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Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:17

iPad was to be Atom based

Written by Nedim Hadzic

apple ipad logo

Jobs’ biography reveals

Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson revealed that Apple’s overgrown iPhone dubbed the iPad was intended to be Intel Atom based. Thankfully for the company, Apple’s execs persuaded Jobs to go with ARM.

The biography reveals that Jobs and VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive started developing the device in the ‘00s, while the first sketches were revealed in patent applications 2004. Naturally, the sketches showed only the outside and not the innards of the device. 

So, although Jobs planned to go with Intel Atoms, Senior VP of the iPod division Tony Fadell insisted on ARM. Strangely enough, the biography quotes Jobs as saying that it’s "best to trust Intel to make good mobile chips".

This is what Jobs had to say about the matter to his biographer:”"At the high-performance end, Intel is the best. They build the fastest chip, if you don't care about the power and cost. But they build just the processor on one chip, so it takes a lot of other parts. Our A4 has the processor and the graphics, mobile operating system, and memory control all in one chip. We tried to help Intel, but they do not listen much. We have been telling them for years that their graphics suck. Every quarter we schedule a meeting with me and our top three guys and Paul Otellini. At the beginning, we were doing wonderful things together. They wanted this big joint project to do chips for future iPhones. There were two reasons we did not go with them. One was that they are just really slow. They are like a steamship, not very flexible. We are used to going pretty fast. Second is that we just did not want to teach them everything, which they could go and sell to our competitors".

More here.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:29

Nedim Hadzic

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Comments  

 
+1 #1 The blue fox 2011-10-27 17:28
It's better it was not atom based. cant see them getting the same battery life out of an atom system. I could also see people some how geting windows on it also.
 
 
+1 #2 dew111 2011-10-27 22:20
Intel will do what Intel wants to do. Unfortunately, Intel wants to stuff x86 into everything. x86 cores will NEVER be as efficient as RISC cores, and power-saving is the name of the game in mobile devices. Even with a 2+ year advantage in process technology, Intel (or anyone else making x86) still can't beat ARM, MIPS and others for power/performance. It's really a shame; they could crush ARM in every market if they would let go of x86. Then again, they would also need good graphics to make winning SoCs. Faced with obvious deficiencies in their power/performance metrics, Intel just hums louder and cranks out more x86 chips.
 
 
0 #3 fteoath64 2011-10-28 10:03
If the iPad had the Atom chip, it would have bombed in the market!. I am shocked that Jobs had such poor understanding of CPU technologies. Intel had nothing useful in the ultra-mobile space and struggling for sometime.
Once Apple scales the A5 using MP15 core, they will realise the power in the portable market. No other architecture can touch it. Just get an ARM license Intel.
 

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