bad size comparison between Apple A9 and skylake cores

By: Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org), March 13, 2016 2:39 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Alberto (git.delete@this.git.it) on March 12, 2016 2:04 pm wrote:
> Heikki Kultala (hkultala.delete@this.iki.fi) on March 12, 2016 4:37 am wrote:
> > Ricardo B (ricardo.b.delete@this.xxxxx.xx) on March 10, 2016 9:35 am wrote:
> > > Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar) on March 10, 2016 8:03 am wrote:
> > > > Ricardo B (ricardo.b.delete@this.xxxxx.xx) on March 9, 2016 4:05 pm wrote:
> > > > > Eg, Apple's A9 core seems to be almost as big as a Skylake core.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Measured on what basis? The A9 SoC includes a lot of stuff Skylake doesn't. If you are talking about
> > > > just the core, where is your demarcation point for what is considered the core? Is cache included,
> > > > and if so up to what level? How do you account for differences in transistor choices? (i.e. since
> > >
> > > Based on available die analysis, Skylake core including
> > > L2 is ~8.7 mm^2 and A9 cores including L2 is ~6.8 mm^2.
> >
> > This is not a very good comparison, as
> > 1) Skylake has small L2 caches and always uses L3 cache, but Apple A9 has big L2 cache and
> > works very well without L3 cache. Better comparison would be to include only L1 caches.
> >
> > 2) Intels "14nm" process is considerably denser than TSMC "16nm" process
>
> If you consider that Skylake core has powerful SSE and AVX units that accounts an intersting
> portion of the die and they are absent on A9 footprint, also we have a lot of other hardware implemented
> features like virtualization, VPro, turbo management, SMT governor, TSX, AES, MPX and so on.
> So the comparison done is not idiotic at all.
> Another variable is that Skylake core is on Intel LP process and not on high density libraries,
> like is A9, so the difference accounted from the different processes is virtually nullified. Moreover
> Skylake footprint is very relaxed to allow an easy turbo clock with steady clock speeds.

An ARMv8 core is supposed to include virtualization. Of course it's possible that Apple simply didn't bother to implement that because they decided they won't need it over the expected lifespan of this design --- I honestly don't know.

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TopicPosted ByDate
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            bad size comparison between Apple A9 and skylake coresHeikki Kultala2016/03/12 05:37 AM
              bad size comparison between Apple A9 and skylake coresAlberto2016/03/12 02:04 PM
                bad size comparison between Apple A9 and skylake coresMaynard Handley2016/03/13 02:39 PM
                  bad size comparison between Apple A9 and skylake coresDoug S2016/03/13 06:10 PM
                  Comparing A9 and SkylakeDavid Kanter2016/03/13 06:15 PM
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          Common wisdom??Ricardo B2016/03/10 10:49 AM
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