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S to iPhone 5?
     
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Sep 24, 2012, 03:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post

I don't see even one generation, much less two.
It's not that far ahead of the latest phones, like the Galaxy S3 or One X.
BrowserMark is 30% faster
Sunspider is 25% faster
Google V8 is a dead heat
Google Octane is 30% faster
0-30% is half generation at best. Look at the BrowserMark or Sunspider graphs since they have so many comparisons and you can see a generation is 2x not 1.3x.
Fair enough, but the iPhone 5 is 30% faster than a phone that has a 25% clockspeed advantage. Apple could easily boost performance further by just increasing the max clock - a luxury the competition doesn't have. They will have to rely on the A15 bringing a significant IPC improvement - something that will be tricky with the significant lenghtening of the integer pipeline.

Besides, CPU is not everything. The iPhone 5 GPU is easily twice as fast as the competition.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 24, 2012, 10:00 PM
 
I've tried the iPhone 5 last Sunday, and I have to say wow! It feels significantly lighter and faster than my 4S and it is plain beautiful. It's a pity, I couldn't wait out for the iPhone 5.

Regarding SoCs, as far as I remember, the Galaxy S3 uses a dual core Krait which runs at up to 1.5 GHz. It is »of the same generation« as Apple's A6, both are A15-equivalent cores, and for that, a ~30 % difference in speed is significant. Furthermore, the A6 has significantly more graphics umpf, the difference is 2-3x in most of Anandtech's tests.

Given that the A6 is manufactured in 32 nm while the Snapdragon S4 already uses 28 nm structures, I think Apple has more room in the future for an A6x (die shrink, higher clock speeds) while 1.5 GHz is already close to maximum clock speed without incurring too much of a power penalty.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego
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Sep 24, 2012, 10:12 PM
 
As much as I like the thin and light, I'm a little pissed they didn't do something like leaving it similar in weight and thickness as the 4S, and using all that extra space and weight for a monster battery.
     
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Sep 25, 2012, 07:19 AM
 
Sooner or later the market will reach a point where Apple will include variants like maybe an xb version for extra battery. In the meantime the case makers are reaching to fill the xb niche.
     
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Sep 25, 2012, 09:46 AM
 
A6 teardown by Chipworks with their ion blaster

Chipworks has a bona-fide ion blaster, affectionately called Ibe (short for "ion beam etching").

Ibe is used to remove layers of semiconductor devices in a controlled and selective manner with very precise and planar results.

Essentially, ion beam etching is like sandblasting a chip to remove specific layers. Instead of sand, though, Ibe uses the atoms in an ion beam to do its dirty work.

Today's semiconductor devices are constructed from dissimilar materials, like the Apple A6 which is fabricated with Samsung 32 nm HKMG (Hi dielectric K, Metal Gate) CMOS process, making this an invaluable tool.

tl;dr it's an ion blaster.

--

When compared to the rigid, efficient layout of the GPU cores directly below it, the layout of the ARM cores looks a little homespun—at first.

Generally, logic blocks are automagically laid out with the use of advanced computer software. However, it looks like the ARM core blocks were laid out manually—as in, by hand.

A manual layout will usually result in faster processing speeds, but it is much more expensive and time consuming.

The manual layout of the ARM processors lends much credence to the rumor that Apple designed a custom processor of the same caliber as the all-new Cortex-A15, and it just might be the only manual layout in a chip to hit the market in several years.


Chipworks blog
     
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Sep 26, 2012, 06:20 PM
 
With the updated Geekbench, people are getting 1.3 GHz as max clock speed now.

.
     
 
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