Samsung to quadruple mobile chip production for Apple in 2011

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  • spliff monkeyspliff monkey Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post


    ... I can't bring myself to buy an iPad with the resolution it's sitting at. The 4x3 aspect ratio drives me nuts too when everything is moving away from that ugly aspect ratio.



    Quick question... what's the difference between a 16x9 image presented on a ten inch ~ 4:3 screen and the same image presented on a 7" 16:9 Screen. Wouldn't it be about the same size? and wouldn't it drive you nuts working on and or reading/ web surfing on a 16:9 screen. I think 16:9 is a useless aspect ratio for anything other than watching video. Honestly, I don't think the aspect ratio of the ipad is an issue. iPads are amazing and the apps are more amazing every day. Why would you not get one because the display is a specific aspect? Especially if it's packed dense with "4 million" pixels or whatever the hypothetical retina display would have?



    Anyway, I think Apple would be well served in "hitting Ipad 2 out of the park". Some of the rumored features (dual core GFX, Dual Core "A9", retina display, etc) would be uncharacteristic for Apple to add in one revision and maybe even a bit of a risk for using "bleeding edge" tech in such an important product (can they make enough parts), but if they pull it off Apple will solidify their dominance in the tablet market for at least the next year. By the time there are X million ipad users over the next year, it will solidify their dominance for years.



    The killer features for the new ipad are going to be the screen and the processors. Think about what an easy sell/ upgrade sell it would be once you see an ipad with a "retina" display and killer power/ performance. An ipad retina display would be a mind Frack for BD fans. Imagine how much better Apple's display would be than any one else's 16:9 display. It would be a no brainer sales pitch especially if the kept a low end V1 model "for the kids".
  • brian greenbrian green Posts: 618member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    Quick question... what's the difference between a 16x9 image presented on a ten inch ~ 4:3 screen and the same image presented on a 7" 16:9 Screen. Wouldn't it be about the same size? and wouldn't it drive you nuts working on and or reading/ web surfing on a 16:9 screen. I think 16:9 is a useless aspect ratio for anything other than watching video. Honestly, I don't think the aspect ratio of the ipad is an issue. iPads are amazing and the apps are more amazing every day. Why would you not get one because the display is a specific aspect? Especially if it's packed dense with "4 million" pixels or whatever the hypothetical retina display would have?



    It depends on what you use the iPad for. I shoot a lot of HD video that I like to show to family and friends from far off destinations I often times find myself in. My video camera shoots 1080i footage. I also take a DSLR along with me, shooting a Nikon D90. My photos aren't 4x3, nor is my video. For someone reading books on an iPad, I can see how it'd be awkward, though the folks in Europe are already used to that aspect ratio, given their A4 paper. I'd much rather be able to pass around an iPad than my MBP, which is essentially what I have to do now - and it's cumbersome.



    Quote:

    Anyway, I think Apple would be well served in "hitting Ipad 2 out of the park". Some of the rumored features (dual core GFX, Dual Core "A9", retina display, etc) would be uncharacteristic for Apple to add in one revision and maybe even a bit of a risk for using "bleeding edge" tech in such an important product (can they make enough parts), but if they pull it off Apple will solidify their dominance in the tablet market for at least the next year. By the time there are X million ipad users over the next year, it will solidify their dominance for years.



    I'm going to be paying very close attention to the specs of the next iPad. I've been in the Apple store here several times and have played with the ones they have out on display. They are a great first offering (as the first iPhone was) but I'm going to look for more if I'm going to hand down my MBP. The doubling up like you suggest would likely get my American Express out of my wallet. The key for me will be how it does with video and photos. I pay far more attention to detail with those things than others do.



    Quote:

    The killer features for the new ipad are going to be the screen and the processors. Think about what an easy sell/ upgrade sell it would be once you see an ipad with a "retina" display and killer power/ performance. An ipad retina display would be a mind Frack for BD fans. Imagine how much better Apple's display would be than any one else's 16:9 display. It would be a no brainer sales pitch especially if the kept a low end V1 model "for the kids".



    I look forward to finding out. I'm not sold on the first iPad. The A4 is a great chip, it's the screen in specific I take issue with. If they can knock HD video and HD Photos out of the park with it, I'll spend the money. I prefer the native aspect ratio of my devices. I'm not a fan of 4x3. If they keep the 4x3, it'd better be revolutionary when it comes to clarity and crispness. The current iPad doesn't cut it for me. Here's to hoping Apple is doing something great with Samsung regarding future chips that dazzle the eye.
  • mobilitymobility Posts: 135member
    edit : removed post
  • brian greenbrian green Posts: 618member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobility View Post


    Are any Apple products 16:9? No display is sold in that resolution. Apple deems it unnecessary.



    Don't understand the need for 16:9, other than some arbitrary standards body thought it would be great and so now everything is produced that way.



    My 30" Apple Cinema Display is 4x3? Nope



    Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Cinema_Display



    My 30' Apple Cinema Display is 16:10.



    The final point being that there are people out there who would use the iPad for video and photo demonstration. If the next screen the iPad has proves capable in this regard, I'll most likely buy one and hand down my MBP.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobility View Post


    Are any Apple products 16:9? No display is sold in that resolution. Apple deems it unnecessary.



    Don't understand the need for 16:9, other than some arbitrary standards body thought it would be great and so now everything is produced that way.



    Only the 11” MBA and the newer iMacs have a 16:9 display. This makes sense on the iMac as the displays are long enough on the short side to still be viable. I assume that other considerations we needed for the 11” MBA to not get 16:10 like all other Mac notebooks.



    I don’t see how Brian Green expects Apple to drop the 4:3 of the iPad in favour of 16:9 or why he thinks his 30” ACD is a nearly square 4:3 panel and not the 16:10 it actually is. I chock it up to a typo.
  • brian greenbrian green Posts: 618member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Only the 11? MBA and the newer iMacs have a 16:9 display. This makes sense on the iMac as the displays are long enough on the short side to still be viable. I assume that other considerations we needed for the 11? MBA to not get 16:10 like all other Mac notebooks.



    I don?t see how Brian Green expects Apple to drop the 4:3 of the iPad in favour of 16:9 or why he thinks his 30? ACD is a nearly square 4:3 panel and not the 16:10 it actually is. I chock it up to a typo.



    Yes, sadly, it was a typo. I'll restate my prior position. I'll support whatever aspect ratio Apple chooses because I don't have a say in the matter anyway. If I'm going to buy an iPad it'll have to be far better than the current model is regarding video and pictures. Hopefully the chip Apple comes up with next will be the one that makes that happen. Until then, my MBP will have to do.
  • spliff monkeyspliff monkey Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post


    ... The doubling up like you suggest would likely get my American Express out of my wallet. ... Here's to hoping Apple is doing something great with Samsung regarding future chips that dazzle the eye.



    I'd be making a purchase too. Like I said, I think it would be a surprise and uncharacteristic of Apple to make such a big jump, but it would make literally "everyone" open their wallets as well. I think that kind of buzz and proliferation is what Apple needs to leapfrog the competition. They can keep the old model for the low end and the top end creates the desire and buzz thereby creating mass appeal and mass marketability.



    I can't wait to see it play out either.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,798member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


    Seems like a business perversion or at least a huge conflict of interests when Apple relies on one of its primary mobile competitors to build the key components.



    You'd rather Apple invest say $6 Billion into a Fab for themselves in the States, and then deal with all the time it takes for working out the kinks?



    Be happy the new Fab is in the States.
  • cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,054member
    It seems to me that Apple and Samsung are sort of in lockstep with regards to hardware. Despite all the chest thumping that goes on about Apple's custom chip design capabilities and them consequently pulling ahead of the pack as a result, it just isn't going to happen. Samsung will always have at least equivalent or superior HW available for their own devices. The A4 is most likely a custom variant of Samsung's S5PC110A01 Hummingbird, since that design existed prior to the A4.



    It will be interesting to see what processor is in the next iPad. Samsung have already given some details of the processor that will be in the Galaxy S successor. The handset will incorporate Samsung's Orion SoC, with two ARM Cortex A9 cores at 1GHz. Apparently the GPU will have 5X the performance of the S5PC110A01 Hummingbird which already can do 90 million triangles a second, so 450 million a second? To put that in perspective, the xbox is about 500 million.



    Want to bet Apple will announce yet another 'custom' SoC, that just coincidentally, is nigh on indistinguishable from the Orion.



    The one tech Apple just can't seem to get it's hands on is Samsung's Super AMOLED screens. I am surprised Apple aren't funding Samsung to build them a huge plant to make these for Apple.



    If Samsung is building a fab in Texas for Apple, they are making a HUGE tactical mistake on the location. It should be built in Marshal, not Austin. Not that anyone would think the judiciary could be influenced by local economic concerns of course.
  • hill60hill60 Posts: 6,959member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post


    I'm waiting for an iPad that gives me native 16x9 HD resolution. I might have to wait a couple of versions, but it's what my eyes want. Hopefully Apple will move toward that soon and we'll have a "snazzy" new Apple chip pushing the thing.



    16x9 might sound good but what about 9x16?



    4x3 might not sound good but what about 3x4?



    The thing a lot of people miss is the way an iPad is designed to work in both portrait and landscape.



    Then there is the matter of consistency of the aspect ratio of Apps across the iOS range.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    In the time Apple has been using Intel processors they've never felt pressured to update on everyone else's schedule. They maintained their own. When they upgrade their machines they leap past everyone else.



    I'm not talking about product updates here but rather Apples very ability to keep up SoC design wise. I see this as a huge problem for Apple because if they fall behind catching up will be hell.

    Quote:

    As I said to Sol' I mean they don't have to compete with the spec game every couple of months like everyone else.



    Who has said anything at all about specs and competeing every couple of months? You fall behind in SoC design and you will have a year or longer to catch up. It isn't like you can crank out a new SoC in a couple of months.



    Given that the point I was trying to make is that there are numerous companies out there gunning for leadership in ARM SoC. The incentive is huge and the value of the market much larger than Apples, so the effort to provide superior performance will be significant. I just question Apples ability to keep up in the long run. Frankly Apple needs to keep focused on processor development to an extent that it hasn't in the past.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    16x9 might sound good but what about 9x16?



    Bingo. If there's any reason the iPad wasn't 16x9, it's this:







    No books are this tall.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    It is not as simple as bringing your design to an Chip Plant and expect it to work. Even though they are the same node.



    Yes but if the tools to build the chips are common to both plants you have one less hurdle.

    Quote:

    i.e you can expect a design work with the same on Samsung 32nm node and GF node.



    I think you meant can't above.



    In any event Samsungs node is optimized for low power GF for performance. The point here is moving a design from the Samsung process to GF will be a lot less involved than moving from a third party process.



    It still brings up the idea that Apple could have a low power variant of the A5 and a high performance variant. For example the low power chip could be used in the handhelds while the high power might be used in hubs, servers and the like.

    Quote:

    P.S - Yes i know they are co developed with IBM and GF, but it is not just that simple. Retuning and Respin will take at least 3 - 4 weeks, ( and that is just best case scenario ) then it will take another month to get it up to speed and full production.



    3-4 weeks is probably optimistic but it really doesn't matter as the idea here is a higher performing alternative to what the Samsung process can deliver. Actually it doesn't have to be higher performance if it simply takes some of the load off Samsungs plants and allows for installation in things like Apple TV. If the processor in ATV went from 2to3 watts (for example) I don't think anybody would complain.



    Beyond that a second source would be well worth the effort of getting the IP running on GF process. No it wouldn't be exactly the same processor thermally but it would be an alternative.

    Quote:

    I think the new Fab will work the same way as Foxconn. Where Both company are now building Sites and Plant specially for Apple. This provide greater control and secrecy that apple needs while off setting the cost of actually running production themselves.



    It would be complete guessing on my part to say what the actual structure of the deal is, if there is even a deal in place. You are right though that it removes a lot of the trouble of managing and staffing a plant yourself. Frankly this is not an uncommon situation in business.

    Quote:

    Apple will leverages their management expertise, purchasing price on equipment etc.



    I'm not too sure Apple is involved in management of the plant. We simply don't know how Apple is involved. It could be a 50/50 deal for all we know or Apple could own everything and simply contract the running of the plant out to Samsung. There are many possibilities including no relationship other than that of a customer.



    In my case I look at the money Apple is talking about and look at what sort of capital that would buy. A semiconductor plant ends up being a prime possibility. Notably with a billion or so left over.



    Makes you wonder if the guys at Apple signing the checks and contracts have shaky hands.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Bingo. If there's any reason the iPad wasn't 16x9, it's this:







    No books are this tall.



    Look at a column of text in a book, magazine or newspaper, then come back and talk to us.



    Then there is the whole issue of media files. Let's take pics first.



    4:3 is popular and suitable for one thing, that is portraits of a single person. Beyond that you end up making compromises to fit the format.



    For video it should be pretty obvious that wider simply works better considering how human vision works. 16:9 is a compromize but it does work well. The important thing is that it accommodates many cine ratios without the extensive wasted space seen on 4:3 screens. Even if iPad gets updated to handle the pixels required you still end up with extremely small videos on screen with massive black bars. The point is iPad is farless than optimal as a video device. In effect it can't handle modern movies the way it could with a better screen ratio.



    Besides with a wider screen you could see what you are shooting at in Angry Birds. .



    As to apps I really don't care. If developers want their apps to run on a wide screen iPad they can update them. It isn't like it is all that difficult to do. If not they can skip the platform. The whole arguement about apps on a desired wide screen device is bogus anyways. Some apps don't work on iPhone as they are specific to iPad and no complaints are registered, I just don't see the big deal. Beyond that some apps come into their own on a wide screen.



    In the end I simply reject the idea that 4:3 is in some way perfect because in many ways it sucks badly.
  • galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post




    If Samsung is building a fab in Texas for Apple, they are making a HUGE tactical mistake on the location. It should be built in Marshal, not Austin. Not that anyone would think the judiciary could be influenced by local economic concerns of course.



    Why is that a "huge tactical mistake" when Samsung already has a DRAM plant in Austin already?



    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...-95960189.html





    They are spending the $3.6 billion to UPGRADE, UPGRADE the existing plant to produce custom LSI chip sets from the currently produced DRAM chips on 200 mm wafers.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by penchanted View Post


    My one question about an Apple tie-in to Samsung's Austin facility is what would it buy for Apple? Anything produced here would need to be sent to China for final assembly thus lengthening the supply chain.



    I could possibly see a benefit if Apple continues to be ahead of the design curve (something which you legitimately question) and that design engineering could be sequestered in Austin.



    Beyond that, there is the benefit of creating some jobs in the US but, as mentioned above, this would need to be weighed against the longer supply chain. Is it possible that this is a first step in returning some final assembly to the US? That seems very unlikely.



    Longer supply chain doesn't matter much for CPUs. The incremental cost of shipping them overnight is insignificant.
  • brian greenbrian green Posts: 618member
    What does everyone think Apple will do regarding the naming convention currently used, A4? Will Apple keep the A4 name and just change the model numbers, or will Apple bump the number up one with each revision? For some reason, I rather like the A4 moniker. The prospect of two cores in the next version is very exciting, and hopefully the GPU will benefit from an upgrade as well (if they go to a much more pixel-dense screen).
  • cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    Why is that a "huge tactical mistake" when Samsung already has a DRAM plant in Austin already?



    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...-95960189.html





    They are spending the $3.6 billion to UPGRADE, UPGRADE the existing plant to produce custom LSI chip sets from the currently produced DRAM chips on 200 mm wafers.





    It was supposed to be a joke.



    Apple is currently the subject of a whole host of patent infringement law suits, all of which are brought before the seemingly litigant friendly court in Marshal Texas. There have been more than a few slight hints that the court in Marshal may be sympathetic to patent litigation because it is a good earner and good for the local economy.



    I was trying to infer that if the local economy of Marshal suddenly became beholding to Apple as a significant local employer and contributor to the economy, the local court might not be quite so keen in XYZ vs Apple cases.
  • robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,641member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Business is business.. The major components that Apple uses on the iPhone and iPad, Samsung happens to be the best at building them.



    Yeah, but it still seems like a major risk for Apple to be putting such a critical element of its success in the hands of someone who trying their darnedest to compete with them. It's not like Apple doesn't have the volume to justify, or couldn't afford to set up its own manufacture.



    This might have made sense a few years ago when the iPhone was just getting started. But now that Apple is a dominant player I hope they will take steps to protect themselves from mischief.
  • robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,641member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post


    What does everyone think Apple will do regarding the naming convention currently used, A4? Will Apple keep the A4 name and just change the model numbers, or will Apple bump the number up one with each revision? For some reason, I rather like the A4 moniker. The prospect of two cores in the next version is very exciting, and hopefully the GPU will benefit from an upgrade as well (if they go to a much more pixel-dense screen).



    Reaching back to the distant past of Apple naming conventions: A4 Plus, A4 Classic, A4 GS--oh what the hell, A4 Turbo and A4 SuperSport!
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