W1


'W1' Articles

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

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 2018. TSMC's 10 nm node, which first showed up in Apple's A10X chip in the iPad Pro, followed by the A11, has been fraught with issues (paid link) such as low chip yield and performance short of initial expectations. TSMC looks to change its fortune with the new 7 nm node, which would be suitable for the successor to the A11 chip given current timelines. In addition to the 7 nm node, TSMC also shared information on the follow-up revision to this node, dubbed, N7+. Featuring the long-beleaguered Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV), the revision would promise 20 percent better density, around 10 percent higher speeds, or 15 percent lower power with other factors held constant. While EUV has faced delays for over a decade at this point, it seems to finally be coming to fruition, and a 2019 volume availability update would allow Apple to update its chip process in subsequent years yet again. Apple had previously updated process nodes with every iPhone since the transition to 3GS before being forced to use TSMC's 16 nm node in consecutive years with the A9 and A10. Moving forward, that annual cadence is again in jeopardy as chip foundries deal with the realities of physics and

Beats Launching New Studio3 Wireless Headphones With Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelation

Beats today introduced new Studio3 Wireless over-ear headphones with Apple's W1 chip and Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology. Beats Studio3 Wireless deliver up to 22 hours of battery life with Pure ANC on, and up to 40 hours with Pure ANC off. Fast Fuel quick charging technology via Micro-USB provides three hours of music playback with a 10-minute charge. Here's how Beats describes Pure ANC:This groundbreaking new technology uses advanced algorithms to continuously monitor your listening environment, so that it can best block out ambient noise—not only on an airplane, but also in a noisy café or a busy office. Pure ANC also evaluates fit and adjusts for leakage caused by hair, glasses, different ear shapes and movement of your head as you go about the day. Additionally, Pure ANC simultaneously checks what you’re hearing while noise canceling is applied against the original music content to adjust and ensure optimal audio fidelity. What’s remarkable is that Pure ANC’s real-time audio calibration operates up to 50,000 times a second.Like AirPods, Apple's W1 chip enables the Studio3 Wireless to instantly pair with an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple device, with seamless switching between iCloud-connected devices. Apple's W1 chip has Class 1 Bluetooth, so the Studio3 Wireless can be used with non-Apple devices as well. Studio3 Wireless wearers can answer phone calls, control music, and activate Siri with multifunction on-ear controls, while a 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable with in-line controls is also included in the carrying case. Beats Studio3 Wireless can

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

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 cores and two much smaller cores that are more power efficient. Apple also introduced another very important piece of standalone silicon in its new AirPods, dubbed the W1 chip. In total, this represents a great deal of engineering work done by Apple over the last year, and the A10 is the most significant to Apple's system-on-a-chip (SoC) line since the company's transition to 64-bit. Apple unveiled the biggest technical changes featured in the A10 at the very beginning, boasting a four-core CPU with 3.3 billion transistors. While Apple never disclosed a transistor count for the A9, it very likely fell somewhere in the middle between the 2 billion count on the A8 and the 3.3 billion of the new A10. A transistor count well under 3 billion seems probable for the A9; otherwise it would have been worth boasting about on its own. The 3.3 billion number for the A10 is well over 50 percent larger than the A8, and the large jump is likely mostly thanks to the addition of two new, albeit small, CPU cores along with a greatly enhanced image signal processor (ISP). Apple also disclosed that the GPU remains a six-cluster design, while benchmarks suggest that the L1 and L2 cache