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do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - Printable Version

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do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - riruilo - Jan 27, 2010 02:34 PM

Hi friends!

I'd like to know more about this processor, OpenGL implementation, extensions, performace, PVR textures support... does anyone know more info about it? I only found this
http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/01/27/apple.a4.made.by.pa.semi.integrates.gpu/
but it says nothing.

BTW, how developed that processor? Apple? Imagination Technologies? I think Apple bought a part of ImgTech time ago.

Thanks in advance.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - warmi - Jan 27, 2010 03:00 PM

riruilo Wrote:Hi friends!

I'd like to know more about this processor, OpenGL implementation, extensions, performace, PVR textures support... does anyone know more info about it? I only found this
http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/01/27/apple.a4.made.by.pa.semi.integrates.gpu/
but it says nothing.

BTW, how developed that processor? Apple? Imagination Technologies? I think Apple bought a part of ImgTech time ago.

Thanks in advance.

Nothing new in the SDK (in terms of GLES capabilities ) so I presume there are no new features (or perhaps are not exposed at this time)

As far as the CPU - I think this is just a customized Cortex A8 or A9 with onboard SGX chip.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - Kerome - Feb 1, 2010 01:16 AM

Apple owns a 9.5% stake in Imagination Technologies, last I heard.

But yeah, that's what all the commentaries are saying - that the A4 is an ARM Cortex 9A, with a graphics core that's either an SGX 535/540 or an ARM Mali gpu. If true it'd be a good chunk better than a 3GS, but it's all speculation right now... Apple have never been that good in communicating these details, so we probably won't really known until someone does a full teardown on the final hardware.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - Bachus - Feb 1, 2010 06:45 AM

Apple bought PA Semiconductor back in 2008 with the intent of combining their workforce with Apple's to design new mobile chips. Tah-dah!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.A._Semi


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - DoG - Feb 1, 2010 11:56 AM

The best guess is that it's one or two Cortex A9 cores, or another ARM core of similar capability, together with an SGX family GPU.

Keep in mind that both the ARM and SGX cores are just "designs", and the actual implementation details can vary greatly, eg. they can be put on the same die, or just in the same package, or be in different chips altogether.

Considering the space and power available in the tablet, its a fair bet to expect an order of magnitude speed improvement.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - Kerome - Feb 11, 2010 06:36 PM

Just to update you, there are quite a few devs with hardware saying nice things about the "free antialiasing", which would point towards a Mali GPU. As long as it's at least a dual core 400-series GPU the fillrate and poly rates would be comparable to the better SGX devices, but I've seen some commentators talking about Mali 50-series, which would be pretty disastrous.

the mali-55 (and links to the others)

I suppose we'll know soon enough.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - AnotherJake - Feb 11, 2010 11:09 PM

Kerome Wrote:Just to update you, there are quite a few devs with hardware...

What hardware? As far as I've heard, Apple hasn't seeded any iPad hardware to any game developers. Just think about how unfair that would be...


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - warmi - Feb 11, 2010 11:51 PM

Kerome Wrote:Just to update you, there are quite a few devs with hardware saying nice things about the "free antialiasing", which would point towards a Mali GPU. As long as it's at least a dual core 400-series GPU the fillrate and poly rates would be comparable to the better SGX devices, but I've seen some commentators talking about Mali 50-series, which would be pretty disastrous.

the mali-55 (and links to the others)

I suppose we'll know soon enough.

It is all a guessing game ... I, on the other hand, read about former Apple employees confirming this being (at least at the time when they were around) a Cortex A8/SGX based device.

And the "free antialiasing" is also a feature of SGX chips so ...


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - aBabyRabbit - Feb 12, 2010 01:17 AM

I think we can safely assume it's going to support opengl es2.0 - so that rules out the low end mali-55. But yeah, you'll just have to wait until the specs have been finalised like everyone else..


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - captainfreedom - Feb 14, 2010 01:38 PM

warmi Wrote:And the "free antialiasing" is also a feature of SGX chips so ...
Ironically, Apple disable that feature in their SDK Sad


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - Kerome - Feb 14, 2010 02:51 PM

AnotherJake Wrote:What hardware? As far as I've heard, Apple hasn't seeded any iPad hardware to any game developers. Just think about how unfair that would be...

It's likely that the big publishers such as EA will have had pre-release hardware seeded under NDA, which is why you wouldn't hear about it - it's standard practice for pretty much all console releases. Although I do agree it's not very fair...

Anyway, interesting info about SGX and anti-aliasing. It probably makes SGX more likely if only for backwards compatibility reasons.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - AnotherJake - Feb 14, 2010 05:03 PM

Kerome Wrote:It's likely that the big publishers such as EA will have had pre-release hardware seeded under NDA, which is why you wouldn't hear about it - it's standard practice for pretty much all console releases. Although I do agree it's not very fair...

I know for a fact at least one *major* iPhone dev does NOT have seed hardware, so I know Apple is being quite picky about who gets it -- if anyone. Even I am surprised about this, so I'm skeptical that EA might get some too. I remember id saying for iPhone that they didn't get any special treatment, so I really wonder just how many devs Apple would actually trust with seed hardware outside of development directly on Apple's campus. So regardless, I'd be skeptical of any information from someone who might supposedly have an iPad in their hands. Rumors and speculation is all we get right now.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - warmi - Feb 14, 2010 06:56 PM

captainfreedom Wrote:Ironically, Apple disable that feature in their SDK Sad

They didn't really .. it is just they made a decisions not to allow people to render to the framebuffer and allow only rendering to what is essentially a texture ( which then gets combined with Apple's own stuff like for instance a popup dialog etc )

An unfortunate choice , since rtt targets don't support anti-aliasing...


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - captainfreedom - Feb 15, 2010 04:54 PM

warmi Wrote:They didn't really .. it is just they made a decisions not to allow people to render to the framebuffer and allow only rendering to what is essentially a texture ( which then gets combined with Apple's own stuff like for instance a popup dialog etc )

An unfortunate choice , since rtt targets don't support anti-aliasing...

To enable anti-aliaising on PowerVR you need to call eglChooseConfig. And that function doesn't exist in the iPhone SDK, which effectively disables the feature.


do you know info about iPad and new A4 processor? - OneSadCookie - Feb 15, 2010 05:27 PM

What a ridiculous thing to say... of course the feature of the hardware is not tied to the name of a function in an API.