Expert: Apple has surpassed Intel in the art of designing processors




Apple company ahead of Intel in the art of designing processors and achieve more efficient use of semiconductor manufacturing. This statement was made by the expert Semiconductor Advisors Robert Maire. Maire made ​​such conclusions by examining the characteristics of next-generation processor A8, used in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus .


Apple A8 received a modified version of the architecture, Cyclone, which is built on the basis of the previous representative of the line Apple A Series. At 100 MHz clock frequency increased (1.4 GHz), and the amount of RAM remained at the same level – 1 GB. Experts say that Apple has significantly streamlined the work of the nuclei, to add energy efficiency and performance of the processor.

According to Myra, A8 chip consists of 2 billion transistors, while the dual-core Intel Broadwell-Y – of about 1.3-1.4 billion. A8 A7 exceed 25% of computing performance and 50% – the performance of the GPU and Energy efficiency. These indicators are “more than twice the normal growth of 15-20%, the expected transition from the norms of 20 nm, which is available A8». So Apple has significantly improved the scheme in addition to the reduction rules, reports ixbt .

Apple’s success limit the ability of Intel’s advancement in the mobile market. According to Myra, Cupertino-based company has set the bar relative prices and productivity so high that Intel to promote their products would be difficult to do without imposing subsidies to sacrificing profits.


Allegedly, Intel does not receive the maximum possible benefit of advanced technological developments, in particular, from the bulk transistors TriGate. Do Apple and its technology partner TSMC is a lot better.

Even a simple reckoning shows that Intel could fit much more of FinFET transistors per unit area of ​​the crystal than Apple, using planar transistors. Especially when you consider that the processors Broadwell has produced at rates of 14 nm, and the Apple A8 – at rates of 20 nm. However, the difference is not in favor of Intel, says the expert Semiconductor Advisors.

Somewhat more dense arrangement A8 explain the large amount of cache, but even this is not enough to justify a significant difference between the two processors. Probably, the potential transition to a FinFET with all the advantages of these transistors while not being fully utilized. May increase the density did not allow complexity in the development of new process technology that forced several times to transfer issue Broadwell?

Anyway, Apple was able to compensate for the designers to achieve two Intel – bulk transistors and thinner technology standards. Intel has something to think about looking at the Apple A8.

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