Apple’s put the heat on Intel, and the chipmaker is doing some reorg to make things right. Photo: Intel
Intel is losing against ARM when it comes to mobile. This is incontrovertible. In smartphones and tablets, Intel’s chips just haven’t been able to compete with the likes of Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Nvidia…. despite the billions of dollars Intel has spent trying to heavily subsidize things like Atom-powered Android phones.
Not so surprisingly, Intel’s mobile and tablet business isn’t profitable. But Intel’s about to do a little bit of creative accounting to make it’s mobile and tablet divisions profitable: merge them into the PC division.
Apple is considering a buyout of a division of Renesas Electronics that specializes in display chips for smartphones. The buyout would give Apple engineering expertise to help improve the iPhone’s display “sharpness and battery life,” according to Japanese business site Nikkei.
Apple already orders all of its liquid crystal display chips from Renesas, and the Japanese company is responsible for powering about a third of the world’s small to midsize LCDs. Instead of using the chip division of Renesas like an outside contractor, Apple wants to bring it in-house.
Although reports have surfaced that Apple may be building a top secret $10 billion chip fab, right now, the vast majority of Apple’s A-series chips are made by Samsung. This is obviously not an ideal situation, as it gives Apple’s arch smartphone rival the advantage of knowing what the iPhone-maker is planning on doing next, at least from a silicon perspective.
It looks like Apple may soon be able to rely less on its nemesis when it comes to building chips, though. A new report says that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will largely take over for Samsung in making iPhone and iPad chips in the future. And they’ll be pretty crazy advanced chips, too, at least if the rumors can be believed.
Strava Run, the fitness-tracking app that records your runs and lets you compete against strangers who have use the same routes, might be the first fitness app to take advantage of the M7 Motion Coprocessor (MoCoPro) in the iPhone 5S.
Now the app will not only run for longer thanks to saved battery power, it’s more accurate too.
As seen in the iPhone 5s, Apple’s new A7 chip is the world’s first 64-bit ARM-based chip… but it’s not Apple’s first quad-core chip. Instead, the A7 is dual-core in a sea of Android competitors boasting 32-bit quad-core processors.
We’ve all heard the rumors that Apple will move away from Samsung and find another fab to make all of their sexy, super-fast A-series processors, but today, The Korea Times is reporting it as a done deal, saying that Apple has shut Samsung out entirely from the design of their A7 processors. Who are they going with instead? The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC for short.
Being in business with Apple can’t be all that bad right now. Despite a report this morning that claimed Apple’s suppliers experienced weak sales in February, there are a few Apple suppliers that are hiring more employees to meet demand.
The Apple TV, Cupertino’s “hobby” of a set-top box, is often used to test out new fabrication process for the A-series chips that go into iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. The last Apple TV ran a 32nm A5 processor built by Samsung with a single-core disabled, which eventually ended up (in a dual-core capacity) in the iPad mini.
Intel and Apple, teaming up to make A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad? That’s what the rumors are saying, with a recent Reuters report going so far as to claim that executives from both companies have actually met to discuss the possibility of the x86 maker pumping out ARM chips custom designed by Apple!
“Intel Once Again Rumored To Be Working On iOS Device Chips With Apple,” read our headline this morning. But would Intel really cash in on its x86 heritage to make ARM chips? And if Apple did switch, would that really be a win for everyone?
The short answer? Yes, Intel would make ARM chips for Apple. But no, it probably wouldn’t be a win for either company. Here’s why.