Processors

  • Intel Taking Atom Process To 15 Nanometers – That's Really Tiny

    For years, makers of computer processors have worked to shrink the size of their components. The smaller your circuits and gates, after all, the more you can fit on a wafer, and the more work a processor can do per unit of area. Intel has traditionally done a die shrink every other year, and reorganized their chips on the “off” years. Interestingly, I wrote two years ago about… Read More

  • Dual-Core Orion CPU From Samsung Announced

    The pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores will come for mobile devices in 2011 with 1080p playback and recording, dual triple screen support and five times the 3D graphics performance than the current processors, you know the ones that are now used in the Galaxy S and Tab. I understand that it is important to use a dual screen phone for 1080p playback while you are driving an additional… Read More

  • Intel: GPUs aren't 100 times faster than CPUs, just 14 times. Nvidia: Oh no!

    This is pretty funny. You’ve probably seen some of the propaganda over the last year or so about how GPUs are orders of magnitude faster than CPUs at certain tasks, due to their parallel processing engine. Intel got tired of hearing about it, I guess, and decided to debunk the myth. They set out to disprove the notion that a GPU can be 100 times faster than a CPU. They kind of did it, but… Read More

  • Apple's A4 ain't that special

    I really don’t understand what the big deal is about the A4. ARM designed the chip, Apple customized it, and Samsung built it. How is that any different from any other phone or device manufacturer? The A4 variant (an unfortunate name considering the A* naming convention in ARM chips) is just an A8-based chip with a setup specific to the iPhone or iPad’s PCB layout and processing needs. Read More

  • AMD's Vision: The chip race is finally over

    Remember back in the day when you could go into a store and compare two clock speeds and come out with the right machine for you? Everything else was immaterial. Hard drives could be upgraded, memory could be added, but clock speed was the number you lived or died by. 1.8GHz was better than 1.5GHz every day of the week, right? Those days are over. Moore’s Law, the idea that “the… Read More

  • Apple in talks with AMD? Set relationship status to "it's complicated"


    AMD reps have been seen zooming around the Apple campus, taking meetings and presumably hawking their wares. With the recent MacBook Pro update proudly proclaiming the power of the Core i5 and i7 processors inside, and the work with Intel and NVIDIA to produce seamless hybrid graphics acceleration, it seems a rather odd time to be window-shopping with other vendors. But Apple has always been… Read More

  • New AMD processor details leak

    Oops! Looks like someone accident let some information out early. AMDs “Thuban” processors will be out next month, and there wasn’t a whole lot of information out there until recently. Turns out that somebody talked. Well, at least someone’s BIOS talked. Read More

  • Water runs uphill in mysterious silicon etching

    Bet you weren’t expecting that headline tonight, were you? Well, it’s about as literal as I could get. Some enterprising boffins at the University of Rochester used a high-powered laser to etch microscopic patterns in silicon such that water overcomes its own hydrophilia and goes in whatever direction they please. This is very much still a laboratory discovery, but a few years down… Read More

  • Let there be… nanophotonic avalanche photodetectors!

    File this one under “future toys.” We hear about a lot of these super-low-level advances in processing and storage (whenever I see the word “holographic,” I reach for the salt), and while they’re usually at best years away from practice and manufacture, they’re good to keep informed on, if nothing else than as cocktail chatter. “Did you hear about… Read More

  • Apple's A4 chip a billion dollar investment? That can't be right

    There’s a story going around right now that the development costs for Apple’s A4 chip, which powers the iPad, might be as high as a billion dollars. Let’s not get carried away here. Apple licensed the CPU and GPU from ARM, and the A4 shares a lot of elements with the Tegra 2. The billion dollar investment here is for designing a chip “from scratch.” Is that… Read More

  • Apple's A4 processor is in ARM family tree with Snapdragon, Tegra

    One of the small surprises of the iPad announcement was that it was running on Apple’s own custom silicon. Well, that’s true to an extent, but it’s not like Apple actually invented the processor in-house. It’s just not OEM hardware. In fact, other guys are running with many of the same parts. The A4 is a custom implementation of the ARM A9 processor, also found in… Read More

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