Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Today, Linley Group posted their latest newsletter and it was pretty interesting.

In addition to the nice things the Linley Group has to say about Tegra 2 (which BTW IS actually in production now), they also have some interesting conjecture about the Apple A4 processor used in the new iPad.

This may prove to be the most likely scenario:
"A third idea is that the A4 uses the 1GHz Cortex-A8 CPU known as Hummingbird, which is designed by Intrinsity and manufactured by Samsung. This choice would allow Apple to continue working with Samsung, a long-time Apple supplier that makes the Cortex-A8 processor for the iPhone 3GS. Staying with the Cortex-A8 would also simplify software development. Samsung announced that the Hummingbird CPU had already been validated in silicon last July, putting it on track to be production-ready in time for the iPad launch."

People who handled the iPad remarked that it was very snappy - but well optimized software on a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor with an integrated memory controller could run pretty fast. The other speculation around the graphics core also seems fair "Samsung typically uses Imagination's PowerVR cores, and Apple is an investor in Imagination." But I'm surprised that Apple was showing native iPhone games on the bigger iPad screen using pixel doubling but without any antialiasing. Reports are that it looked pretty bad.

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