This year’s Computex trade show isn’t all about tablets, as Intel proved overnight with an update on its processor plans for the future. They include Ivy Bridge, a next-generation architecture that will power a new class of “no compromise” laptops that look strangely familiar to Apple MacBook Air fans.
We know that Apple’s ARM-based A5 processor runs like a champ inside the iPad 2 (and is likely heading to the next iPhone) -- but could it also someday soon be powering the likes of a MacBook Air as well?
Remember Apple’s controversial move from PowerPC to Intel processors? Ready for Cupertino to shake things up once again? A new rumor claims the company may be looking at a transition from Intel to ARM processors “in the not too distant future.”
The gang over at Chipworks have torn down the iPad 2 and stripped it of its main components. While investigating the innards, they got a close look at the iPad 2's 512MB of RAM and touchscreen controls, which are the same as its last-generation predecessor, and they discovered that the 3G version of the iPad 2 also uses the same chipset as the Verizon iPhone launched last month. But here's what is really fascinating: the dual-core A5 processor under a microscope.
Never mind the fact that the iPad 2 hasn’t even left the launch pad yet (pun intended) -- the rumor mill is already moving on to the iPhone 5, which could replace the glass back with aluminum as well as feature a redesigned antenna to put the “death grip” to rest once and for all.
Apple’s custom A4 chip introduced with the iPad a year ago was certainly impressive -- but let’s face it, that’s so 2010. The stars are aligning and they seem to indicate that this year’s iDevices will be taking a major step forward with a dual-core A5 processor.
Although I’m writing this as December dawns, when you’re reading it I’ll be in Las Vegas at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, poking and prodding the promised plethora of computing goodness powered by AMD’s new Fusion line of processors. One company that won’t be demonstrating AMD-powered wares at CES is Apple—all Macs are currently powered by Intel processors. But that doesn’t mean that Jobs & Co. aren’t contemplating putting AMD under the hood of some future bit of shiny-shiny. In fact, they’d be crazy not to.
A bit of background. Soon after AMD acquired graphics chipmaker ATI in mid-2006, the combined company announced a future chip line that would integrate AMD’s central processing units (CPUs) with ATI’s graphics processing units (GPUs) onto the same chunk of silicon.
Your next iPad or iPhone may be incredibly powerful and energy efficient. Texas Instruments and ARM have joined forces to collaborate on the next generation of ARM Cortex A-series processors--code named Eagle. Though both companies are keeping their lips sealed about the inner workings of the chip, the two hope that they can raise the bar for the next iteration of mobile processors.
The Federal Trade Commission settled charges today against Intel. The charges stated that the processor manufacturer illegally tried to cut down competition in the computer chip market. According to the settlement, Intel's past business tactics led to a loss of competition in the market. The FTC hopes to restore the chip market to its previous form, thereby increasing competitive prices.