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CPU, APU & Chipsets Posts - Page 8

Qualcomm: Apple 'hit us in the gut' with its 64-bit A7 processor

aWe've already witnessed what happened to Qualcomm over Apple's 64-bit-capable A7 processor, but it looked like it "hit [Qualcomm] in the gut", according to an unnamed Qualcomm employee.

 

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Dan Lyons, a tech columnist, reported from the unnamed Qualcomm employee: "The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut. Not just us, but everyone, really. 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."

 

Not that 64-bit processors are changing the way users use their iPhone 5S smartphones, but it's a good step in the right direction. Apple now just needs to use some innovation outside of the iPhone, instead of inside of it.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm: Apple 'hit us in the gut' with its 64-bit A7 processor' (full post)

RumorTT: Google to design its own chips, would abandon Intel

At the moment, Google leans on Intel for its processors that make things happen in its servers across the world, but the latest rumors point to this possibly changing.

 

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It looks like Google could move from being just a software and services company, to a full hardware designer, too. Bloomberg is reporting that Google engineers are possibly working on their own custom server processor, which would feature ARM-based technology, the same technology found inside that Android smartphones and tablets.

 

Google currently designs its own server systems, but making its own processors would make it a near Google-run process. Moving in this direction would lessen its reliance on Intel, which currently chews up most of the server market. Time will tell.

RumorTT: LG is working on a SoC known as 'Odin'

Rumor has it that LG is working on its on system on a chip (SoC0 that is known as Odin. There are reportedly going to be two versions of this new SoC, one will be a quad-core part, while the other will be an eight-core part.

 

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Both SoCs will be based on ARM's Cortex A9 and A15 cores, with LG using ARM's architecture, and tweaking it to create a customized version for its devices. This isn't any different to what Qualcomm does with the Krait line of chips, or Samsung and its Exynos range. The difference will come with LG using TMSC's facilities to manufacture the SoC, as it doesn't have its own in-house fab unit like Samsung does.

 

This is all coming from Korean news site, DigitalTimes, who reports that the quad-core Odin chip would be baked into LG's smart TVs in 2014 and beyond. The eight-core version will most likely be baked into the next-gen G2 smartphone and future LG-made slates. I'm guessing it might even be used in an upcoming Nexus device, as LG is the company building the Nexus smartphones right now.

Intel wants to see 5x CPU, 15x GPU performance in Atom by 2016

Intel may dominate the CPU industry, but it doesn't do too well in the system on a chip (SoC) market, especially against the likes of companies like Qualcomm. Well, it looks like Intel is not just going to roll over and give up, if its new Atom SoC roadmap is anything to go by.

 

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Intel is hoping to increase CPU performance by 5x, and GPU performance by a whopping 15x, all before 2016. The current Bay Trail-based Atom SoC will be replaced in late 2014 by the 14-nm based "Cherry Trail" silicon which will feature "Airmont" GPU and next-gen Intel graphics. At the start of next year, we should begin to see smartphone-bound, dual-core "Merrifield" Atom chips, with a quad-core version arriving in 2H 2014.

 

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In late 2014, Intel will unleash its new Atom SoC, codenamed "Sofia", which is made for entry-level devices. There will be two variants, one released in 2014 which will feature an integrated HSPA+ communications chip, while the second model, to be released in 2015, will feature LTE capabilities. Funnily enough, at first, these communications chips will be ARM-based, but will eventually be converted to x86 architecture.

Intel's new 9-series chipset reportedly won't feature SATA Express

Intel have something exciting for 2014, and that's the new Z97 platform, which is going to be the new high-end, Haswell-E platform. Well, the Z97 chipset will reportedly not feature the new SATA Express standard, which is a disappointment.

 

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SATA Express is part of the new Serial ATA 3.2 standard, which will feature new connectors that are backwards compatible, as well as some nifty PCIe-based SATA Express devices. SATA Express is expected to provide a choice of AHCI or NVM Express host interfaces, which should pump more speed through its already fast pipes.

RumorTT: Apple to build future A-series processors in New York

With Google building its Moto X smartphone in the US, it makes for good headlines, but what about Apple? We know that some of the Mac range are beginning to be manufactured on US soil, but this news is even better.

 

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As it stands, Samsung is responsible for most of the A-series production, including the fancy new A7 processor that is found in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and second generation iPad mini - which launched just yesterday. Now we have news that future A-series processors would be built-in GlobalFoundaries' Fab 8 facility, which is located in Malta, New York.

 

This deal wouldn't see Samsung pushed to the side, but it would see near total reliance on the South Korean giant (and major competitor to Apple) dropped a few notches. Apple could use both companies for the iPhone 6 production, which would increase the amount of units available at launch - giving them the ability to sell more, and reach more markets at launch - as well as slowly taking its reliance away from Samsung.

AMD's Kaveri APU will feature 512 graphics cores, will run BF4

Today AMD confirmed that its upcoming Kaveri APU will support both Mantel and TrueAudio, which ties it in nicely with AMD's Radeon R9 290/290X and R7 260X GPUs. The company says that Kaveri will push an impressive 862 GFLOPs of processing power with its internal 512 GPU cores being clocked to 800MHz.

 

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During its APU13 event today, AMD demoed Kaveri by pitting it against an Intel i7-4770K which was paired up with a GeForce GT 630 GPU. The Kaveri-based system managed to pull out a consistent frame rate of 28-40 frames per second while running through the Battlefield 4 single player campaign set to 1920x1080 with medium settings. The Intel-based system did not fair near as well with frame rates in the 12-14fps rage.

 

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While some may feel that it is unfair to test with a low-end GPU, I disagree. I feel that AMD's target market is those who do not want to spend $1500-4000 on a high-end gaming machine, and are happy with mediocre performance with just an APU. There is a huge market out there that consist of casual gamers who would not buy a $500-900 GPU and will be more inclined to spend $200-$300 on an APU that can run Battlefield 4, CoD: Ghost, or even League of Legends on medium settings.

Samsung teases its upcoming 64-bit SoC, will use ARM technology

It looks like Samsung is prepared to brag about its upcoming 64-bit SoC, considering the South Korean giant is the company that manufactures Apple's 64-bit A7 processor that is baked into the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.

 

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Well, there's a new SoC the company is working on, but it won't be based on its own technology, instead it will use ARM-based tech. Stephen Woo, President of System LSI at Samsung Electronics said: "Many people were thinking, why did we need 64-bit for mobile devices? People were asking that question until three months ago. And now I think no one is asking that question. They're asking, when can we have that?"

 

We will see Samsung release an ARM-based 64-bit SoC, which will be followed by a new SoC that will use in-house technology at a later date. Woo continued: "We are marching on schedule. We will offer the first 64-bit [processor] based on ARM's own core. After that, we will offer an even more optimized 64-bit [processor] based on our own optimizations." We should expect the new 64-bit SoC to be baked into the company's upcoming Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 devices that will be released in 2014.

TSMC waves production 20nm and 16nm wafers in front of the camera

I don't know where my wafer is - come on, TSMC - but seriously, the company has just shown off two wafers at Techcon: the first, a production 20nm SoC and the second, a pre-production 16nm without any qualifiers.

 

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Our friend over at SemiAccurate snapped the beautiful shots of things to come. 16nm is the most interesting here, as we don't have 16nm tech in our devices, but 20nm-based chips are already baked into some devices on the market. SA says that 16nm FinFETs from TSMC should arrive in early 2015 if there are no glaring problems ahead.

Intel to begin making 64-bit, ARM-based processors in 2014

The shift is beginning, with chipmaker leader Intel moving into manufacturing ARM-based processors next year. Intel will expand on its current relationship of allocating some of its plant capacity to contract-manufacturing, pumping out a quad-core part based on the ARM architecture.

 

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The Stratix 10 SoC will be manufactured for Altera, and it will be based on Intel's most advanced 14nm process, and based on ARM's 64-bit Cortex-A53 platform. The chipmaker has said that this is the first chip manufactured by anyone, and is the first 14nm Tri-Gate-based processor out of their fabs, even including Haswell which is built on the 22nm process with Tri-Gate.

 

The new SOC will be targeted at high-end networking and communications equipment, so it's something we probably won't be seeing in our consumer devices at all. This means Intel won't be competing in the same space as NVIDIA, Qualcomm or Samsung. It is interesting to note that Intel is now pumping out ARM-based SoCs, which is an interesting move considering its Bay Trail platform is to continue spreading into more and more devices as time goes on.

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