Where could Apple go with the iPhone 6 and Apple A8 chipset?
Last year Apple launched their second generation custom CPU as part of the Apple A7 system-on-a-chip found in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini Retina. Codenamed "Cyclone" it used the ARMv8 instruction set and was an industry first 64-bit. Thanks to some sleuthing and some new commit logs, Anand Lai Shimpi has presented a ton of technical details on what Apple has accomplished to date. Moreover, he's gone into the iPhone 6 and Apple A8 SoC, and what we might just see this year. AnandTech:
By now we know to expect an "A8" branded Apple SoC in the iPhone 6 and iPad Air successors later this year. There's little benefit in going substantially wider than Cyclone, but there's still a ton of room to improve performance. One obvious example would be through frequency scaling. Cyclone is clocked very conservatively (1.3GHz in the 5s/iPad mini with Retina Display and 1.4GHz in the iPad Air), assuming Apple moves to a 20nm process later this year it should be possible to get some performance by increasing clock speed scaling without a power penalty. I suspect Apple has more tricks up its sleeve than that however. Swift and Cyclone were two tocks in a row by Intel's definition, a third in 3 years would be unusual but not impossible (Intel sort of committed to doing the same with Saltwell/Silvermont/Airmont in 2012 - 2014).
I'd settle for more RAM in the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2, but all of that would be nice too. For more on how Apple implemented Cyclone, the benefits and challenges, and just how far ahead of everyone else they really are, check out all of AnandTech's findings. Then com back here and tell me what you think, and what you'd like to see next!