Chris Jenkins

Chris is a Contributing Writer at MacRumors. An electrical engineer by trade, he likes to spend his free time with family and a hockey game or two.

Chris Jenkins's Articles

Key iOS Chip Architect Gerard Williams III Departs Apple

Saturday March 30, 2019 9:13 am PDT by
Gerard Williams III, lead designer of Apple's custom iOS chips from A7 to A12X, has departed the company, according to CNET. While no indication of a change has been made on his LinkedIn profile, it does offer a glimpse into his design prowess. Williams' presence goes back even further into Apple device history, as he served as the technical lead for the Cortex-A8 design, ARM's first...

Throttling in New i9 MacBook Pros Appears to be Due to Power Delivery Chip

Tuesday July 24, 2018 7:25 am PDT by
A user posting on reddit and in the MacRumors forums has given a detailed account of their findings and attempts to circumvent the throttling previously discovered on the new MacBook Pro 15" models featuring the six-core i9 Intel CPUs. The user goes on to explain that one of the internal power limits set for the device may not be appropriate for the power draw of the CPU and identical to...

Patent Applications Reveal Apple's Research Into 3D Chip Packaging

Tuesday June 12, 2018 6:52 am PDT by
Apple's persistent quest for better performance, longer battery life, and slimmer form factors appears to be driving its research into advanced chip packaging technologies. So-called "2.5D" and "3D" packaging methods stand to offer significant gains in all of these areas by increasing memory bandwidth, reducing power consumption, and freeing up space for higher-capacity batteries. Apple has...

Apple's Workforce Growth in Oregon Could Point to Desktop-Class CPU Ambitions

Friday June 1, 2018 8:09 am PDT by
Yesterday, we reported on Apple's opening of a new technology hub in Oregon, along with the hiring of several former senior Intel engineers. Oregon is the site of Intel's Hillsboro facilities, featuring the chipmaker's leading-edge 14 nm and 10 nm foundries, as well as CPU design expertise for desktop-class processor thermal budgets. A search of Apple's open positions indicated there were several ...

Intel Foundries Continue to Face Issues and Another Spectre-Like Vulnerability Disclosure May Be Looming

Monday May 7, 2018 11:01 am PDT by
Despite positive first quarter results for 2018, Intel faces continuing issues with its foundries, both with the oft-delayed 10nm, as well as its own modem production in 14nm. Intel revealed in the earnings conference call that volume 10nm manufacturing had been delayed to 2019, without specifying which part of the year. The debut of Intel's 10nm process has been a particular sore spot, with...

TSMC Details Technology Roadmap With Multiple Offerings to Benefit Future Apple Devices

Thursday May 3, 2018 12:50 pm PDT by
As part of its recent Q1 earnings call, TSMC announced that its 7-nanometer FinFET process node has entered into high volume manufacturing (HVM), meaning we could see consumer devices featuring the process as soon as the second half of this year. Previous reports indicated that TSMC is expected to have sole production responsibility for Apple's upcoming A12 chip and its variants expected to...

Prime Real Estate: The Fight for Space in the iPhone X

Thursday November 2, 2017 10:10 am PDT by
As the launch of Apple's iPhone X approaches tomorrow, eager users are set to enjoy battery life normally reserved for Apple's Plus-size form factors in a phone more closely resembling a non-Plus variant in its dimensions. The reason for this advancement is not an energy density development, but rather a smaller printed circuit board (PCB) inside the iPhone X, according to a February report from...

iPhone 8 Shows Modest Improvements in Cellular Network Bandwidth Tests

Thursday September 28, 2017 7:44 am PDT by
With a number of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices now in the hands of users, Ookla's network benchmarking suite Speedtest.net has been able to gather data on how the latest iPhones are performing compared to previous-generation models and has shared details with PCMag. Based on data collected by Ookla, improvements appear to be around the 10 percent mark for most users, but users in Australia could ...

iPhone 8 Teardowns Reveal Advanced Modems Likely Selected for Power Improvements

Tuesday September 26, 2017 8:25 am PDT by
Apple released the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus on Friday, September 22, and device teardowns were underway within hours, courtesy of iFixit and TechInsights. The firms received different models for teardown, with iFixit's model featuring a Qualcomm baseband while TechInsights' featured an Intel modem, continuing Apple's trend of opting for Intel modems in phones which do not require CDMA network...

Apple's Chip Partner TSMC Shares Details on 7nm Node and Advanced InFO Package Process for 2018

Friday September 15, 2017 11:43 am PDT by
At the Open Innovation Platform Ecosystem Forum in Santa Clara on Wednesday, chip foundry TSMC provided an update (via EE Times) on the progress of its forthcoming technology nodes, several of which would be candidates for upcoming Apple chips. Most notably, the company's first 7-nanometer process node has already had several tape-outs (finalized designs) and expects to reach volume capacity in...

A11 Chip's 6-Core Architecture Highlights Apple's Continuing Push Into Heterogeneous Computing

Monday September 11, 2017 10:00 pm PDT by
In the recent leak of information from Apple, a device tree shared by Steven Troughton-Smith and containing information specific to the iPhone X was used to glean CPU code names, presence of an OLED display, and information on many other things. Contained within that information were also specific details regarding the architecture behind Apple's new CPU cores, dubbed "Mistral" and "Monsoon."...

A Closer Look at Apple's CPU Improvements for iPhone 7 and Apple Watch

Monday September 12, 2016 1:10 pm PDT by
At last Wednesday's media event, Apple introduced two new processors - the A10 Fusion for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and the S2 for Apple Watch Series 2. Although Apple only briefly covered the S2 during the presentation, it did spend a good deal of time talking about A10 Fusion. The 'Fusion' suffix refers to the heterogeneous architecture that the A10 features, which has two high-power, high-throughput ...

Leaked iPhone 7 Logic Boards Suggest Intel Modem, Other Component Tweaks

Tuesday August 16, 2016 11:46 am PDT by
Last week, MacRumors covered photos of what appear to be the front and rear of bare iPhone 7 logic boards, and since that time we've been able to study these boards and compare them to previous iPhone generations' bare and populated logic boards. Comparing the boards with existing component offerings and information suggests that Apple has indeed moved on from Qualcomm as its baseband modem...

How TSMC Won Back Exclusivity With Apple for the A10 Chip in iPhone 7

Wednesday August 10, 2016 2:05 pm PDT by
Last year, MacRumors covered the potential reasoning for Apple's rumored return to having a single partner for Apple A-series chip production with the A10 after having both Samsung and TSMC produce versions of the Apple A9. Since then, TSMC confirmed in conference call comments that its chip packaging changes have led to improvements of 20 percent in both speed and packaging thickness and 10...

New Semiconductor Processes Offer Power Efficiency Opportunities for Apple Watch

Tuesday August 9, 2016 7:51 am PDT by
One of the key challenges for Apple in developing the Apple Watch was figuring out how to maintain acceptable battery life for the device in the face of power-hungry components such as the main processor and display. With watchOS 3 introduced at WWDC in June, Apple showed off the ability to allow multiple Apple Watch apps to remain active and refresh in the background, acknowledging that its...

Samsung Said to Supply Apple with NAND Flash Memory in 2017 After Five-Year Hiatus

Wednesday April 20, 2016 7:08 am PDT by
Samsung is once again set to begin supplying Apple with NAND flash memory chips in 2017, ending a five-year hiatus dating back to the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012, according to ETNews. The reason for the dissolution of the original supplier relationship is given as Samsung's unwillingness to comply with Apple's electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements via packaging changes or...

AMD's New 400-Series 'Polaris' Graphics Chips Headed for 2016 Macs

Tuesday April 19, 2016 12:47 pm PDT by
Following up on its rumor of a major AMD design win reported last October, WCCFtech has confirmed via multiple sources that the customer in question is indeed Apple. The latest design win follows Apple's use of AMD 200/300 series GPUs in the top-end 27-inch Retina iMac and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and is a boon for the chipmaker that has seen its share of the graphics market dwindle over the...

Mac Update Cycle Faces Uncertainty as Intel Abandons Tick-Tock Strategy

Monday April 11, 2016 12:23 pm PDT by
In its latest 10-K annual report (PDF) filed last month, Intel confirmed the end of its long-heralded "tick-tock" strategy of delivering new microprocessors to the market. Intel originally introduced the product cadence to the world in 2006 with the launch of the "Core" microarchitecture, alternating "ticks" of shrinking chip fabrication processes with "tocks" of new architectures. Over the...

Apple's Mac Lineups to See Significant Graphics Upgrades as New GPU Launches Loom

Thursday April 7, 2016 8:27 am PDT by
Major graphics processing providers AMD and Nvidia are set to unveil new GPU products this year featuring Global Foundries' 14 nm FinFET and TSMC's 16 nm FinFET Plus processor nodes, respectively, allowing for significant improvements in graphics performance. AMD's "Polaris" and Nvidia's "Pascal" architectures both utilize the latest FinFET silicon processes and will represent the first GPU...

A9X Die Photo From iPad Pro Reveals 12-Cluster Graphics, No L3 Cache

Monday November 30, 2015 6:06 am PST by
Financial news website The Motley Fool has shared details of the A9X die featured in the new Apple iPad Pro, thanks to analysis from electronics teardown firm Chipworks. The photo reveals the A9X's dual-core CPU and a 12-cluster GPU to drive the device's massive display. While the CPU core count observed in the A9X matches that of the A9 from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the 12-cluster GPU is...