backtop


Print 30 comment(s) - last by vXv.. on Aug 25 at 5:10 PM

New chip stacking tech and a 20 nm process will accompany Qualcomm's Snapdragon 205, 410, 610, 615, 805, 808, and 810

A Chinese microblogger, panjiutang, posted on the Chinese-language microblogging platform Weibo pictures of what appears to be a leaked Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) roadmap.  If accurate the roadmap, which runs Q2 2014 through Q2 2015, suggests that the top mobile chipmaker's 64-bit Snapdragon chips are hitting mass production shortly and may be ready for launch in devices sometime around the end of the year.
 
I. Qualcomm's 64-Bit Beachhead
 
As of Q1 2014 Qualcomm controlled roughly two-thirds of the cellular baseband processor market and roughly half of the mobile applications processor market as of the end of 2013 [source: Strategy Analytics].
 
If there's a clear threat to Qualcomm's hegemony it's the ambitious in-house efforts of Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935), the world's second and first place smartphone sellers, respectively.  Apple beat Qualcomm to the 64-bit punch, launching the first mass market mobile SoC (the iPhone 5S's Apple A7 SoC) late last year.  In Oct. 2013 Samsung pledged to have 64-bit chips of its own shortly.
 
Qualcomm's chief market officer and SVP Anand Chandrasekher initially responded by blasting this trend.  But the rest of Qualcomm's executive staff quickly decided this was a dangerous mistake and demoted Mr. Chandrasekher, "clarifying" that 64-bit Snapdragon chips were on the roadmap.  The switch to 64-bit confers a number of advantages, including faster native processing of high bit-width (64-bit or 128-bit) image data and improved memory access.  

ARM Cortex A53

A pair of 32-bit registers and accompanying ALUs can do the same work as a larger 64-bit register, but in many cases operating in native precision improves power efficiency and speed of operations.  It also reduces circuit complexity in the processing pipeline as you now are dealing with a single monolithic native precision ALU/register duo, versus a pair of high/low registers and accompanying ALUs.
 
For these reasons ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) has pushed Qualcomm and other partners to embrace 64-bit, incentivizing it further by applying it to the new ARMv8 and ARMv8-A instruction sets, which pack new functionality and more registers for faster mobile processing.
 
In Dec. 2013 Qualcomm previewed the upcoming 64-bit Snapdragon 410 chips, and in Feb. 2014 Qualcomm announced the upcoming availability of 64-bit Snapdragon 610 chips, as well.  Notably, both upcoming chips used licensed ARM Cortex-A53 cores, for now shelving the proprietary ARM instruction set architecture (ISA) "Krait" cores found in the Snapdragon 200/400/600/800 line

Qualcomm roadmap
Allegedly this is Qualcomm's Q2 2014 through Q2 2015 roadmap (click to enlarge).
[Image Source: panjiutang on Weibo]

The leaked roadmap (slide 1 of 2 is above) indicates the timeline for sampling, along with some new technical details of Qualcomm's upcoming lineup, which is largely comprised of 64-bit product.
 
II. Qualcomm's 64-Bit Beachhead
 
According to the leaked roadmap, the Snapdragon 410 will likely be the first 64-bit chip to ship in devices, having begun sampling at the end of Q2.
 

Qualcomm 64-bit

Here's the info on the chip:
  • Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 (28 nm LP process)
    • Basics
      • 28 nm LP process
      • Likely Qualcomm's first 64-bit chip to ship in product to consumers.
    • CPU
      • 4x Cortex-A53 cores (licensed)
      • Max: 1.2 GHz
      • Avg.: 800-1190 MHz [source]
    • GPU
      • Adreno 306 @ 400 MHz
    • Memory
    • Baseband
      • LTE Cat4 on-die
      • HSPA+
      • TD-SCDMA
    • Image Signal Processor
      • Support for up to 13 megapixel cameras
      • HD video (720p; 1,280 x 720 pixels) @ 60 fps
      • FHD video (1080p; 1,920 x 1,080 pixels) @ 30 fps
    • Other
This chip has thus far been confirmed or rumored to be in at least two upcoming devices, both from China: the A805e from the Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) and the G621 by Huawei Technology Comp., Ltd. (SHE:002502).  Both devices were leaked in June and rumored for July launches, but have yet to launch.  Expect them closer to the holiday season.  

Based on recent leaks, the Samsung's 6-inch Galaxy Mega 2 smartphone/phablet tweener is expected to come in two varieties, one of which has the 64-bit Snapdragon 410 onboard.  (The other variant packs a M7450 baseband processor from Sweden's Ericsson AB (STO:ERIC.AERIC.B) and a Pega Pro SoC from an unknown chipmaker.)

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2
The upcoming  Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 is rumored to be one of the first devices to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410.  An alternate version packing a Pega SoC is pictured. [Image Source: GSM Arena]

Moving up to the high end, the roadmap shows the Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, as well as the Gobi MDM 9x25 and 9x35 global modems, all built on a 28 nm HPm process.  The APQ8084 is the first available chip in the Snapdragon 805 SKU; it was announced in Nov. 2013.  Onboard is a quartet of Krait 450 cores clocked at up to 2.7 GHz.  Also inside is an Adreno 420 GPU, running at 600 MHz.
 
The new Snapdragon 805 chip will be phasing out the Snapdragon 801 as Qualcomm's new high-end model.  The Snapdragon 801 topped out at around 2.45 GHz, packed older Krait 400 cores, and had a slower Adreno 330 GPU, clocked at around 575 GHz.
 
So far Samsung has been gobbling up most of the stock of Snapdragon 805 chips.  The Korea-only Galaxy S5 LTE-A has an APQ8084 chip onboard.  Samsung will give the international market its first taste of the new chip with the launch of the Galaxy Note 4 early next month.
 
II. Nanoscale Packaging, Gobi "Fusion" and the Snapdragon 805
 
One interesting tidbit revealed by the leak is that the APQ8064 is Qualcomm latest chip to implement its so-called "nanoscale package" or NSP technology.  More commonly known as a land grid array (LGA) format or an "internal stacked module" (ISM), the NSP involves stacking a bare chip -- in this case, the CPU/GPU/baseband/ISP/etc. Snapdragon SoC, directly on top of a second prepackaged chip, typically memory.'
 
The combined SoC + LPDDR3 module is packed into a flip-chip ball grid array (FBGA) package assembly, which traditionally used 0.4 mm pitch solder balls.

Qualcomm NSP
Qualcomm Xray
Qualcomm's NSP chip-stacking technology is seen here in a Snapdragon S4 chip analyzed optically (top) and with x-rays (bottom). [Image Source: Chipworks]

This 3D chip packing technology took a while to perfect, but should cut the size of smartphone circuit boards, marginally improve power efficiency, and possibly slightly nudge performance upwards, as well.  Qualcomm first tested it with 512 Mbit (64 MB) DDR2 SDRAM internally mounted in selected Snapdragon S1 through Snapdragon S4 chips (namely, the S1 QSD8650 and the S4 MSM8660).  The S1 Snapdragons also used the NSP technology to attach the digital signal processor (DSP) (aka, the baseband modem), which was eventually incorporated into the die.
Qualcomm NSP
The original Snapdragon used the NSP approach for many of its coprocessors, which were not on-die at the time. [Image Source: Chipworks]

One possibility is that Qualcomm is using the stacking tech to bundle a dedicated memory chip for the onboard Adreno GPU.  That memory cache may also be shared with the SoC's hardware video decode units and image signal processors.  Another possibility is that the stacking is being used to include a more advanced baseband processor that's too large to currently put on-die.

A second slide indicates that Qualcomm will be marketing the APQ8064-Gobi MDM 9x25 duo as "Fusion 4" and the APQ8064-Gobi MDM 9x35 pairing as "Fusion 4.5".  

Qualcomm roadmap slide 2
This is the second slide of the leaked roadmap. (click to enlarge). [Image Source: panjiutang]

This hints that Qualcomm may also be bundling its Gobi modem as a tested chip inside the package, with the graphics RAM and core SoC.  Hence Fusion may represent a single-package solution that's more advanced than any other SoC-bundled baseband currently available.
 
III. Snapdragon 610, 615, 808, 810, and 205 Await
 
Looking ahead to the fresher details, the roadmap suggests that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 6XX series chips -- the octa-core Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 and the quad-core Snapdragon 610 MSM8936.  Both of these mid-range powerhouses will be 64-bit.  
 
Here's a quick rundown of the roadmap and other known info on them:
  • Snapdragon 610 MSM8936
    • Basics
      • 28 nm LP process
    • CPU
      • ARMv8 instruction set
      • 4x Cortex-A53 cores
      • Max: 1.8 GHz
      • Avg.: 1.5-1.7 GHz
    • GPU
      • Adreno 405 @ ??? MHz
    • Memory
      • Support for 800 MHz LPDDR3
    • Baseband
      • LTE Cat4 on-die
      • HSPA+
      • TD-SCDMA
    • Image Signal Processor
      • h.265 codec hardware decode
      • Support for up to 20+ megapixel cameras
      • FHD video (1080p; 1,920 x 1,080 pixels) @ 60 fps
    • Other
      • GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou
  • Snapdragon 615 MSM8939
    • Basics
      • 28 nm LP process
      • Qualcomm's first octa-core CPU.
    • CPU
      • 4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.0 GHz ; 4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.8 GHz
      • Higher clocked cores may downclock to 1.5-1.7 GHz
    • GPU (same)
    • Memory (same)
    • Baseband (same)
    • Image Signal Processor (same)
    • Other (same)
The Snapdragon 610 and 615 chips will begin sampling towards the end of Q3 2014, with devices launched early in 2015.

IV. Snapdragon 205, 808, and 810 -- Filling the High and Low End

Expanding on its mid-range 64-bit rollout, at the end of 2014 Qualcomm reportedly will look to start sampling the Snapdragon 810 MSM8994.  Finally, in Q2 it will begin sampling the Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 and the Snapdragon 2XX series chip, the MSM8909.

Some Russian sites have been referring to the MSM8909 as the "Snapdragon 210".  However, this branding seems unlikely as the roadmap explicitly states that this chip uses a quartet of Cortex-A7 (32-bit) cores clocked at 1.1 GHz.  As Qualcomm has previously reserved the Snapdragon X08 and X10 monikers for its first 64-bit model in the track, it's much more likely that this unannounced chip will be branded as the Snapdragon 201 or 205.

The MSM8909 will carry a new (not-yet-announced) Adreno GPU, the Adreno 304, which is likely a slightly freshened version of the Adreno 302, the chip aboard Snapdragon 200 series.  The slide shows a clockspeed of 300 MHz, which is inline with the Adreno 302, which generally ranged from 300-400 MHz.  Another minor tweak is the inclusion of 533 MHz memory support, which greatly bumps the 333 MHz speed limit of the current spec.

Looking at the Snapdragon 808 and 810, we see the high end of the lineup filling in with 64-bit offerings.

Snapdragon 810
[Image Source: Qualcomm via AnandTech]

Looking at the MSM8992 and MSM8994 here's what is mentioned:
  • Snapdragon 808 MSM8992
    • Basics
      • 20 nm HPm process
      • Qualcomm's first hexa-core SoC
    • CPU
      • ARMv8-A instruction set
      • big.LITTLE architecture.
      • 2x Cortex-A57 cores @ 2.0 GHz
      • 4x Cortex-A53 cores @ ?? GHz
    • GPU
      • Adreno 418 @ 540 (?) MHz
    • Memory
      • Support for 933 MHz LPDDR3
    • Baseband
      • LTE Cat6 on-die
      • HSPA+
      • GSM/EDGE/GPRS
      • TD-SCDMA
    • Image Signal Processor + Hexagon DSP
      • 12-bit ISP @ 600 MHz (20% faster than ISP in Snapdragon 805)
      • h.265 codec hardware decode
      • 1.2 Gigapixels/s throughput
      • Support for 4K x 2K pixel video @ 30 fps
      • QHD video (2.5K) video @ 60 fps
    • Other
      • GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou
  • Snapdragon 808 MSM8994
    • Basics
      • 20 nm HPm process
    • CPU
      • ARMv8-A instruction set
      • big.LITTLE architecture.
      • 4x Cortex-A57 cores @ 2.0 GHz
      • 4x Cortex-A53 cores @ ?? GHz
    • GPU
      • Adreno 430 @ 578 MHz
    • Memory
      • Support for 933 MHz LPDDR4
    • Baseband
      • LTE Cat6 on-die
      • HSPA+
      • GSM/EDGE/GPRS
      • TD-SCDMA
    • Image Signal Processor + Hexagon DSP
      • dual ISPs
        • 14-bit
        • 600 MHz (20% faster than ISP in Snapdragon 805)
      • h.265 codec hardware decode and encode
      • 1.2 Gigapixels/s throughput
      • Support for 4K x 2K pixel video @ 30 fps
      • UHD video (4K) video @ 60 fps
    • Other
      • WTR3905/WTR3925 RF companion chips
        • May be mounted in-package via POP
        • Triple-band capable
          • Dual Wi-Fi bands
            • IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
            • IEEE 802.11ad (successor to 802.11ac)
          • 802.15 (WPAN) (Bluetooth overhaul)
      • GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou
      • Enhanced Wilocity wireless charging support

There will be lot of firsts here for Qualcomm -- its first 64-bit big.LITTLE design, its first chips with LPDDR4 support, and its first chips with support for the upcoming new kind of Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15, aka WPAN) (as well as the IEEE 802.11ac successor, IEEE 802.11ad Wi-Fi).
 
V. New Processes -- 20 nm and "POP"
 
Both the Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 cores are built on a new 20 nm process.  The fab partner is unclear.  Both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330) (TSMC) and Samsung are believed to be vying for the contract, with other third party fabs also waiting in the wings.  Both TSMC and Samsung are using a gate-last process for 20 nm.
 
Samsung was the first to 20 nm.  It's currently producing Exynos chips and DDR3 memory on its 20 nm HMKG process.  Both its Hwaseong, South Korea Line-16 foundry and its Austin, Texas S2 foundry have been updated to produce 20 nm wafers and are currently ramping up mass production.
 
Mass production of 20 nm LP wafers at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd.'s (TPE:2330) (TSMC) Fab 12, 14, and 15 (both in Taiwan) is just coming online, according to Chipworks, an analyst firm.  TSMC is expanding Fab 14 to try to boost its 20 nm production

Snapdragon 810
The Snapdragon 810 packs an on-die Gobi 9x35 modem with some unknown other good in a BGA-mounted in-package chip.  It's unknown whereter that second chip is WTR3905/3925 or the QCA6174A. [Image Source: Qualcomm via AnandTech]

Other Common Platform Group candidates who may be eligible to produce the new Snapdragon chips include GLOBALFOUDNRIES and Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. (TPE:2303). GLOBALFOUNDRIES also remains a possibility as a fab partner for production in late-2015, as it recently announced the availability of design flows for its upcoming 20 nm LPM chip line.  Its fab in Dresden, Germany is one pending 20 nm line.  UMC's has been somewhat silent on its progress to 20 nm, but it's already committed to producing chips on that node at its Fab 12A facility.
 
The addition of LTE Category baseband modems with support for carrier aggregation will be a first for a packaged SoC.  What's more, Qualcomm may look to pack its triple-band RF solution chip into the chip's package.  The leaked roadmap reveals a bit about how Qualcomm is pulling off that feat.
 
To pack the RF modem -- which in previous Qualcomm chipsets has been provided as a separate chip package -- inside the Snapdragon 808 and 810 Qualcomm is employing a new 3D stacking technology.  The new method is called "Package on Package" (POP) mounting.  Unlike the NSP approach, where chips are internally wired to each other with gold wirebonds, PoP is a more standardized approach, where on chip is mounted with a standard ball grid array (BGA) of solder joints to the second chip.
  

POP ASIC
A diagram of the package-on-package (POP) mounting technique [Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

The larger chip typically goes on the bottom (as the BGA mount pins are limited on the upper chip) so a RF chip will likely be on top with the Snapdragon 800 Series chips on the bottom.  The standardized nature of POP mounting and lack of internal manipulation (versus NSP) should help cut costs and improve out at compatible fabs.
 
AnandTech cited Qualcomm as saying the Snapdragon 808/810 would not have "integrated" Wi-Fi, but it's possible Qualcomm might produce variants that have the RF chip stacked or not stacked.  If the RF isn't the stacked design, then the stacked chip has to be some sort of memory package, as the shot of the Snapdragon 810 die shared by Qualcomm clearly shows the Gobi 9x35 modem and other coprocessor are on-die.

Source: Weibo



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

64 bit = waste
By Shadowmaster625 on 8/20/14, Rating: 0
RE: 64 bit = waste
By hpglow on 8/20/2014 3:05:25 PM , Rating: 4
That is because there are two 64 bit modes a desktop x86 processor can enter. Compatability mode and long mode. Windows operates under the slower compatability mode in order to not break 32bit apps. There is also the matter of memory and disk bottlenecks that hinder a modern processor.

The only concern with 64bit is binary density. If these os designers were to ditch all legacy compatability you would always see more speed and functionality.

The final issue is that with phones shipping with 2GB of memory it won't be too long before the 4GB ceiling is hit. It is true that they could just add a 40 or 64bit address space to a 32 bit processor but why bother. Plus ARM isn't allowing licensees to add additional registers without a ARM8 license effectivly tieing their hands regaurding performance unless they step up to 64bit.

Saying 64 bit is a ignorant statement. It may be for many use cases right now but it won't always. There is a upper thermal limit to clock rates 64-bit will be needed to reach higher IPC at some point.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By inighthawki on 8/20/2014 3:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
The cost of the extra memory requirement (which is usually not actually that big) is generally equaled out by many of the perf benefits you get from 64-bit processors. Operating systems actually use a lot of 64-bit processing (things like timestamps/perf counters), so you end up with improvements there (and in a variety of other places).

There are also improvements the app can take advantage of if it has the guarantee it's running in a 64-bit environment. For an example, because the app has access to a 64-bit virtual address space (OK they don't get the whole thing, but it's big enough to assume it's practically unlimited), they can replace all of their streaming handle-based IO with memory mapped files, which can drastically improve file IO performance.

The bigger question is - does a phone truly have scenarios that can take advantage of these things? Probably not that much, and so 64-bit is really more about future-proofing and marketing.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By ProtonBadger on 8/20/2014 4:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
Address space layout randomization (ASLR) is also more effective in a 64 bit space.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By tonyswash on 8/20/2014 3:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
64 bit is such a waste of silicon on mobile devices.


Maybe not.

Stop thinking about old PC stuff like addressable RAM and start thinking about the future of mobile devices.

For example. The 64 bit ARMv8 includes support for Type-1 Hypervisors, which it uses to run a virtual machine to run 32-bit code. This means you can run virtual machines directly on the silicon, with separate partitions for each VM and no need for resource-hogging emulation layers. ARMv8 also includes common cryptographic algorithms in silicon, with instruction set calls that speed up access to the functions needed to deliver secure encrypted file systems.

So what can Apple do with a virtualisation-ready processor that can handle encryption very fast indeed, coupled with a biometric sensor?

Quite a lot I suspect, especially after the next round of device upgrades which will greatly increase the installed base of 64 bit iOS devices that include Touch ID, including Touch ID iPads.

Connect that to the pipeline of specialist enterprise apps coming from the IBM partnership plus the wearables being developed at Apple and you can begin to see where the puck might be going.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By inighthawki on 8/20/2014 4:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing you said here is an exclusive advantage to being a 64-bit processor. Virtualization and cryptographic performance improvements can be done on a 32-bit processor as well.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By Samus on 8/21/2014 12:25:22 AM , Rating: 2
64-bit now obviously is dead weight, but you need to start somewhere. AMD pioneered x86-64 and it wasn't widely adopted for many years. Now it's absolutely necessary as many programs, especially games, can benefit from more than 4GB of RAM.

That MSM8994 is a monster. The MSM8992 seems more practical, although I can't tell from the slides if Qualcomm's big.LITTLE architecture can use all the cores simultaneously.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By inighthawki on 8/21/2014 3:11:06 AM , Rating: 3
I absolutely agree. I don't want to imply that I think it's a bad idea or anything.

My point (in that reply) was just that Tony was arguing about "the advantages Apple has by having a 64-bit CPU" but none of his points actually have anything to do with being 64-bit. You can implement virtualization and hardware specifically designed for maximum cryptographic performance on a 32-bit processor.

Actually I made a post a little bit above where I actually praise the idea (and advantages of) a 64-bit CPU, but that at the moment it's more about future-proofing things.


RE: 64 bit = waste
By Samus on 8/22/2014 12:52:12 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Tony, like many people, confuse technical aspects, especially those of Apple devices, because Apple dumbs things down so much that most people associated the "features" of the A7 with being 64-bit related.

Qualcomm even got in PR trouble when one of their employees tried to explain why 64-bit now was "stupid".

I commend Apple for always pushing the envelope (although rarely being "first) and finally bringing 64-bit mobile SOC's to fruition, because if they hadn't, Qualcomm wouldn't be revealing these chips so early. Someone always needs to push in this industry.


What about the Compiler?
By SkierInAvon on 8/22/2014 9:29:46 AM , Rating: 2
All this verbiage about Processor architecture (32 v 64) yet NOT ONE WORD – about those new Processor's – Compilers.
HUH? Last time I checked…a new Phone App still has to be compiled in order to run on a Processor.
Want to talk about Performance? OK – tell me about your new Compiler. Why don’t we hear from the folks (here) that are working on those new Compilers?
Well…




RE: What about the Compiler?
By bug77 on 8/22/2014 10:05:06 AM , Rating: 2
The compiler is supplied by ARM. Since Apple was able to use it for their last iphone, I would guess it's in pretty good shape.


RE: What about the Compiler?
By SkierInAvon on 8/22/2014 6:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
OK - Having said that...
How can an existing Compiler...be in anyway optimized for a new Chip that has a significantly different Chip layout and architecture? I still believe that there is way to much talk about new Chip Architectures (in general)and not enough discussion about the new software (re-written) Compilers that are written and designed to take advantage of those new chips.
My 2 cents


RE: What about the Compiler?
By bug77 on 8/23/2014 6:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
You need to read more about compilers and processors.
The compiler targets an instruction set (be it x86, x86_64, ARMv7, ARMv8, MIPS or whatever). The fact that someone licenses these architectures and decides to lump 2, 4 or 8 cores together is irrelevant to the compiler.

quote:
How can an existing Compiler...be in anyway optimized for a new Chip that has a significantly different Chip layout and architecture?


You're right, it can't. That's why ARM offers a different compiler for the ARMv8 chips. But that already exists.

And to make things even more clear: there's no specific compiler for intel i5 and intel i7 even if the chips are somewhat different. Intel and GNU will update their compilers when new instructions are added, but that's not what Qualcomm or Samsung or Apple do with their ARM chips.


RE: What about the Compiler?
By SkierInAvon on 8/23/2014 3:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
Quote: The fact that someone licenses these architectures and decides to lump 2, 4 or 8 cores together is irrelevant to the (UN-OPTIMIZED) compiler.

A designed/optimized Compiler for a new Chip Architecture is the point we're trying to make. Perhaps we were not clear.

Discussing overall CPU performance in the context of "chip architecture" ONLY - with no consideration for the Compiler doesn't make complete sense to us. A significant change in chip architecture requires (in our view) a discussion about a (new) Compiler that is optimized for that new Chip. Then we can talk about overall/complete performance improvement - that, that new chip architecture is expected to deliver...

We may be saying the same thing...


RE: What about the Compiler?
By bug77 on 8/24/2014 4:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
You've lost me completely.


RE: What about the Compiler?
By vXv on 8/25/2014 5:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well both llvm/clang (used by Apple) and gcc already support 64bit ARM. I don't know what you want know specifically but compiler stuff is mostly "boring" so you wouldn't find it on a news site, you have to dig deeper.


Packaging
By name99 on 8/20/2014 2:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why QC is getting credit for packaging breakthroughs here.
What they (or more specifically their manufacturing partner!) seem to be doing is not easy, but it's also not new. PoP has been around for years --- the original iPhone, for example, used it. That was a Samsung manufactured packaged that had the GPU on top of the CPU.
Likewise wirebonded "cascades" of chips are common for flash, and the Snapdragon system that is pictured looks like a degenerate version of that.

What IS going to be interesting in this space is packages that rely on alternative (non-wirebonded) connections, but I'm not seeing anything that suggests QC is moving to those. Sun talked about a system years ago that involved capacitive coupling. Hynix talks about a system for HMC that uses inductive coupling and which seems to be close to shipping. The third alternative is TSVs (through-silicon vias which are heavily doped silicon "spikes" that extend from one chip to the next to carry signal).
It is these alternatives to wire-bonding that open up interesting possibilities.

(Though, the honest truth is that it's not clear how large the space of possibilities is for anything apart from stacked RAM and storage because, for logic, stacking means it's harder for heat to dissipate. There may be a one-time win from being able to bring a few things that are farther away on the die closer by moving them to above and below the primary core die, but dense multistacking seems problematic unless you're willing to drill cooling holes throughout the core and pump freon through it.)




RE: Packaging
By gookpwr on 8/20/2014 5:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
I agree heat is already becoming an issue, my Note 3 and S5, both had over heating issues, I can't imagine the heat issues this will incur with these PoP chips.

Am I going to get a phone now that has high specs but I never see them because it's constantly throttled due to heat issues?

Might be a great time to introduce ionic fans into mobile devices.


RE: Packaging
By bug77 on 8/22/2014 3:35:06 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. It's already widespread knowledge that the frequencies on current generation Qualcomm chipsets is very much like the turbo frequencies for intel processors: something that can only be maintained in bursts. It's not the end of the world, but it does point to some barriers ahead.
It's also why I was hoping Qualcomm would add some dual core chip to their lineup, but so far it seems only one variant of 808 comes close to that.


Amazed QualComm is so far behind.
By OnyxNite on 8/21/2014 11:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'm an Android guy and am perfectly happy with my Droid Mini but it's amazing to me that QualComm is so far behind Apple in the move to 64bit. Not only has it taken them over a year just to get ANYTHING 64bit shipping but they only even accomplished that by using the ARM designed cores. The strengths of QualComm has been their integrated LTE modems and their custom designed "Krait" cores. If they just license the ARM design then they aren't much better than any other ARM licensee. I have yet to see any real news on the 64bit custom designed "Krait" successor which leads me to believe it will likely be 2016 or later before we see it in shipping products... yet iPhones has been running custom 64bit ARM chips for about a year now. Not an Apple fan but have to acknowledge they did amazing work on the CPU at least. To bad I can't get a Apple CPU in an Android tablet, rofl.




Finally
By tonyswash on 8/20/14, Rating: -1
RE: Finally
By ACE76 on 8/20/2014 2:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's great that Android will be getting 64 bit support (real support unlike Apple), but I have to wonder if it's really needed at this point in time. Android 4.4 was designed to run on low powered phones and architectures with as little as 512mb of RAM...and it does that very well. The OS does not need 4gb of RAM, that's for sure...the only real world need I can see for this is gaming...gaming on mobile platforms is moving forward at an amazing pace...just look at Nvidia's Tegra K1...hopefully google can start putting newer and more exciting things in Android to leverage this kind of power and memory.


RE: Finally
By amanojaku on 8/20/2014 2:45:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're wasting your time providing a rational response to tony. Just ridicule him like the rest of us do. He never responds with logic, nor does he consider your argument. Apple is always better, that's tony.


RE: Finally
By theapparition on 8/21/2014 12:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
No, Tony usually replies with well thought out, rational responses. Also provides tons of links supporting his claims.

The only caveot is he only uses sources that support his biased opinion and skewed version of logic. If anything is presented that contridicts his view, it is immediately dismissed. He seems utterly incapable of giving praise to any other platform. If he was a little more balanced, he would be more credible. But alas, he just reads like a Apple PR social media plant.

Some examples:
When Apple had marketshare dominance, that's all he posted about. When that erroded, he switched argument to profits and how Apple didn't care about marketshare.

When Apple came out with a higher res display on tiny screen, that was great. When bested resolution on larger displays? Well, "retina" on a small display is all you really need, until Apple tell me I need better.

When Apple devices were underpowered to Android, it was because the OS was super optimized and didn't need it. When they came out with great hardware, then it suddenly mattered.

Back on topic. First off, kudos to Apple for truely being first to 64bit in a realistic mobile product. It's really not being used in any current real world scenerio. But Apple is really doing some future proofing. Apple hardware is getting better and better each gen, although I still think they lag in some major areas. I have to say, I do have tremendous respect for Apple's products, even though I personally don't like their limits on choices and operation.

Qualcomm is late to the game, but I don't think this is any indication on missing the proverbial boat. The application use of 64bit just isn't there, but once a feature is introduced and hyped, it doesn't matter much if it's necessary today or not, as long as the public perception is there.


RE: Finally
By tonyswash on 8/21/2014 7:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When Apple had marketshare dominance, that's all he posted about. When that erroded, he switched argument to profits and how Apple didn't care about marketshare.

When Apple came out with a higher res display on tiny screen, that was great. When bested resolution on larger displays? Well, "retina" on a small display is all you really need, until Apple tell me I need better.

When Apple devices were underpowered to Android, it was because the OS was super optimized and didn't need it. When they came out with great hardware, then it suddenly mattered.


That mostly untrue or a pretty strong exaggeration of what I said on any of that stuff. I don't actually remember posting anything much about retina displays. Generally I don't much care about things like CPU specs per se but I have responded to the fairly consistent pattern of comments which greets any hardware innovation by Apple, such as transitioning to a 64 bit architecture in the mobile devices, with the dismissive claim 'it doesn't matter' by pointing out why it might.

As for the market share thing, I have I think always argued that Apple's product strategy does not pivot on achieving market share as a primary aim (actually I would have thought that that was obvious) although Apple is happy if it does achieve big enough sales to take a larger share of the market. Who wouldn't be? As a fan of Apple products I am happy when more people buy them, and if a greater of proportion of people buy Apple in a given product category then that's good news because it means that more people are buying better kit.

It's important to follow what is actually being said, too much of the debate here consists of the ritualised exchanging of rarified tropes and memes that get bandied about as a form of short hand that substitutes for real analytical discussion. Market share is a very good example of this because it is thrown around as if the meaning of that particular metric was both clear, unambiguous and very significant in and of itself. It is none of those things. The commercial and platform consequences of the differing markets share of iOS and Android for example are quite complex and not at all obvious, other than the fact obviously that it is possible to achieve both better platform dynamics and better platform monetisation with a minority market share. It's frustrating that so many people seem to want to try to crowbar the familiar dynamics of the old PC markets (or at least old PC dynamics as they imagine they remember them) onto the new mobile device markets and as a result simply fail to see the what is fascinatingly new about the device markets.


RE: Finally
By tonyswash on 8/20/2014 3:25:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
real support unlike Apple


OK I know I am tempting fate on this one, I might be inviting an avalanche of stupidity, but WTF are you talking about?


RE: Finally
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/22/2014 12:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
inviting an avalanche of stupidity
Well, you are here after all.


RE: Finally
By av911 on 8/20/2014 2:50:45 PM , Rating: 1
iPhone is gonna get a bigger screen - finally!


RE: Finally
By tonyswash on 8/20/2014 3:45:02 PM , Rating: 1
Sadly you missed the entire point of the ‘Finally’ joke. I am going to have to kill the actual humour by explaining it to you. The ‘Finally’ joke meme arose as a response to silly clickbait headlines about almost anything Apple did that ended with the word ‘Finally’. Hence my joke about Android getting 64 bit ‘Finally’. Responding by listing something Apple is getting ‘Finally’ doesn’t work because it merely restates the original type of inane comment that provoked the original joke.


RE: Finally
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/21/2014 1:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly you missed the entire point of the ‘Finally’ joke.
Or, it's just that nobody cares.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki