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With over 10 years of cooperation, Intel have been a mainstay in Apple hardware - taking over from Apple's co-designed chips with PowerPC due to them reportedly having issues with slimming down their laptop range, turning to the processor giant for some help.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Intel's CFO Stacy Smith stated "for a customer like Apple you'd have to take a big step off performance to step off our architecture. That is what in essence enables us to win across different customers."
This is a rather big statement from Intel, but lets be honest here - Intel is at the top and it will stay that way for a long period of time no matter what happens.
There has been some rumors that Apple are looking to move in from Intel in order to utilize ARM architecture in their products, however nothing tangible has come to light as of yet.
According to new reports, Intel will launching its new Haswell-EX based Xeon E7 CPUs in Q2. The flagship Xeon E7-8890 v3 will arrive with a clock speed of 2.5GHz, rocking 18 cores and 18 Hyper-Threaded cores for a total of 36 threads. It'll have 45MB of L3 cache, and a TDP of 165W.
The new Haswell-EX family of Xeon processors will arrive with 4/10/12/14/16 threads with varying thread counts due to HT. Frequencies will also range between 2GHz for a handful of the CPUs, right up to 3.2GHz on the E7-8893 v3 which is a 4-core CPU. The new Xeon E7 processors will feature multiple improvements and technologies, including AVX and TSX instructions, as well as support for DDR4 RAM.
AMD and NVIDIA have been in the headlines quite often lately, with AMD now in the headlines for something completely different. The chipmaker has acknowledged that some consumers have purchased counterfeit processors from Amazon.
The fake processors have heatspreaders that say that they are an FM2+ AMD A8-7600 but the CPU underneath of the heatspreader is just an older AMD APU, which is not compatible with the AM2+ motherboard at all. The CPU that most people seem to be securing is the very old AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ which will not work on current motherboards.
AMD has released a statement to Overlock3D, saying: "It is apparent that this isolated incident is not related in any way to AMD's manufacturing or packaging, however AMD takes any reports of product tampering very seriously. As part of our ongoing efforts to help ensure consumers and businesses are sold only genuine AMD processors, we thoroughly investigate these extremely rare incidents in an effort to determine the source of the altered products, and consider all available legal remedies - including both civil and criminal prosecution - against persons found to have engaged in fraudulent actions affecting AMD products".
Apple and Intel have been partnered together for a while, ever since Steve Jobs announced that Mac systems would use Intel processors back in 2005.
At the time it was quite the shock, as Intel was the biggest chipmaker that made processors for PCs that ran Windows, and Microsoft were Apple's biggest enemy at the time. The tides have changed however, as Google was simply a search engine at the time, but they are now Apple's biggest competitor by far. Well, during an interview with Business Insider last week, Intel CFO Stacy Smith talked about how Intel is so far ahead of the competition, that when it comes to PC processors that Apple uses, the company has no choice but to use its CPUs.
Smith said: "Apple is a great partner of ours. Like Intel they like bringing really cool stuff to the market... As long as we're bringing great technology to the marketplace, we're enabling them to do great Apple products". Smith continued: "Our leadership over the rest of the industry is extending. We're not delayed relative to the industry. We're actually ahead of the industry". Smith also added: "For a customer like Apple you'd have to take a big step off performance to step off our architecture. That is what in essence enables us to win across different customers".
Intel is expected to unveil its new 10nm processors sometime in early 2017, with the news coming from Intel's GM for the Middle East and North Africa region, Taha Khalifa.
Khalifa, when talking about the new Intel CPUs, said: "We have been consistently pursuing Moore's Law and this has been the core of our innovation for the last 40 years. The 10nm chips are expected to be launched early 2017". When it comes to this year though, we should expect Intel to unveil its new 14nm Skylake processors in the second half of the year.
Intel was originally meant to roll out its 14nm processors in late 2013, but there were various technical setbacks with the Broadwell architecture, which was eventually delayed into 2014. This has pushed back the rest of Intel's upcoming processors, with the 10nm-based Skylake being included. Intel will most likely unveil tablet and mobile parts under its 10nm umbrella, before moving it into the desktop family in the later parts of 2017.
As according to a newly issued press release by ABI Research, there has been a major push for higher-workload media stations in today's climate - pushing these system to receive upgraded hardware including x86 processing units.
This comes paired with a foretasted an x86 processor growth from 43% market share in 2013 to a much larger 51% in 2020. This is coupled with higher levels of semiconductor integration, seeing Systems on Chips being merged x86 or ARM processors with DSPs becoming standard practice.
Samsung is currently producing Apple's next-gen A9 system-on-chips (SoC) at its Austin, Texas-based plant according to a report from Korean IT news site Electronic Times.
Considering TSMC built most of the A8 chips for Apple, this is a very big deal for Samsung - to lead production of the A9 processor for its biggest competitor. TSMC will still make some of Apple's A9 processors, but Samsung will be making the majority of them. Samsung is reportedly using their 14nm process to build Apple's A9 chip, as Samsung's Semiconductor Business President and General Manager, Dr. Kinam Kim, revealed the news in late October.
We don't know when Samsung will provide Apple with the first fresh out of the oven A9 processors to Apple, or when Apple will launch new products with the next-gen SoC. I think we'll see Apple announce a new iPhone earlier than normal, especially if Samsung is already making the A9 processor for the company.
China is a rising economic superpower that lacks one key ingredient to acquire their goal of complete self-sufficiency; the all-important processor. China has over 1.3 billion mobile phone users, but imports over 90% of their processors. This adds up to a whopping annual total of $232 billion in imported chips. China consumes over 45% of the worldwide chip production, and the lack of semiconductor technology is a huge strategic gap.
To that end, China has invested an unprecedented $5 billion in the last 18 months on procuring semiconductor-related companies, and that is just the beginning. These investments are largely funded by the Chinese government, and they have pledged to spend up to $163 billion over the next 5 to 10 years to reduce their reliance upon foreign chips. China is moving aggressively, and has plans to boost 2013 semiconductor revenue 40% by the end of next year.
Just nine years ago Intel was sitting at 65nm CPUs, reaching 22nm just three years ago now. We've been enjoying 14nm CPUs since last year, but now it's time to move onto 10nm, 7nm and beyond.
Broadwell arrived as the Core M processor, but for the 14nm desktop CPUs, we will be waiting until sometime in 2015. After the 14nm-based desktop Broadwell processors arrive, we have to look forward to 10nm sometime late next year or possibly 2016, while 7nm is planned for 2017 or so. The 10nm node is going to be an interesting transition, as the semiconductor industry will have to upgrade to EUVL technology.
While Intel edges closer to 14nm on the desktop, with 10nm now in its sights, what about AMD? AMD are currently using the 28nm process, which will be used throughout most of 2015, as they rely on fabrication plants like GlobalFoundries and TSMC do to their bidding. Intel could Tick-Tock ahead a few notches in that time, that's for sure.
AMD is hoping for some serious improvements in the energy efficiency of its APUs by 2020, where the chipmaker is aiming for a massive 25x improvement. In order to reach this goal, AMD will have to outpace historical energy efficiency by over 70%, but the company is optimistic that it can do this.
The company has goals in terms of energy efficiency, where it wants to have "more performance with less power", as well as "long battery life, sleek light weight form factors, cool and quiet computation" mixed with "lower energy consumption and utility bills, lower Total Cost of Ownership" and a "reduced environmental impact".
Using a comparison of a 35W notebook processor released this year, versus a 35W processor from two years ago, the new notebook processor is twice as fast. You can say that the energy efficiency has improved by 200% as well, but the older 35W processors no longer fit into notebooks. AMD needs to find a way to reduce power consumption, as well as increasing the performance of the processor. Up until now, we've seen Intel and AMD do one or the other, but not both to the extent of 200% leaps each time.