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Iphone

Submission + - iPhone 5 A6 SoC reverse engineered, reveals rare hand-made custom CPU (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Reverse engineering company Chipworks has completed its initial microscopic analysis of Apple's new A6 SoC (found in the iPhone 5), and there are some rather interesting findings. First, there's a tri-core GPU — and then there's a custom, hand-made dual-core ARM CPU. Hand-made chips are very rare nowadays, with Chipworks reporting that it hasn't seen a non-Intel hand-made chip for "years." The advantage of hand-drawn chips is that they can be more efficient and capable of higher clock speeds — but they take a lot longer (and cost a lot more) to design. Perhaps this is finally the answer to what PA Semi's engineers have been doing at Apple since the company was acquired back in 2008..."
Hardware

Submission + - Snapdragon S4 benchmarks hint that Tegra 3 is in trouble (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "When Nvidia began talking about its next-generation Kal-El chip, the one that would eventually become the Tegra 3, it seemed like 2012 would be Nvidia’s year. Tegra 2 was Nvidia’s first ARM part to gain any real traction, but Tegra 3 was promising to solidify the company’s mobile presence with quad-core power. However, the more news that comes out about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4, the more it looks like Nvidia might have miscalculated. HTC’s One X Android phone is due to arrive in a few months, and it will be bringing with it the first Snapdragon S4 SoC. An AT&T employee who claims to be testing the HTC One X has posted some impressive benchmarks that show the dual-core device soundly beating the quad-core Tegra 3. The opposing point of view is that benchmarking tools don’t really take advantage of all four cores in Tegra 3 — but then again, neither do most regular apps. Really, with everyone else rushing to 28nm and the newer Cortex-A15 core (or Krait in Qualcomm's cast), it just looks like Nvidia made a poor judgment call by sticking with a quad-core 40nm Cortex-A9 design, even if it does have a 'companion core'..."

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