ARM


'ARM' Articles

Apple Hires ARM's Lead CPU Architect Amid Rumors of ARM-Based Macs as Early as 2020

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple plans to transition to its own ARM-based processors in Macs starting as early as 2020, and the company recently made a significant hire that lends credence to that objective. ARM's lead CPU and system architect Mike Filippo joined Apple last month, based out of the Austin, Texas area, according to his LinkedIn profile. Filippo led the development of several chips at ARM between 2009 and 2019, including the Cortex-A76, Cortex-A72, Cortex-A57, and upcoming 7nm+ and 5nm chips. Filippo also served as Intel's lead CPU and system architect between 2004 and 2009, and he was a chip designer at AMD between 1996 and 2004, so he brings a wealth of chipmaking experience with him to Apple. Filippo's profile still lists his ARM role as ongoing, but social media talk suggests that he has left the company. Apple designing its own ARM-based processors for Macs would allow it to move away from Intel processors, which have frequently faced delays. In fact, sources within Intel reportedly confirmed to Axios that Apple does plan to transition to ARM-based processors in Macs starting next year. Apple already designs its own A-series chips for the iPhone and the iPad, and it also designs the custom T2 security chip in recent Mac models, as part of its broader efforts to move to in-house components and chip designs. Apple has long been known for closely integrating its hardware and software. Last year, Bloomberg reported that the transition to ARM-based processors is part of a multi-step process that will eventually allow developers

Google Poaches Top Mobile Chip Designer John Bruno From Apple

Google has reportedly poached one of Apple's top chip designers, as it continues to pursue plans to design its own chipsets for consumer devices like its Pixel range of smartphones. According to The Information, the search giant has hired well-regarded Apple chip expert John Bruno, who has worked on silicon architecture for iPhones since 2012. Before moving offices to Cupertino to help with Apple's ARM-based mobile chip push, Bruno worked at Advanced Micro Devices and led chip design at ATI Technologies. Bruno founded and managed Apple's silicon competitive analysis group, which sought to keep the company ahead of competitors in the area of chip performance. He follows several other experienced chip engineers who have defected to Google from Apple over the past year, including Manu Gulati, Wonjae (Gregory) Choi and Tayo Fadelu. The hires highlight Google's attempt to keep pace with Apple, which has been designing its own mobile chips since 2010. Recently, Google said it would sell chips known as Cloud Tensor Processing Units (TPU) to other companies so that they could benefit from its deep learning tool set, TensorFlow. However, the recruitment drive is more likely to be aimed at making own-branded chips for Google's Pixel smartphones. Indeed, Google's first mobile chip could be right around the corner, according to Jim McGregor, an analyst at Tirias Research who spoke to The Information. With the help of off-the-shelf intellectual property, the Mountain View-based tech giant could have a multifunctional system-on-a-chip up and running in as soon as six

Microsoft Claims Upcoming ARM-Powered Laptops Offer Multi-Day Battery Life

Microsoft and Qualcomm have revealed they hope to release ARM-powered laptops by the end of the year, with the two companies promising multi-day battery life from the new machines (via Trusted Reviews). At its annual 5G summit in Hong Kong, Qualcomm revealed new details about the PCs it is developing in partnership with Microsoft. Known as "Always Connected PCs", the laptops are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor and rely on an ARM emulation layer to run x86 Windows 10 desktop applications. ARM processors require fewer transistors, which enables a smaller die size for the integrated circuitry. Their smaller size and lower power consumption are two reasons why they can be found in iPhones and iPads, but the increasing performance and efficiency of the chips is making the step up to laptops a realistic proposition. Microsoft said it is already testing "hundreds" of the ARM-powered laptops internally on a daily basis, with battery life in particular exceeding expectations. "To be frank, it's actually beyond our expectations. We set a high bar for [our developers], and we're now beyond that. It's the kind of battery life where I use it on a daily basis. I don't take my charger with me. I may charge it every couple of days or so. It's that kind of battery life." Bernard added: "I would consider it a game-changer in terms of the way people have experienced PCs in the past."The first round of Always Connected PCs are said to be coming from the likes of Asus, HP, and Lenovo, but they aren't expected to be cheap. Qualcomm said more affordable Windows 10

Apple Developing ARM-Based Mac Chip to Handle Low-Power Functions Alongside Intel Processors

Apple is developing a new ARM-based chip for its Mac lineup that would "take on more of the functionality" handled by Intel processors, reports Bloomberg. In development since last year, the chip, codenamed T310, is said to be similar to the chip used to power the Touch Bar in the new 2016 Macbook Pro. It's built using ARM technology and will work with the standard Intel processor, handling "Power Nap" low-power mode functionality. Apple engineers are planning to offload the Mac's low-power mode, a feature marketed as "Power Nap," to the next-generation ARM-based chip. This function allows Mac laptops to retrieve e-mails, install software updates, and synchronize calendar appointments with the display shut and not in use. The feature currently uses little battery life while run on the Intel chip, but the move to ARM would conserve even more power, according to one of the people.Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro uses an independent ARM-based chip called the T1 to power the Touch Bar, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the Touch Bar, and the secure enclave that stores payment and biometric data. According to Bloomberg's report, the upcoming ARM-based chip will "go further," connecting to storage and wireless components to take on additional power management capabilities. Apple could begin using the new chip in an upgraded version of the MacBook Pro set to launch later this year, but it could be introduced as a quiet update with little fanfare as the chip that powers the Touch Bar was not promoted by Apple. Despite Apple's plans to offload some tasks to a new

Intel and Apple Already in Talks Over ARM-Based Chips for Future iOS Devices

Intel's new licensing deal allowing it to manufacture ARM-based chips for smartphones could win over Apple as a customer in as little as two years, placing pressure on current A-series chip manufacturer TSMC, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The report cited analysts that believe Intel could supply Apple with at least a portion of tentatively named A12 chips for iPhones in 2018, following reports that TSMC will be the sole supplier of A10 and A11 chips for iPhones in 2016 and 2017 respectively."TSMC could face tough competition as soon as 2018 or 2019 as Intel is likely to gain orders from Apple by then," Samuel Wang, a veteran semiconductor analyst at research company Gartner, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Intel has begun to engage with Apple and it aims to grab one or two top-tier customers from TSMC."The switch to Intel may not have significant implications for iPhone users, but it provides Apple with an opportunity to secure the best manufacturing deal and technologies available. Intel's foundries will manufacture ARM-based smartphone chips based on a 10-nanometer process, which TSMC is also moving towards. The move could also shift at least a portion of A-series chip production to the United States, which could help create new jobs on the company's home turf."Intel is definitely the most formidable challenger for TSMC,” a senior Taiwanese chip industry executive said. "There is no rivalry between Apple and Intel so it's really likely that Apple could shift some orders there. The move is also in line with Washington's policy to encourage U.S. companies to make

Intel Foundries Able to Produce ARM-Based Chips Under New Licensing Deal

At today's Intel Developer Forum, Intel announced a new licensing deal with ARM, which will see Intel taking advantage of ARM technology in an effort to attract more manufacturing companies to its factories. Under the terms of the deal, Intel plans to allow third-party semiconductor companies to use its 10-nanometer production lines for manufacturing ARM-based chips for smartphones, expanding the production options available to companies like Apple. Apple currently produces custom-designed ARM-based chips that are manufactured by companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), but with Intel and ARM's new licensing deal, Apple (and other manufacturers) could potentially use Intel to fabricate its chips. LG Electronics has already inked a deal with Intel and will use Intel's foundry business to manufacture 10-nanometer chips for future LG devices. It is not clear if Apple will strike a deal with Intel, as rumors suggest Apple already has an agreement in place with TSMC to produce 10-nanometer A11 chips destined for the 2017 iPhone and other 2017 devices, but the possibility exists for future chips. TSMC is also said to be the sole manufacturer of the A10 chip that will be used in the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7

UK Chip Designer ARM to Be Acquired by Japan's Softbank for $31.4B

British chip designer and major Apple partner ARM Holdings is set to be acquired by Japanese firm Softbank for $31.4 billion, the BBC has revealed. According to the report, the board of ARM is expected to recommend shareholders accept the offer, which amounts to a 43 percent premium on its closing market value of $22.2 billion last week. Shares in the U.K. technology firm surged by 45 percent at the open of the London Stock Exchange this morning on news of the deal, adding $10 billion to ARM's market value. The Cambridge-based company was founded in 1990 and employs 3,000 staff. The acquisition is said to be the biggest ever purchase of a European technology company, one that will be funded by Softbank's own cash reserves and a long-term loan from Japan's Mizuho Bank. Commenting on the deal, chairman and chief executive of Softbank, Masayoshi Son, said: This is one of the most important acquisitions we have ever made, and I expect ARM to be a key pillar of SoftBank's growth strategy going forward. We have long admired ARM as a world renowned and highly respected technology company that is by some distance the market leader in its field. ARM will be an excellent strategic fit with the Softbank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the Internet of Things.ARM designs the processors that power all of Apple's iOS devices, as well as most of Samsung's smartphones, and receives royalties on each chip made to its specifications. Last year over 15 billion ARM-designed processors were shipped, up 3 billion on the previous year.

Intel CEO Responds to Rumors of ARM-Based Macs, Says Relationship With Apple Is 'Strong'

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich appeared today on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the financial future of the technology company. Following discussions about Intel's disappointing Q1 forecast and flat PC sales, CNBC anchor Betsy Quick questioned the executive about rumors that Apple may eventually drop Intel chips from its Mac computers in favor of its own processors. Unfazed by the questioning, Krzanich toed the company line, revealing no new information about the future of Intel's relationship with Apple and simply calling it a "strong" one.I just hear the same rumors. Our relationship with Apple is strong and their products are great. Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability in innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate. They're a company based on innovation. Our job is to continue to deliver parts that have that capability give them that, that are better than our competitors. And then they want to use our parts. So I wake up every morning making sure that across the board, whether it's Apple or Lenovo or Dell or any of our customers -- we have to provide the most competitive part: performance, price, reliability, all of those. In his latest report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered the prediction that Apple may launch ARM-based Macs in the next few years. In this scenario, Apple would replace the Intel chips it currently uses with custom designed A-series chip, allowing the company to better time processor upgrades with new product launches. Apple last year was forced to delay major product