What's Inside Apple's Tablet?

22 thoughts on “What's Inside Apple's Tablet?”

    1. They were selling a Power PC chip initially and had hoped to sell to Apple those chips but Apple went with Intel and that changed everything. They went ahead and did a whole lot of other designs for other markets and eventually ended up with that ARM chip, which never really made it to the market.

      1. I don’t think so. Let’s like at a time line:
        2003 PA Semi founded
        2005 PA Semi has discussions with Apple on PowerPC MPUs
        2007 PA Semi introduces dual core 2GHZ PowerPC, finds good acceptance from military, telecom, and networking markets.
        2008 Apple buys PA Semi, many PA Semi customers unhappy

        PA Semi didn’t have the time or money (designing a MPU costs in the tens of millions and takes years) to do an ARM chip.

        A story about DoD unhappiness with the buyout is here: http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207401605

      2. Even if we don’t have all the facts about PA Semi did exactly (being a private company), you’re just making this one up.

        First, isn’t it a little convenient that the power consumption of your mythical PA Semi ARM is exactly the same as the widely reported consumption of the actual PowerPC?

        (See, for instance, http://www.mc.com/mediacenter/pressrelease.aspx?id=11532)

        More glaringly, you seem to be ignorant of the gulf in power consumption between ARM and desktop-class processors. To describe a 5-13W ARM as “very low-power” is laughable when the vast majority of ARMs use <1W. Even the dual-core Cortex A9 is said to require only ~2W at ~2GHz.

        Isn’t the simpler explanation that you just forgot it was a PowerPC when writing your article, filled in the gap with ignorant wishful thinking, and are now backtracking to hide your lack of research? Maybe if you did a little fact-checking you would have uncovered articles such as this one:

        http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-opinion/37092-apple-to-build-a-pa-semi-iphone-not-so-fast

        1. Erick

          Here is another report for you. http://bit.ly/14K5oL. This is ARM’s chip code-named Project Osprey aka A9, something you point out. http://bit.ly/5NAO4N

          I think there are two different and distinct efforts that the company made – one with Power PC and one with ARM.

          And in terms of a tablet/PC, 5-13 Watts does qualify as low power. That is pretty much in the range of what new Intel Atom chips are likely to consume. On Project Osprey, the lower power consumption spec is of 2Watts, so from that perspective you are right.

          1. Om,

            Those articles are about a new Cortex A9 hard core from ARM and have nothing to do with PA Semi. It’s very likely the former PA Semi employees now working for Apple are using or developing an ARM core now (or designing their own; IIRC Apple has a ARM architectural license).

            But there’s no evidence PA Semi was working on an ARM core before Apple bought them. And there is good evidence that they were making decent headway selling their chips (although maybe not in large enough volumes to make their investors happy) — there are a lot of markets besides PCs. Both MIPS and PowerPC are still very popular in certain markets like telecom and networking.

          2. Om,

            Let’s imagine that PA actually was working on an ARM project, despite your inability to locate any evidence thereof. Now let’s assume, for the sake of contradiction, that your description of the project is accurate.

            It is documented fact that PA Semi had a working PowerPC dual-core with 5-13W typical consumption running at 2GHz. Now consider that ARM customers are used to measuring power consumption in milliwatts: ARM’s raison d’etre is that its architecture is an order of magnitude more power-efficient (at the cost of some performance).

            Why would PA Semi, with their expertise in low-power design, NOT be able to go lower than the 5-13W of the PPC chip then? Just correct the one instance of “ARM” to “PowerPC” in your article and the entire paragraph still reads just as well. You really don’t need to fight this point (with no evidence) to make the same case.

  1. “speculation” and “aggressive forecasts” are the key words here.

    Why can’t everyone simply wait until it is released to comment on the features of this ‘Pad’ – or whatever it may eventually be called.

    Can you interpret “For starters, before it was taking out by PA Semi had designed a very low power dual core “?

  2. So a US only launch ? “A carrier partner”, “Verizon”.

    Apple did that with the original iPhone too, but launched the 3G simultaneously in US and EU, didn´t they ? And this time around they already have lines open with carriers everywhere.

  3. So a US only launch ? “A carrier partner”, “Verizon”.

    Apple did that with the original iPhone too, but launched the 3G simultaneously in US and EU, didn´t they ? And this time around they already have lines open with carriers everywhere.

    PS! Which photo is courtesy of Gizmodo ?

    1. @Mary,

      Verizon and AT&T are already offering monthly, weekly, and daily prepaid passes for wireless data access. Hence, if you buy the tablet without a subsidy, you should be able to access the macro cellular network without a contract. Additionally, i’m sure the tablet will support wifi.

      My $.02,

      Best.

      1. yes… I have a Mifi 2200 from VZW and use it when I can’t get online any other way… (though VZW’s claim of 3g everywhere is pretty bogus). I’ll gladly pay full price for an Apple tablet w/bluetooth for a keyboard, and so on. Thanks for the reply(s).

  4. A real key is whether it will have a camera that can do video for videoconferencing.

    For those complaining about price, it will probably be subsidized by a carrier with a new agreement.

    I’d pay $800 for a portable video-conferencing slate that can hold all of my books and data when I’m traveling and at conferences, especially when it’s tied with the SquareUp or something similar. I talked a bit about it here: http://bit.ly/5QTOVO

  5. If they go with Verizon, I think they will lose a lot of people who currently own an iPhone. You would have to have two cellular plans, one from VZ and your current AT&T plan.

    So while they might offer VZ, its unlikely to be exclusive in my opinion. But if they do offer VZ it could be a hint of things to come for the iPhone.

    1. Replying to myself, if VZ offers a rebate or whatever you call it for a monthly data plan without needing a voice plan and does not restrict VOIP calls, then perhaps there might be some merit.

      But how would additional devices in the family be handled?

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