Appleが今回iPadで利用しているA4チップ。AはAppleの略。1GhzのチップはiPhoneの0.6Ghzとほぼ同じものである。このチップはSystem-on-a-ChipでARM Cortex-A9 MPCoreを核としている。nVideaのTegraとQualcommのSnapdragonでグラフィックスの[ARM Mali 50-Series GPU]が追加されている。Samsungが生産する。競争相手はIntelのMoorestown Atomチップ、コチラはLGにスマートフォンで使われている。
PASemi/Appleチップは実際ARM IPなのだ。しかし時間が経つ連れてApple IPの割合は増えるだろう。1.3Ghzは携帯デバイスにはまだまだ熱を持ちすぎるそうだ。下の記事を読むと「SteveはGoebbels的に過大評価を自社製品に与える天才だ」と辛口なコメントが書いて有るのに驚く。ハード専門家が「まだアップルは一般技術しか使えてないが、自社の製品を過剰アピールする天才」とSteveの説明と製品を低く評価しているよう。
So yes, PA Semi/Apple chip is actually mostly ARM IP. This is quite a logical step to do, given that this is first new piece of silicon that came from PA Semi after the acquisition in April 2008. We’ll see if future iterations will have more Apple IP than ARMs, but somehow we doubt it. ARM is the pervasive force in the world of mobile chips, as witnessed by many new players on the market. We could even conclude that Apple logically followed what nVidia had done with their own SoC, Tegra, followed Qualcomm with their Snapdragon, Samsung with their own Cortex-A9 core at 1GHz. BTW, as a small comment — isn’t it interesting how everybody is clocking the A9 core to 1GHz [nVidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Texas Instruments]? This is due to the thermal sweetspot of the core, given that the maximum achievable clock of 1.3 GHz comes with a significant thermal penalty.
Similar SOC chip architecture is already used in the iPhone and other smartphones, such as Google’s Nexus One and Motorola’s Droid, as well as the upcoming tablets and smartbook/netbooks such as the ICD Vega and Ultra or Lenovo’s Skybook.
During the Apple event in San Francisco — the A4 was described as “the most advanced chip” Apple has done yet. While fast, it’s also good at managing the power, thanks to advanced process manufacturing at Samsung. BTW, do expect that GlobalFoundries just may bag Apple as a customer due to their industrial lead on 28nm and next-generation ARM processors. Remember where you read that first. “The A4 chip is so power efficient that it helps iPad get up to 10 hours of battery life,“according to Apple’s venerable CEO, Mr. Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs also called iPad the “best [Web] browsing experience you’ve ever had. A whole Web page right in front of you that you can manipulate with your fingers. Way better than a laptop,” in a video of the event streamed by CNET. That browsing experience will mainly depend on the chip’s ability to handle the background tasks as future iPad user accesses different images or videos. We might ad “true, for as long as you don’t visit flash laden sites.”
For us, it is very interesting to see that EE Times was banned from covering Apple’s launch event due to this story. Then again, given that Steve Jobs controls the information in a manner very similar to Goebbels and punishes the non-biased members of the media, we’re not surprised. EE Times broke many stories in relation to Apple. Here at BSN*, we broke the Mac Tax and now revealed the A4 [Mali GPU and ARM Cortex-A9 CPU core — is that really Apple IP or just a LEGO approach to building an ASIC], so we don’t expect to be allowed into future Apple events either.
A micro-SIM is a smaller version of a SIM card. Micro-SIMs have been used for a number of years in embedded smart devices, such as power meters. The physical size of a micro-SIM is 12mm x 15mm.
The “micro-SIM” is part of the ISO 7816 specification.  Below is a link to a picture of the new Mini UICC as it is called. The red part is the actual SIM card, smaller than the mini-SIM card most GSM phones use.