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Snapdragon vs. Hummingbird vs. OMAP- The low-down on processors

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by smacky, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. smacky

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  2. QwertyBlog

    QwertyBlog Newbie
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    Great article. I remembered reading somewhere else that the Apple A4 processor and Samsung's Hummingbird are almost the same and manufactured by the same company. A lot of people didn't believe me though.
     
  3. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    If they are Apple fans, of course they won't. It's not possible! Despite Apple copying everything they have from other oem's...
     
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  4. jasperwill

    jasperwill Android Enthusiast
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    i cant wait for the ST-Ericsson U8500 that battery life kills!
    i dont think i could do HD video for 4 hours, let alone 12. and on a 1000mah battery?
    i have a 1500mah....
    gatta love the future :)
     
  5. quest7

    quest7 Android Enthusiast
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    Nice article. You guys always bring education and fun topics to this site:)
     
  6. smacky

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    From what I understand, the processor is made in-house by Samsung. They use the latest version for their own phones and sell a slightly lesser version to Apple.


    So they are the same for the most part, Samsung is just newer and a tad better because...well..it wouldn't make sense to sell the same one to a competitor.
     
  7. jasperwill

    jasperwill Android Enthusiast
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    "acquisition of the fast chip designers by Apple hasn't severed the ties with Samsung, as they are still contractually obliged to support the Hummingbird platform."

    apple owns the chip manufacture not samsung. according to the article anyway...
    and it sounded like it was because of a pre-existing contract with the manufacture of the chip that apple hasnt stopped samsung from producing it.
    i wonder when that contract expires???
     
  8. smacky

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    It doesn't matter who owns the plant. Although I don't think what you said is accurate, it is still Samsung's chip and their devices have the slightly better ones compared to the ones they supply Apple. They also make money off of the iPhone's success.

    I doubt the contract will expire soon. Apple will be taking a step down in their chip performance by going elsewhere and Samsung will do whatever it can to keep milking the iPhone's success.
     
  9. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
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    You are spreading some misinformation with a lot of conjecture. They are manufacture by the same plant but they have two different SOC designs. Samsung didn't design anything in-house.
    They hired SOC designers to give them the blue-print, namely Intrinsity. They give this blueprint to a fab plant. That fab plant happens to mfg the same SOC for another company.

    All ARM architectures share certain traits. They all license the core from ARM. Then they build around it. It depends on the mfg to tailor make them for their needs; changing the I/O, changing the memory controllers, gfx sub-system, etc..
    It is the same when you buy a motherboard. Asus, Acer, whoever put in their PCI bus, memory controllers, etc. You have mini-pci, ITX, different classes of motherboards.

    Saying which one is better is a bit intellectually naive without merit. One processor was designed for optimal battery life and one was designed with a higher 3d gpu core.
    Then you have the different OS optimization. It is like saying a Mazda R8 is better than a iron block corvette because it revs its engine at 9,000 rpms vs 3,000 rpms. Two different designs.

    If you look at the x-ray scans of the a4 vs something like the snapdragon, they took out a lot of un-necessary stuff they didn't need and shrank the die core. Hence, they were able to add a significanty larger battery within the same foot-print.
    If they weren't serious, I don't think they would have spent $121 million on buying out Intrinsity.

    This is the best article on the subject and the source infor of the 1st quote.This is the article where everyone gets their source without crediting it.
    Apple's A4 dissected, discussed...and tantalizing


    Again, the EETimes provide fodder for arstechnic. They summarize the EETime research in layman, common-folk terms for you to understand.
    A closer look shows Apple's A4 is "tailored," not "bespoke"

    If you take anything from the original article, this quote is the most relevant.
     
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  10. Eazail70x7

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  11. smacky

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    "First of all I've heard that Apple was supposed to use some older Samsung chips that they overclocked to 1ghz but seems that they moved to a pretty good one.

    Well, it's crucial to note that these days these "Chips" host both - CPU and GPU - processor and graphics processor.

    Yes, so basically Samsung Galaxy S uses a full platform based on the same CPU that Apple buys from them.
    So Apple has to redesign it (usually **** up in their case), that's why they shamelessly call it "Apple A4". There are minor differences that paradoxally make that thing less efficient.
    Then there's also GPU included. Samsung uses the best "kind" with their newest GPU (the SGX540) while they give away their older models to Apple (SGX535). Their naming seem similar but SGX540 seems to "count" graphics 3 times faster.
    So Iphone 4 has the same CPU (but ****ed up by Apple) and an older GPU."

    What I've been told.
     
  12. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
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    Again, what you've been told is wrong. I'm gonna cite you some facts...
    Intrinsity, the SoC designers hired by Samsung and now bought out by Apple are very crucial. Without them, there would be no Hummingbird.

    Here are press releases from Samsung; always acknowledging Intrinsity as partners. They were key players in the design of the SoC Hummingbird

    SAMSUNG's Digital World
    Samsung, Intrinsity pump ARM to GHz rate SAMSUNG

    Some articles.

    Samsung works with Intrinsity on fastest ARM Cortex-A8 core - 27/07/2009 - Electronics Weekly

    Now for the reality of the status quo:
    Apple buys chip specialist Intrinsity | Electronista
    I don't think Apple ****ed as you say. They got everything they wanted from the design of the SoC. 10 hour battery life on the iPad. Incredible battery life on the IP4 is testament to the reality.
    They're investing in SoC design so that tells me, they're not waiting for anyone. The Loss of Intrinsity to Samsung is a big blow to Samsung. In all likelihood, they probably have some unique designs in regards to power consumption and dual core efficiency. CPU design will get very interesting in the next year.

    You can spin however you want.

    Before the buyout, no-body, no-body knew who Intrinisty was. Their back-story is very interesting. Some of those left to join a start-up and Google wants them so bad. Word in Silicon Valley is some of the Intrinsity designers are building an ARM based server as a Phantom start-up. Something like 200 core ARM cpus in a blade or 1U server rack. They will leverage ARM cpus for cloud computing. Guess who owns most of those patents now?
     
  13. ari-free

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    I can't wait to see nvidia's tegra 2 (based on A9 and their gpu) in action but this wasn't mentioned in the article.
     
  14. jroc

    jroc Android Expert
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    ^I do to and I almost missed it too...lol

    The Tegra 250 was mentioned in there when they started talking about Intel's Moorestown. The page titled: Moorestown – life without ARMs, and other players
     
  15. ari-free

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    Yeah, nvidia is mentioned almost as an afterthought. Nvidia knows how to make awesome gpu's, everyone is familiar with that brand and the idea of them getting into the game is just mouth watering.
     
  16. jasperwill

    jasperwill Android Enthusiast
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    from what i read though nvidia's current attempt has horrible battery life compared to the other options.

    "Buried in the Tegra's white papers, though, we found stats for 140 hours of audio on a standard 2000mAh battery, while the big boys are achieving 120 hours, but from a 1000mAh battery"

    hopefully Nvidia can figure this out. they make great GPUs and i expect that they could dominate the mobile industry if they teamed up with someone good at making a cpu.
     
  17. ari-free

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    After seeing all this about TI's OMAP4, which is also A9 multi-core, it looks like they may be the winner here.
    1080p video encode/decode. 20 MP camera imaging, Kinect style touchless gesturing that will enable hovering (Minority Report UI anyone?), power management features that they claim let's you watch 10 hours of 1080p video or 140 hours of cd quality audio on a single charge.

    I should also point out: the exciting part about SGS isn't the cpu as the one in DroidX is actually a bit better. But it does have the best GPU on the market, the SGX540. The OMAP4 also has the SGX540.
     
  18. mttfrog13

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  19. jroc

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    I definitely missed that....wow...
     
  20. smacky

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