a6

Every processor inside every iOS device to date has been “custom” designed by Apple. By that we mean the company has licensed application processors from ARM, graphics processors from Imagination Technologies, and then arranged various other components onto a chip that would then be manufactured by Samsung. Last week, when Apple announced the iPhone 5, they said that their latest creation, the A6, was at the heart of it. It may be the first Apple chip to have Apple designed cores.

Tegra-3

Nvidia saw its profit double in Q2 2012, thanks to the high demand for Tegra 3 chips. The growth in sales for Nvidia’s mobile chips are compensating for Nvidia’s slow decay into irrelevance in the PC market, as manufacturers are replacing most Nvidia’s GPU’s in laptops with Intel’s integrated graphics chips. However, Nvidia might still be the one to have the one to emerge as winner against Intel with the fast growth of the mobile industry.

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Although we haven’t even seen the first generation of Mali T600 series GPUs shipping, ARM is already announcing the second generation of T600 GPUs, not only for the Mali T604, but also for the GPU-compute-oriented Mali T658. These second generation GPUs are the Mali T624 (4 cores) and Mali T628 (8 cores) for the graphics-oriented chips, and Mali T678 for the GPU compute oriented product. Why is ARM announcing such a confusing move right now? Because it seems that, while they think GPU compute will be an important part of mobile GPUs in the future, they aren’t sure just how…

IBM Designates UMC to Make Its 20nm FinFET Chips

Intel went FinFET (or tri-gate transistors as they call them) at 22nm with Ivy Bridge, and now the #1 foundry, TSMC, and the #2 foundry, UMC, will also go to FinFET for the next gen 20 nm process. However, mass production of 20nm ARM chips will probably not happen until 2014, considering 28nm is barely here in 2012, and it usually takes 2 years for the new process technology to be ready. Apparently, the planar FinFET technology that these foundries intend to use is better suited for mobile SoC’s, like the ones from ARM, and it should bring a performance…

vizio-co-star-google-tv

The Vizio Co-Star Google TV might be the first Google TV box that’s worth buying. It now has access to the Google Play Store, which should include access to XBMC, support for OnLive gaming, and great specs for the low price of $99. Take all this into account and it’s not hard to imagine why the Vizio Co-Star sold out in just 12 hours from launch. I can’t stress enough how important the $99 price tag is for set-top boxes or mini-consoles like the OUYA, which also uses ARM chips. It’s the sweet spot for pricing such a device, and I wish Google…

intel-logo

No matter how hard Intel is trying, things don’t seem to go too well for them in the mobile market. According to sources quoted by Digitimes, the sales of the Intel-based smartphones aren’t going so well, and now two of their main partners, Motorola and Lenovo, are delaying their own Medfield-based tablets (and probably phones as well) at least until November. At that point, we’ll probably be too impressed by the new Android 5.0 Nexus devices, featuring chips like the S4 Pro, Exynos 5250 and even OMAP 5, to care for Medfield phones running Jelly Bean. So things aren’t looking…

ARM-Chip

It seems that ARM has beaten again the forecasters’ predictions for Q2 2012, and even better, the British chip designer outperformed the industry as well. While Intel and Qualcomm had to reduce expectations for their results, ARM surprised everyone with a 23% profit surge in the last quarter, or a $103.2 million pre-tax profit for $135 million worth of sales. Analyst Julian Yates at Investec said it was a good set of numbers – “It’s 5 percent ahead of our profit number, and they have beats on top-line royalties and licenses”. Admittedly, ARM is not playing with billions every quarter like…