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Apple Aims to Sell Macs With Its Own Chips Starting in 2021 – Financial Post

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(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. is planning to start selling Mac computers with its own main processors by next year, relying on designs that helped popularize the iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on three of its own Mac processors, known as systems-on-a-chip, based on the A14 processor in the next iPhone. The first of these will be much faster than the processors in the iPhone and iPad, the people said.

Apple is preparing to release at least one Mac with its own chip next year, according to the people. But the initiative to develop multiple chips, codenamed Kalamata, suggests the company will transition more of its Mac lineup away from current supplier Intel Corp.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple’s partner for iPhone and iPad processors, will build the new Mac chips, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private product plans. The components will be based on a 5-nanometer production technique, the same size Apple will use in the next iPhones and iPad Pros, one of the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment, as did Intel and TSMC.

Apple is designing more of its own chips to gain greater control over the performance of its devices and differentiate them from rivals. Getting Macs, iPhones and iPads running the same underlying technology should make it easier for Apple to unify its apps ecosystem and update its computers more often. The move would also reduce reliance on Intel, which has struggled to maintain the annual increases in performance it once offered.

Read more: How Apple Built a Chip Powerhouse to Threaten Qualcomm and Intel

Current mobile device chips from Apple have multiple processing units, or cores, that handle different types of tasks. The latest iPad Pro has four cores for performance-intensive workloads and another four to handle low-power tasks to preserve battery life.

The first Mac processors will have eight high-performance cores, codenamed Firestorm, and at least four energy-efficient cores, known internally as Icestorm. Apple is exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, the people said.

In some Macs, Apple’s designs will double or quadruple the number of cores that Intel provides. The current entry-level MacBook Air has two cores, for example.

Like Qualcomm Inc. and the rest of the mobile semiconductor industry, Apple designs its smartphone chips with technology from Arm Inc., owned by SoftBank Group Corp. These components often use less energy than Intel’s offerings. But it in recent years, Arm customers have tried to make processors that are also more powerful.

The transition to in-house Apple processor designs would likely begin with a new laptop because the company’s first custom Mac chips won’t be able to rival the performance Intel provides for high-end MacBook Pros, iMacs and the Mac Pro desktop computer.

The switch away from Intel is complex, requiring close collaboration between Apple’s software, hardware and component-sourcing teams. Given work-from-home orders and disruptions in the company’s Asia-based supply chain, the shift could be delayed, the people said.

Read more: Apple Culture of Secrecy Tested by Employees Working Remotely

Like with the iPhone, Apple’s Mac processors will include several components, including the main processor, known as a Central Processing Unit or CPU, and the GPU, the graphics chip. Apple’s lower-end computers currently use Intel for graphics, while it has partnered with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. for the graphics cards in its professional-focused offerings.

The Kalamata project has been going for several years. In 2018, Apple developed a Mac chip based on the iPad Pro’s A12X processor for internal testing. That gave the company’s engineers confidence they could begin replacing Intel in Macs as early as 2020, Bloomberg News reported.

Read more: Apple Said to Work on Mac Chip That Would Lessen Intel Role

Apple has already started designing a second generation of Mac processors that follows the architecture of chips planned for the 2021 iPhone. That indicates Apple wants to put its Macs, iPhones and iPads on the same processor development cycle.

Despite a unified chip design, Macs will still run the macOS operating system, rather than the iOS software of the iPhone and iPad. Apple is exploring tools that will ensure apps developed for older Intel-based Macs still work on the new machines. The company also has technology called Catalyst that lets software developers build an iPad app and run it on Mac computers.

Moving macOS from Intel’s chip architecture to an Arm-based design will be a technical challenge. Microsoft Corp. stumbled with a similar effort.

The changes will be a blow to Intel’s prestige. Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs and the late Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini stood on stage in 2005 to announce the first Macs with Intel processors. The decision was praised for several years, resulting in capable computers such as the original Mac Pro in 2006, the second-generation MacBook Air in 2010 and the thinner MacBook Pro in 2012.

But in recent years, the pace of Mac upgrades has declined, partly due to a slowdown in Intel’s chip advancements. That sometimes left years between Mac refreshes, upsetting some customers. Intel has also faced manufacturing challenges that Apple has blamed for some recent declines in Mac sales.

Read more: Intel’s Chipmaking Throne Is Challenged by Taiwanese Upstart

Kalamata is Apple’s most ambitious computer chip initiative to date. It currently offers specific chips for Mac features, such as security and power management, that work alongside the main Intel processors.

Apple also aims to stop using Intel cellular modems — chips that connect smartphones to the internet and support calls — after using them for only four years. The company plans to use 5G modems from Qualcomm in as many as four new iPhone models later this year. Apple last year acquired Intel’s modem business after striking the short-term supply deal with Qualcomm.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg.com

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15 new COVID-19 cases in Huron Perth – BlackburnNews.com

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15 new COVID-19 cases in Huron Perth

Huron Perth Public Health


Another 15 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Huron and Perth Counties over the weekend.  There are two new cases in Howick Township, six in North Perth, three in Stratford and four in Perth East. When it comes to the 40 active cases, one is in Howick, eight in North Perth, 14 in Perth East, and 17 in Stratford.

Huron Perth Public health reported Cedarcroft Place Retirement Residence continues to be in outbreak, and two more residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 passed away since Friday. Eleven residents who had the virus have died. There are thirteen active cases among residents, and 19 residents have recovered.  All 19 staff members who had COVID-19 have recovered.

There are no active long-term care home outbreaks and no active school outbreaks

Huron Peth Public health is clarifying why the region is now at the Orange-Restrict level of public health measures. Some of the factors include rates of cases and hospital capacity locally and in neighbouring regions.

It also looks at the rates of cases without a known chain of transmission, which suggests community transmission. And the ability to keep up with contact and case management.

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Tested: iPhone 12 smokes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in real-world speed – Android Authority

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[embedded content]

  • Apple’s iPhone 12 has outrun Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra by a clear margin in a realistic speed test.
  • It was consistently faster in CPU and GPU tests.
  • You can chalk up a lot of it to Apple’s 5nm A14 Bionic chip.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a beast of a phone in most respects between its huge screen, capable cameras and gobs of memory, but how fast is it compared to Apple’s latest mainstream phone? Not very, it seems. Gary Sims has pitted the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra against the regular iPhone 12 in his realistic Speed Test G benchmark, and the results are… not pretty.

Simply put, the iPhone 12 obliterated the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra across the board. Apple’s device claimed the largest advantage in the CPU-oriented test, where it finished in 32.5 seconds versus Samsung’s 38, but it also won by clear margins in GPU and mixed-use tests despite running visuals at higher resolutions (the Note was dialed down to 1080p). The iPhone 12 finished the whole speed test in 1 minute and 3 seconds where the Note 20 took nearly 14 seconds longer.

Related: iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Unlike some phone benchmarks you see online, Speed Test G focuses primarily on a phone’s ability to run apps rather than loading them. It’s a true test of processing power rather than memory and storage speeds. In this case, you’re seeing how well the A14 Bionic chip and iOS stack up against a Snapdragon 865 Plus running Android.

Sims didn’t outline just why the iPhone 12 took a commanding lead over the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but the story is likely a repeat of what you’ve seen with other speed tests. The A14 Bionic is the first production 5nm chip where the Snapdragon 865 Plus has to “settle” for a less efficient 7nm design. While CPU architecture and the operating system may play roles, there’s little doubt that Apple has an advantage in newer technology.

This also underscores an issue with price-to-performance ratios in Android phones. The Note 20 Ultra normally costs $1,300, and it’s still a premium phone at $1,100 after Black Friday discounts. The iPhone 12, meanwhile, is priced at $799. You’re clearly paying for more than just a fast chip with Samsung’s handset, but this test suggests Apple once again has the better proposition if you’re focused on speed and unwilling to make the feature sacrifices that come with the OnePlus 8T.

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The PS5’s UI could really use some work – The Verge

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Sony’s PlayStation 5 user interface could really use some work, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the simple act of trying to turn the thing off.

On most recent consoles, it’s been pretty easy to shut down the device with just the controller. Simply press and hold the PS button / Xbox button / home button, and the UI will helpfully show you an option to power down the console in some way. This is true for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It takes just a few seconds, and I can happily end a gaming session.

But turning off the PS5, for no good reason that I can figure out, is a needlessly cumbersome process. Instead, when I press and hold the PS button — the behavior I have used for years to start the process — I’m taken back to the main PS5 menu where I’m presented with options like picking a different game to play, checking out the PlayStation Store, or opening a media app.

Instead, Sony has buried the option to turn off the console in the quick actions menu that appears with a short tap of the PS button instead of a press and hold. But even when I pull that menu up, I have to spend a few seconds navigating to the unlabeled icon representing power (you probably know the one — the circle with the vertical line through the top) and opening it up. Then I see the options to shut down my PS5. You can also shut down the console after logging out from your account, but that’s not exactly a speedy option, either.

The Xbox Series X, by comparison, is very easy to turn off. You just press and hold the Xbox button, and on the menu that appears, tap up and select if you’d like to turn off the console or controller or restart the console. Shutting down the Switch is even easier: press and hold the home button, and the menu that appears already has the sleep mode option selected, requiring just one more button press to turn the system off.

Turning off the PS5 is just one of many other frustrating issues I’ve experienced with the console’s UI. The way trophies are displayed is a step backward, for example. Instead of a vertically scrolling list, PS5 trophies are shown as a long, horizontal row of large cards. It’s harder to quickly browse through them, and they show less information at a glance. One of my colleagues has taken to checking her trophies using the PlayStation mobile app, which has… a vertically scrolling list, just like it remains on the PS4.

Taking screenshots and captures off the console is also a pain, especially compared to the Xbox Series X. On the Series X, screenshots and captures are automatically synced to the Xbox mobile app, where I can save them to my phone. But on PS5, the only way to share captured media is by uploading it to another platform directly from the PS5 or transferring it to a USB drive.

And sometimes, when I boot up the PS5 to jump into another hellish play session with Demon’s Souls, the console opens not the game I was playing last but instead the Explore menu, which shows news and trailers about games. Right now, it’s showing me a card for an upcoming map in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, a game that I don’t own and don’t want to play. To actually jump into the game I was playing before I turned the console off and the reason I’m waking it up again, I have to navigate one-directional tap over to the Demon’s Souls icon. It’s a small inconvenience but just one of many problems that make for a frustrating experience.

I do like the PS5 a lot. Sony hyped up the console’s ultra-fast SSD for months, and it’s been a revelation to jump from world to world in Astro’s Playroom and Demon’s Souls with hardly any wait time. But that ethos of speed doesn’t seem to be applied to the day-to-day moments of using the console’s UI, and I really hope that Sony updates it soon to make things a bit more seamless.

But until then, you can listen for me cursing under my breath when I forget, yet again, that it’s a short press to get to the power menu, not a long one.

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