The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is accusing Apple of allegedly infringing a patent that covers technology the company has used in the A7 64-bit mobile chip that’s found in many 2013 iOS devices including the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini. A lawsuit against Apple was filed in the Wisconsin Western District Court, Madison Office, Patently Apple reports. More →
Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip found inside the iPhone 5s, but also the 2013 family of iPads, is the feature that surprised the competition, setting off “panic in the industry,” according to an unnamed Qualcomm employee interviewed by Dan Lyons. “The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut. Not just us but everyone, really,” the employee said. “We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It’s not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won’t benefit. But in ‘Spinal Tap’ terms it’s like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it.” More →
Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor in the iPhone 5S has generated considerable buzz even though some observers have pointed out that having a 64-bit smartphone won’t pay immediate dividends in terms of performance since the device doesn’t have anything close to 4GB of RAM. But as CNET’s Stephen Shankland explains, being the first to market with a 64-bit smartphone processor is all about long-term positioning for Apple and isn’t about an immediate boost in performance. More →
Apple has hired at least a dozen former graphics engineers from semiconductor maker AMD, MacRumors reported, citing new employees’ LinkedIn profiles. The company reportedly hired a number of graphics architects, hardware engineers and others after AMD laid off numerous employees this past January. Recent job postings reveal that Apple is building an advanced team of chip engineers for its Orlando Design Center, and is currently seeking a manager to lead the “Orlando GPU team” and “deliver high quality IP to specification and on schedule.” Apple debuted the iPad in 2010 with its first custom designed mobile processor, the A4 chip, and since then the company has continued to develop more of its technology in-house.
ARM announced the Cortex-A7 MPCore processor on Wednesday, which it is touting as its most power efficient mobile processor yet. The Cortex-A7 is just one-fifth the size of the Cortex-A8 but provides 5x the energy efficiency and greater performance. The single-core chip was designed for use in budget-friendly smartphones that will be priced under $100. ARM explained that it can create a system on a chip (SoC) with better performance and longer battery life by taking advantage of “Big.LITTLE” processing, which combines a Cortex-A15 MPCore with a Cortex-A7 processor. The first smartphones to use the new chip are expected to hit the market in 2013. Read on for the full press release from ARM. More →
Apple may already be working on a quad-core Apple-branded mobile processor for inclusion in upcoming iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models. Apple’s eventual move to a quad-core chipset in its iOS devices seems certain, but it looks like we now have evidence that preliminary quad-core testing may already be under way. While inspecting the source code for the Clang compiler bundled with Apple’s Xcode developer tools, an unnamed developer alerted Ars Technica to new references within the code that add support for a quad-core processor. Read on for more. More →
Apple will favor Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company over Samsung to power its next-generation iOS devices, DigiTimes said on Friday. The report aligns with an earlier Reuters report that suggested TSMC would build the next-generation A6 processor for future iPhone and iPad devices. TSMC will use its 20nm and 28nm technologies to create the new chips but may not begin supplying Apple with parts until next year. The Taiwan-based chip builder may have inked a deal to supply the successor to the A6 chip, too. Earlier reports suggested TSMC already started to test its first batch of A6 chipsets, which may offer dual or quad-core ARM-based architectures. Prior to its agreement with TSMC, Apple typically gave Samsung exclusive orders for its silicon. The move could be tied to multiple ongoing patent lawsuits with the South Korea-based electronics giant. More →