Linley Gwennap, director of the chip industry research firm, says that the A10 is notably faster than Samsung Electronics’s (005930KS) “Exynos 8890,” Qualcomm’s (QCOM) “Snapdragon 820,” and Huawei’s “Kirin 955,” when compared using single-core instruction runs. While the Samsung and Huawei chips see some advantages with certain multi-core tasks, “the extra cores don’t help most applications, which run only on one or two CPUs.”
Apple's A10 Fusion processor is made up of two CPUs. The one that provides performance is called Hurricane and the other lower power core is called Zephyr. The A10 is larger than its competitors and doesn't always have the best performance per square millimeter but it makes up for it in efficiency per clock cycle. It's believed that Apple may have used design tricks such as “large branch tables” to optimize “branch prediction” when carrying out instructions.
“Apple’s new CPU actually compares better against Intel’s (INTC) mainstream x86 cores,” notes Gwennap. With “nearly identical performance” to Intel’s “Skylake” generation of “Core” processors its very possible that the A10 could be used to power an Apple laptop. As we reported earlier, Apple's A10 benchmarks higher than any MacBook Air ever made.
"Apple’s CPU prowess is beginning to rival Intel’s. In fact, the new Hurricane could easily support products such as the MacBook Air that today use lower-speed Intel chips."
An ARM MacBook has been rumored for quite some time. It's believed that A-series chips would be limited to lower-end devices initially, perhaps a future version of the 12-inch MacBook would be a possible candidate. Fueling the rumor, Apple has already added support for the ARM HURRICANE chip family to macOS Sierra.
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