It takes little time and high cost for Apple to create A6 chip used in the new iPhone 5. Here is the story behind the making of ‘brains’ operational control for those smartphone.
Apple is not messing around when they want to set up the chip for the latest generation iPhone. In fact they are quite willing to spend in order to make the chips as expected, and now there is A6 chipset available now.
Apple does not explicitly describe what kind of step how they make the A6 chips. But Linley Gwennap as consultant leaders chipmaker called The Linley Group had recorded a long way before revealed the Apple A6 chipset.
Starting from the StrongARM
Apple itself also looks seriously want to develop a Central Processing Unit (CPU) of their own, it is further reinforced as they acquire PA Semi chipmaker for USD $278 million.
From the history, PA Semi does look quite competent to make energy-efficient chipset, but still powerful. Plus a number of teams are the developers and designers for StrongARM and PowerPC processors.
A few months after buying PA Semi, Apple quietly signed a licensing agreement with ARM chip architecture. This means that Apple has approved to make the power-efficient chipset.
Physical calculation chipset
Successor to the A5 chip to be made as sophisticated as possible, even the late Steve Jobs had asked for the chip to perform complex physics calculations. For example, when simulating objects falling through graphical display or the wind blowing leaves.
Features like it had been used on computer processors and the latest graphics cards, and is not likely to be used by current mobile devices chips.
Although not as powerful as a PC owned or GPU, but the successor to the A5 chip is expected to perform physics calculations as well. The team behind the making of the A6 was well aware of these limitations.
March 2010 was one bad month for Apple. One by one official PA Semi is passed-away. They are Dobberpuhl, Leo Joseph and Mark Hayter. There are fears the desired A6 chip design never arrived.
But fortunately, those three person did not doing the job to the creation of CPU. Dobberpuhl and Joseph much dealing with the business, while Hayter only design level of System on Chip (SoC).
A6 chipset revealed
In early 2010 Apple began to find bright spots. Their chip design is obvious and they live determine if only outer design matches to the phone.
To design the physical appearance of the chip, Apple bought Intrinsity, a Texas-based chip designer agency that was acquired for USD 120 million.
“This agreement brings an experienced team of chip designers specifically designing high perform chip. Apple A6 has received a sample last summer and to support the launch of the iPhone 5 chip is then produced from June,” writes Gwennap.
After A6, what next?
A6 Chip is already manufactured and marketed through an iPhone 5, but that does not mean Apple is not preparing a newer chipset.
According to the predictions by Gwennap, the next generation A6 chip Apple will be present the draft in 2014 and has been carrying the 64bit architecture.
“Chances are manufactured from 2013. Apple will maintain the same design with A6 but maybe a quad core or a more powerful GPU,” said Gwennap.