Apple rumored focused on transitioning to self-designed chips
A fresh report from Bloomberg has reinforced rumors that Apple may be developing its own chips for use in its Mac range in addition to its mobile products in years to come. If true, it signals a transition from Intel chips and would help to contextualize Apple’s move to make Bob Mansfield the head of its new “Technologies” group, which is combines research into wireless, battery and semiconductor designs. At the time of Apple’s announcement of its executive reshuffle, it noted that the new group under Mansfield has “ambitious plans for the future.”
Chip engineered for maximum efficiency
A teardown of the A6 processor inside the iPhone 5 suggests that Apple went to extraordinary efforts for processing speed, notes iFixit. The repair outfit has confirmed some basic details, such as the presence of 1GB of RAM, and a dual-core CPU matched by a triple-core GPU. Unusual, though, is that the ARM-based CPU cores appear to have been manually arranged, instead of located based on chip design software.
Other iOS products see modest improvement under iOS 6
Apple finally making leap
An Italian blog has posted photos of what it claims is the logic board for the iPhone 5, set to be announced later today. The board notably uses an A6 chip, indicating that Apple is finally advancing beyond the A5 line. When the third-generation iPad was introduced in March Apple designated its processor the A5X, since the chip was little different from the A5 except for graphics power.
Apple so far stuck with A5-series chips
A new photo from hacker and 9to5Mac researcher Sonny Dickson shows what it is allegedly a next-generation iPhone logic board with an A6 processor. While the legitimacy of the photo is still in question, the board does appear to match up with previous leaks. Apple may also finally be prepared to advance to an A6, since it has used variants of the A5 in the iPhone and iPad since March 2011.
iPad HD may load up on RAM and fork LTE models
Another rumor surfacing less than a day before Apple's next-generation iPad event may have filled in some of the in-between details of the future iPad and the Apple TV. While recapping most of the common beliefs, such as the 2048x1536 display and sped-up A5X dual-core chip, The Verge understood there would be more RAM. How much wasn't mentioned, although 1GB is most likely given Apple's tendency to double RAM and the need to hold large art assets in memory.
iPad 3 now seen more likely with LTE
Mounting rumors of the next iPad carrying LTE built steam Monday. A new claim from iMore, which accurately pegged the March 7 event date, maintained that LTE would be part of the launch event on Wednesday. Details were still left out of the loop, such as whether it would involve a unified LTE chipset for everyone or if there would need to be separate versions for AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers.
iPad 3 externals assembled in hint of future
Various part leaks for the next iPad came full circle on Sunday after a project successfully melded several parts together. MIC Gadget was able to get the front, back, and glass of the future Apple tablet assembled to prove that they were part of a cohesive design. As already suspected, the new iPad's case was just slightly thicker than its predecessor, although a more gradually tapered back could make it feel thinner in the hand.
Apple may have two iOS processors in development
Apple's A5X chip might still be joined by a full-fledged A6, based on an investigation of code. A deep dig by 9to5 into the iOS 5.1 beta code has shown both a more modest upgrade, the S5L8945X (possibly A5X), as well as a previously undiscovered S5L8950X. With the existing A5 known as the S5L8940X, it hints that Apple has been working on two chips at once for the first time.
iPad 3 pixels seen 4X as dense
A rare, direct hands-on with what's believed to be a leaked iPad 3 display may have confirmed its 2048x1536 resolution. The MacRumors investigation went beyond surface checks to show that the pixel density was exactly four times higher than on the iPad 2 while keeping the 9.7-inch size. As expected, the display couldn't be powered up to show the effect, although at 264 pixels per inch it could appear near-seamless.
iPad 3 may have firmer launch date
Apple's rumored early March iPad 3 launch event may have been narrowed down through a claim Monday. The company was said by previously accurate iMore tipsters to be currently set for March 7. It could still change, the people said, but the date was consistent both with the earlier rumor and with Apple's preferences for mid-week events.
Apple TV update may join iPad 3 on stage
An upgraded Apple TV media hub might come sooner than thought after signs emerged that multiple stores ran low on stock. Amazon, Best Buy, Buy.com, Radio Shack, and Target all show the device either as out of stock or taking weeks to ship. Apple and others do have supply, but it follows a pattern of third-party resellers usually running out first.
Apple iPad 3 keynote, apps poised to focus on LCD
More if indirect support for an early March iPad 3 launch came Thursday night through assertions that Apple was in "crunch mode" rounding up apps to demo the tablet. The rumor's sources at The Next Web had Apple stepping up the process of finding apps that would showcase the new iPad's very high resolution display. Apple was focusing on "graphics-oriented applications with high-definition assets," the tipsters said.
iPad 3 uses new Samsung-built chip and two models
A code delve by an insider claiming to BGR to have access to an iPad 3 prototype may have supported some of the previously mentioned but not always corroborated rumors. Using what appears to be an internal Apple tool known as iBoot, the source showed a new S5L8945X processor that appeared to support quad-core references in iOS 5.1. The existing A4 and A5 processors are the S5L8930X and S5L8940X respectively, both of which will have been assembled by Samsung.
Samsung Austin factory needs 1b bond
Samsung disclosed Monday that its new Austin plant might require that it sell $1 billion in debt for funding. It expects to sell a five-year bond and has been talking to banks to help orchestrate the deal. The arrangement would be its first significant sale of the kind in over a decade.
TI OMAP5 to ARM Cortex-A15
TI has teased its first practical OMAP5 reference hardware. The dual-core, dual-graphics ARM-Cortex A15 device shown to Engadget by VP Remi El-Ouazzane was capable of playing 1080p content at 64 frames per second and ran Android 4.0. The executive anticipated it being fast enough at 800MHz to rival a Cortex-A9 chip at 1.5GHz, overshadowing Apple's A5.
iOS 5.1 references four cores
A delve into the iOS 5.1 beta has supported beliefs that the A6 chip will have four cores. Its processor management software was seen by 9to5 as referencing "core.0" through "core.3," a giveaway that it has to control quad-core hardware. iOS 5.0 only stops at "core.1" and hints Apple is at least using iOS 5.1 as a testbed for quad-core devices, if not as the initially shipping version.
iPad 3 camera upgrades tipped early
Talk of upgraded cameras on the iPad 3 was given unofficial support, though not confirmation, from a rumor on Thursday. The front camera would go "HD," iLounge had heard from a purported source. At the back, the camera hole size was visibly larger and supported claims that the sensor would be closer to the five-megapixel iPhone 4 or eight-megapixel iPhone 4S than the one-megapixel camera from the iPad 2.
Samsung uses lone US plant for iPhone and iPad
Samsung's $3.6 billion Austin plant may be dedicated almost exclusively to making Apple's A5 processors. Sources asserted Friday in conversation with Reuters that the 1.6 million square foot facility began supplying the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S with its main chip earlier in the year. Full production only just kicked in as of this month, the contacts said.
Samsung may go for upsized 2GHz, 1600p tablet
Samsung's plans to counter the iPad 3 could involve going for size, a rumor hinted Thursday. It would step up from 10.1 inches to 11.6 inches, BGR said, hinting that it might be called the Galaxy Tab 11.6. The larger display would similarly challenge Apple on resolution: it would use the same 2560x1600 image as a recent 10-inch prototype, just scaled to a larger screen.
iOS 5.1 gives away new Apple TV name
A recently discovered third-generation Apple TV has reemerged in the wake of the iOS 5.1 beta. New hunts in the file system by iH8Snow for 9to5 have seen it get the codename J33, in step with the iPad 3's J-series naming. Apple had been using K codenames even up to the iPad 2's K95.
Apple said testing high, low-spec iPads in case
The previously glossed-over J1 and J2 iPad prototypes have been partly clarified in an uncommon follow-up rumor. The two are both candidates for what would replace the iPad 2, with only one of them going ahead, Digitimes claimed. The J2 would be a superset of the J1 with more advanced technology and different dimensions.
Business, legal issues being kept separate
Samsung is still the main producer for Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A6, claims an anonymous executive with a South Korea-based Apple supplier. "Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner," the person tells the Korea Times. Samsung is in fact said to be boosting output of A6 chips at a manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.
Apple said with 1,000 CPU engineers
Apple has over 1,000 engineers working on its mobile processors, the late Steve Jobs purportedly mentioned a few weeks ago. An unnamed but "veteran" CEO said shortly after Jobs' resignation that the iconic Apple CEO had told him there were "1,000 engineers working on chips." With 20,000 workers in Apple's non-retail staff, TechCrunch noted in getting the leak, that amounted to five percent of the entire company.
TSMC and Apple have tech discussions
TSMC is sending an envoy to Cupertino to discuss more details of manufacturing Apple A6 chips, insiders revealed late Wednesday. The talks, which Digitimes claims are to pledge "full support," should talk about 28 nanometer chip manufacturing yields as well as patent terms. Global UniChip, which is working with TSMC and has rights to use ARM's Cortex CPU and Mali graphics, is also believed to be part of the visit.
May be testbed for future A-series chip
The most recent source code for Clang -- the default compiler in Xcode -- now shows support for a quad-core Marvell processor, the ARM-based Armada XP, according to Ars Technica. The chip is notably built for low-powered cloud computing tasks. Support can only be enabled when an "open source" flag is left undefined, something believed to imply that only Apple's own Clang binaries can compile for the XP.
Supplier prepping for 28nm chip production
TSMC will be ready to mass-produce 28nm chips beginning in early 2012, says the supplier's research and development head, Shang-yi Chiang. Chiang elaborates that the company has already received enough orders to fully exploit its new 28nm capacity. At least some of the orders are likely to be for a next-generation Apple processor, the A6.
Could join TSMC, Samsung in chipwork
Packaging and testing firm Siliconware Precision Industries is likely to join work on Apple's A6 processor, industry sources allege. Apple officials are said to have recently visited SPIL's assembly line and engaged in talks. SPIL has so far denied any speculation, but Apple's suppliers are typically hesitant to talk about connections with Apple and/or other clients.
AMD A6-3500 costs just 95
AMD has added a new desktop processor to its A-Series Fusion processors. The A6-3500 runs three 2.1GHz cores along with a 444MHz Radeon HD 6530D for integrated graphics still fast enough to handle 1080p video and some games. Turbo technology bumps the speed of the main cores up to 2.4 GHz.
Fresh source targets October 7 for ship date
A comparatively untested rumor on Friday has added to the slew of disputed iPhone 5 release dates. Apple is purportedly aiming to ship the new model on October 7. TiPb's insiders were suggesting it would be a subtler upgrade to the iPhone 4 design rather than the major reworking hinted by some, but the site wasn't ready to commit to that view.
iPad 3 may be more cost efficient with Taiwan ICs
Manufacturing sources said Tuesday that Apple was turning to new integrated circuit suppliers to help in "adjusting the cost structure" for the iPad 3. Capella Microsystems, Integrated Memory Logic, Novatek Microelectronics, and Richtek Technology have all supposedly been asked to supply key chipsets, Digitimes heard. Capella would provide ambient light sensors, IML would provide gamma/Vcom buffers, Novatek would provide LCD drivers, and Richtek would supply integrated power management chips.
Analyst checks point to white iPod touch 5
(Updated with alleged white iPod touch photo) New estimates by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest Apple will bring white back to the iPod for the first time in years through the fifth-generation iPod touch. The design is rumored to be much like that of the iPad 2, where only the front gets the new color. Kuo told AppleInsider the design showed few signs of direct changes and would be in volume production in late August.
TSMC being gauged on A6 chip production levels
One source leaked overnight that Apple was at least experimenting with plans to make the A6 through TSMC. The Taiwanese contractor is said in practice runs that would gauge whether or not its manufacturing yields of working chips were enough that it could be trusted production. All the "authorisation and details" were ready and were just hinging on Apple's reaction, Reuters was told.
HP dv6z Quad Edition brings four-core AMD Llano
HP on Monday quietly posted some of the highest end of its new AMD Fusion-based Pavilion notebooks. The dv6z Quad Edition uses AMD's faster Llano-based chips and ranges from a 1.4GHz quad A6-3400M through to a 1.9GHz A8-3530MX, the two extremes of which can boost to 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz respectively. The Fusion technology gives them graphics capable of playing 1080p video smoothly, but they can be optioned up with an unspecific dedicated AMD Radeon chipset to handle more demanding games.
Samsung still producer of A5 chips
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company should stand a good chance of winning orders for Apple's A6 processor, says Merrill Lynch analyst Dan Heyler. Apple has not yet announced the A6, but will likely continue to use custom chip designs for iOS devices as it has since the introduction of the original iPad. An A6 would probably first appear in the iPad 3, then migrate in modified form to an iPhone 6 and sixth-generation iPod touch.