from the Apple-of-my-eye dept.
Like iPhones and iPads, Apple Silicon Macs will use an Apple-designed GPU – something that makes complete sense when you consider this is how current iOS devices work. But it could be a reason for pause by some high-end users during the transition period from Intel-based hardware.
[...] You see, while Intel Macs contain GPU’s from Intel, Nvidia and AMD, Apple Silicon Macs will use what the company seems fond of calling “Apple family” GPUs. These use a rendering system called Tile Based Deferred Rendering (TBDR), which iOS devices already use.
It works differently from the Immediate Mode rendering system supported in Intel Macs: While the latter immediately render imaging data to device memory, the former makes more use of the GPU by sorting out each element first before submitting it to device memory.
You can find out more here.
The effect is that TBDR rendering delivers lower latency, higher performance, lower power requirements and can achieve higher degrees of bandwidth. The A11 chip and Metal 2 really consolidated this technique.
It’s important to note that the GPU in a Mac with Apple silicon is a member of both GPU families, and supports both Mac family and Apple family feature sets. In other words, using Apple Silicon and Rosetta, you should still be able to use software designed for Intel-based Macs.
[...] How will Apple exploit this? Will it ditch fans in order to make thinner Macs? Will it exploit the opportunity to explore a new design language for its PCs? At what point will an iPhone become all the Mac you ever need, given your choice of user interface and access to a larger screen?
SoftBank has been rumored to be exploring a sale of ARM — the British chip designer that powers nearly every major mobile processor from companies like Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei — and now, it might have found a buyer. Nvidia is reportedly in "advanced talks" to buy ARM in a deal worth over $32 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Nvidia is said to be the only company that's involved in concrete discussions with SoftBank for the purchase at this time, and a deal could arrive "in the next few weeks," although nothing is finalized yet. If the deal does go through, it would be one of the largest deals ever in the computer chip business and would likely draw intense regulatory scrutiny.
(2020-07-12) Apple Has Built its Own Mac Graphics Processors
(2020-07-11) Nvidia's Market Cap Rises Above Intel's
(2020-06-11) ARM Faces a Boardroom Revolt as it Seeks to Remove the CEO of Its Chinese Joint Venture
(2019-10-29) Fed Up Of Playing Whac-A-Mole With Network Of Softbank-Owned Patent Holders, Intel Goes To Court
The new processor is called the Apple M1, the company's first SoC designed with Macs in mind. With four large performance cores, four efficiency cores, and an 8-GPU core GPU, it features 16 billion transistors on a 5nm process node. Apple's is starting a new SoC naming scheme for this new family of processors, but at least on paper it looks a lot like an A14X.
[...] Apple made mention that the M1 is a true SoC, including the functionality of what previously was several discrete chips inside of Mac laptops, such as I/O controllers and Apple's SSD and security controllers.
[....] Whilst in the past 5 years Intel has managed to increase their best single-thread performance by about 28%, Apple has managed to improve their designs by 198%, or 2.98x (let's call it 3x) the performance of the Apple A9 of late 2015.
[...] Apple has claimed that they will completely transition their whole consumer line-up to Apple Silicon within two years, which is an indicator that we'll be seeing a high-TDP many-core design to power a future Mac Pro. If the company is able to continue on their current performance trajectory, it will look extremely impressive.
Citing sources close to Apple, a new report in Bloomberg outlines Apple's roadmap for moving the entire Mac lineup to the company's own custom-designed silicon, including both planned release windows for specific products and estimations as to how many performance CPU cores those products will have.
[...] New chips for the high-end MacBook Pro and iMac computers could have as many as 16 performance cores (the M1 has four). And the planned Mac Pro replacement could have as many as 32. The report is careful to clarify that Apple could, for one reason or another, choose to only release Macs with 8 or 12 cores at first but that the company is working on chip variants with the higher core count, in any case.
The report reveals two other tidbits. First, a direct relative to the M1 will power new iPad Pro models due to be introduced next year, and second, the faster M1 successors for the MacBook Pro and desktop computers will also feature more GPU cores for graphics processing—specifically, 16 or 32 cores. Further, Apple is working on "pricier graphics upgrades with 64 and 128 dedicated cores aimed at its highest-end machines" for 2022 or late 2021.
New Mac models could have additional efficiency cores alongside 8/12/16/32 performance cores. Bloomberg claimed the existence of a 12-core (8 performance "Firestorm" cores, 4 efficiency "Icestorm" cores) back in April which has not materialized yet.
The Apple M1 SoC has 8 GPU cores.
Previously: Apple Announces 2-Year Transition to ARM SoCs in Mac Desktops and Laptops
Apple Has Built its Own Mac Graphics Processors
Apple Claims that its M1 SoC for ARM-Based Macs Uses the World's Fastest CPU Core
Your New Apple Computer Isn't Yours
Linus Torvalds Doubts Linux will Get Ported to Apple M1 Hardware