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Samsung to quadruple mobile chip production for Apple in 2011

post #1 of 93
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Sources in South Korea are reporting that electronics giant Samsung will boost its mobile Application Processor fabrication for Apple by a factor of four, producing more chips for the iPhone maker than it uses itself.

According to a report by the Korea Times, a source citing Samsung's suppliers said the firm "has agreed with Apple to quadruple monthly shipments of its mobile AP chips to 20,000 sheets throughout this year from 5,000 last year."

The report said this would result in half of Samsung's mobile Application Processor chip capacity being dedicated to Apple in 2011, making the iPhone maker a bigger consumer of Samsung's mobile chips than Samsung itself, which builds similar chips for its Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tab mini-tablet.

"Samsung aims to chalk up multiple effects through the sales," the translated report stated, citing the same Samsung supplier. "For one, it will be able to strengthen its non-memory business by shipping fast and low-power chips to Apple. Thats a very fine-tuned strategy."

Samsung was also said to be building a new $3.6 billion chip fabrication plant in Austin Texas, "in an apparent scheme to ship more of its mobile processors to Apple," the report noted. The company currently builds APs like Apple's A4 in a factory near Seoul, in a an advanced 45nm facility capable of producing 40,000 sheets of the chips per month.

The company's efforts to expand mobile chip production, with most of it going to Apple, is "also a major blow to local medium-sized tablet PC makers as Apple is more profitable and lucrative for Samsung," the source reported. Samsung will also be fabricating custom chips for Texas Instruments.

Apple designs, Samsung manufacturers

The report erroneously claimed that Apple "stopped buying" APs from Samsung in 2008, and suggested the two companies had strained relations.

Samsung has long built ARM-based processors that Apple uses in its iPhone, iPad and many recent iPods. Prior to last year's introduction of its custom A4 design, Apple used off the shelf Samsung "System on a Chip" processors, which pair an ARM CPU core with dedicated mobile GPU cores and other components in a single part, also called an Application Processor.

Starting in 2008, Apple began licensing its own rights to develop custom AP designs using intellectual property from ARM and Imagination Technologies. It then acquired Intrinsity, which gave Apple the technology to accelerate clock speeds from the 600HMz Samsung SoC in the iPhone 3GS to the gigahertz speed of its new A4 chip used in iPhone 4, iPad, and Apple TV.

However, Apple continued to partner with Samsung to build the new chip, which is similar but not identical to Samsung's own "Hummingbird" AP, used in the firm's own Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and forthcoming Galaxy Player.



While the two companies compete in smartphones, tablets, and media players, Apple is an important client for Samsung, not only in the fabrication of Apple's custom APs but also DRAM and NAND flash memory, LCD displays and other components.

At the beginning of last year, Apple was already Samsung's second largest client after Sony and ahead of Dell, HP, Verizon and AT&T. Samsung is the world's largest producer of RAM and flat panel displays, and second largest chip producer behind Intel. Apple is the world's largest consumer of RAM, and is eating up an increasingly large share of mobile APs and displays as sales of iPhones and iPads accelerate.
post #2 of 93
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.
post #3 of 93
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.

Business is business.. The major components that Apple uses on the iPhone and iPad, Samsung happens to be the best at building them.
post #4 of 93
I just hope that Apple can design their own chips to be superior to those offered "off the shelf". It would seem to me that designing their own chips will ensure that they can keep the OS running only on Apple hardware, barring another Palm fiasco.

I'm concerned about what Google is up to. Apple is a fantastic company, and I'll stick with them through thick and thin, but I have a sinking feeling that they aren't throwing everything they have at their products and software. Playing it safe gets you run over.

It's great that Samsung is stepping up to the challenge of making more chips. I hope Apple is up to the challenges from competitors. I think there are a lot of CEO's out there seeing Steve step aside (though not officially) and are going to start pushing Apple. We'll see if Apple can remain innovative and forward-thinking enough to be on top. I certainly hope so.
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post #5 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

I just hope that Apple can design their own chips to be superior to those offered "off the shelf".

They do.
From wikipedia...
"The Apple A4 is a package on package (PoP) system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed by Apple and manufactured by Samsung."
post #6 of 93
That is exactly what the A4 does and is why Apple purchased its own design IP.

Apple can design both the OS and chips to optimally work together. With that advantage Apple does not have to compete in the fastest CPU race.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

I just hope that Apple can design their own chips to be superior to those offered "off the shelf".
post #7 of 93
Not at all. Samsung makes a lot of money from building Apple's chips. Why should they give that money to someone else?

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.
post #8 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

That is exactly what the A4 does and is why Apple purchased its own design IP.

Apple can design both the OS and chips to optimally work together. With that advantage Apple does not have to compete in the fastest CPU race.

I agree but I think that a dual-core Cortex-A9 can advantage Apple in ways that make likely to appear in the next iDevices. My reasoning is that Apple can increase performance and battery efficiently that only they can take advantage of with a multi-core system over iOS, thereby allowing them to keep the the clock speed lower than their competitors, thus giving it even more battery efficiency per mAh.
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post #9 of 93
What I mean is that if one looks a little deeper there are a number of interesting things happening with Samsungs microprocessor devision that could be tied with Apple. Some things of note:
  1. Samsung is ready with their 32/28nm process. That means a low power variant of the A4 could be ready real soon now.
  2. Samsung has indicated an interest in partnerships in a discussion involving their new Austin plant.
  3. Apple has indicated that 3.9 BILLION has gone to new capittal and inventory purchases. Since it takes about a billion and a half to get a new semiconductor plant up and running it is very easy to want to connect the dots here. Apple could very well be a partner in this development or new plant.
  4. Samsung is part of a team that developed this process node and the software tools to exploit it. Others involved are Global Foundries and IBM, with a bunch of small fry. The interesting part here is tools compatibility, Apple could have Global Foundries build chips for them with minimal effort.
  5. Samsungs process has been tuned for low power while Globals targets performance. So we could see Samsung making low power chips for Apple while Global produces a higher performance variant. The thought is very interesting. .

These are just things realized in the last few days.

Beyond that being so familiar with the software tools used at this node means that Apple can exploit the link between Global Foundries and AMD. They could very well be priding AMD to move Bobcat Fusion to this node and to allow the IP to be used in custom chipsets like they are doing with ARM. What I dream about here is a Bobcat implementation, for Apple, with all the Apple required hardware I/O integrated right on the chip. Maybe extended to use Apples Fast 14 logic. In other words a faster and higher integration Fusion Bobcat. Yes I know this is falling off the road into the speculation mud but I just see the closeness her to be something interesting.
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

That is exactly what the A4 does and is why Apple purchased its own design IP.

The problem for Apple is keeping up. I'm glad to see them spreading A4 usage around as it helps to justify R & D. Make no mistake though they are up against tough competition.
Quote:
Apple can design both the OS and chips to optimally work together. With that advantage Apple does not have to compete in the fastest CPU race.

They most certainly do have to compete! Their is a limit to what optimization can do for you. Besides it is software that takes advantage of that hardware. As we have seen on many Android systems software that ignores the built in hardware just sucks.
post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree but I think that a dual-core Cortex-A9 can advantage Apple in ways that make likely to appear in the next iDevices. My reasoning is that Apple can increase performance and battery efficiently that only they can take advantage of with a multi-core system over iOS, thereby allowing them to keep the the clock speed lower than their competitors, thus giving it even more battery efficiency per mAh.

Solipsism, that's kind of what concerns me though. It's one thing for Apple to focus on battery life, and entirely another thing to be behind the curve when it comes to innovation. It's great that Apple designs the A4, but it's only great if it's superior in what it offers as opposed to those with the other chips. Woe be us, the day when someone does a side by side comparison (like Apple used to do on stage, ironically) and Apple's product can't maintain the speed. I've seen in my time (as I'm sure you have in yours) several examples of when Apple played it safe and didn't use the latest and fastest hardware. We're still dealing with issues regarding GPU's that can't compete with their Windows counterparts.

I think it's great that Samsung is producing the A4 for Apple. My greatest concern is Apple failing to take the lead and having Google throwing all of their resources at the competing products. Apple can not afford to fall behind now. Playing against the likes of Google, there's never a chance to recover when one drops the ball. I'm hoping Apple realizes that with every fiber of their being and brings their A-Game. That means remaining ahead of the curve on internal components. Here's to hoping the A5 (or whatever they call the next version) will be able to surpass the competition and keep Apple in the lead. Here's also to hoping that iOS continues to exceed expectations with Android gunning for it.
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post #12 of 93
Oh yes absolutely. I wasn't suggesting that Apple should not be aggressive in updating its specs. They absolutely should be aggressive, especially since they only upgrade once a year.

I just meant it wasn't as important for Apple to be in the incremental race. Like Android phones coming out every couple of months with small incremental improvements. One with 1Ghz CPU, then 1.2 Ghz, then 1.25Ghz, and so on.

The Motorola Atrix 4G will have 1GB of RAM. Seeing as Apple has set up preferential treatment with regard to flash memory. That should be a good indicator of what the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 will look like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree but I think that a dual-core Cortex-A9 can advantage Apple in ways that make likely to appear in the next iDevices. My reasoning is that Apple can increase performance and battery efficiently that only they can take advantage of with a multi-core system over iOS, thereby allowing them to keep the the clock speed lower than their competitors, thus giving it even more battery efficiency per mAh.
post #13 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The problem for Apple is keeping up. I'm glad to see them spreading A4 usage around as it helps to justify R & D. Make no mistake though they are up against tough competition.

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.

Quote:
They most certainly do have to compete! Their is a limit to what optimization can do for you. Besides it is software that takes advantage of that hardware. As we have seen on many Android systems software that ignores the built in hardware just sucks.

As I said to Sol' I mean they don't have to compete with the spec game every couple of months like everyone else.
post #14 of 93
What issues are those? Apple is innovating in graphics processing with technology like hardware acceleration and Open CL. Their emphasis is more in the quality of the software so that you don't necessarily have to have the fastest hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

We're still dealing with issues regarding GPU's that can't compete with their Windows counterparts.


Google doesn't manufacture the phone. They only provide the OS. The iPhone itself is competing against Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony/Ericson. They design the phone itself.

Quote:
My greatest concern is Apple failing to take the lead and having Google throwing all of their resources at the competing products.
post #15 of 93
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.

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

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.

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.

Apple will leverages their management expertise, purchasing price on equipment etc.
post #16 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What I mean is that if one looks a little deeper there are a number of interesting things happening with Samsungs microprocessor devision that could be tied with Apple. Some things of note:
  1. Samsung is ready with their 32/28nm process. That means a low power variant of the A4 could be ready real soon now.
  2. Samsung has indicated an interest in partnerships in a discussion involving their new Austin plant.
  3. Apple has indicated that 3.9 BILLION has gone to new capittal and inventory purchases. Since it takes about a billion and a half to get a new semiconductor plant up and running it is very easy to want to connect the dots here. Apple could very well be a partner in this development or new plant.
  4. Samsung is part of a team that developed this process node and the software tools to exploit it. Others involved are Global Foundries and IBM, with a bunch of small fry. The interesting part here is tools compatibility, Apple could have Global Foundries build chips for them with minimal effort.
  5. Samsungs process has been tuned for low power while Globals targets performance. So we could see Samsung making low power chips for Apple while Global produces a higher performance variant. The thought is very interesting. .

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.
post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

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.

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

Now this does make some sense: Apple's secret stuff sequestered in "for-Apple" plants.
post #18 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

Solipsism, that's kind of what concerns me though. It's one thing for Apple to focus on battery life, and entirely another thing to be behind the curve when it comes to innovation. It's great that Apple designs the A4, but it's only great if it's superior in what it offers as opposed to those with the other chips. Woe be us, the day when someone does a side by side comparison (like Apple used to do on stage, ironically) and Apple's product can't maintain the speed. I've seen in my time (as I'm sure you have in yours) several examples of when Apple played it safe and didn't use the latest and fastest hardware. We're still dealing with issues regarding GPU's that can't compete with their Windows counterparts.

I’m not sure I follow you. There are many ways in which something can be superior. For instance, the clock speed of many high-end Android phones are superiour to the iPhone 4. The ones I’m referring to are coming as 1GHz Cortex-A8 compared to about 750-850Mhz Apple A4 in the iPhone 4. Despite this inferior number of cycles per second the device feels faster in the UI as the code is more refined from the drivers to the OS to the apps and even the SDK. This has allows Apple to take a huge lead in battery performance over the competition without negatively affecting it’s performance. The only area that Apple is behind is with JS performance in Safari which is using the native WebKit engine compared to Google’s V8 for Android and Chrome browsers.

I think it was last month I read an article that showed the rapid increase in HW performance over the years, but also stated that better algorithms has increased performance 43x times more than Moore’s Law over the past 15 years.
"Seen on the blog 'Algorithmic Game Theory,' a report to congress and the president about past and future advances in information technology notes that, while improvements in hardware accounted for an approximate 1,000 fold increase in calculation speed over a 15-year time-span, improvements in algorithms accounted for an over 43,000 fold increase."

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10...s-Law?from=rss I’ve posted the image a few times at AI so I’ll refrain this time, but AnandTech’s thorough testing of smartphones has revealed that even older iPhones with only 802.11g have better throughput than Android devices with 802.11n. That tells me that HW alone may look good on a spec sheet to some, but it is not a measure of performance of a complete device in and of itself.

Quote:
I think it's great that Samsung is producing the A4 for Apple. My greatest concern is Apple failing to take the lead and having Google throwing all of their resources at the competing products. Apple can not afford to fall behind now. Playing against the likes of Google, there's never a chance to recover when one drops the ball. I'm hoping Apple realizes that with every fiber of their being and brings their A-Game. That means remaining ahead of the curve on internal components. Here's to hoping the A5 (or whatever they call the next version) will be able to surpass the competition and keep Apple in the lead. Here's also to hoping that iOS continues to exceed expectations with Android gunning for it.

I think Apple’s position with their own variations of chips, drivers, their own OS and so on, along with decades of experience in these areas at some level has put them in a unique position that no one can touch at this point. Add to that their expertise in marketing, sourcing components and "factory dynamics” and I don’t know of a single company that can match them on all those levels.

MS has limited experience in HW. Google has new experience in an OS and no experience in HW. Samsung is bada at writing code. I’d think Sony and Nokia should be Apple’s biggest challenge but their myopic focus seems to be hurting with each new quarter.
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post #19 of 93
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Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Now this does make some sense: Apple's secret stuff sequestered in "for-Apple" plants.

Foxconn already have some of these in place. But by Foxconn' size ( Whom literally assemble EVERY single PC sold today ), Apple's line of Mac were small to separate from others. Until iPhone came along.

That is Why Foxconn are building new sites now specially dedicated to Apple. And as you may have already read, Foxconn's subsidiary CyberMart are now getting First Class Citizen treatment from Apple in selling Apple 's Product in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong Market.
post #20 of 93
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.

Samsung would need to built new plant in order to fulfill Apple's demand. And when South Korea Econ are growing stronger while USD are now worth like crap, building a Plant in US actually make much more sense then 3 - 5 years ago. Not to mention most of the High Tech Fab Equipment Manufacture are located in US anyway.
post #21 of 93
It's good to read the interesting aspects of the hardware differentiation and variables associated with the OS, drivers, and the like. I'm running an "old" Mac Pro from the technology perspective, but it still does wonders for me. In the burgeoning market of the iPad it seems like there's so much competition out there. Engadget is filled with new iPad copycat designs and there are tons of phones out there that look so similar to the iPhone 4 that it's hard to determine the difference from more than a few feet away. I guess all of my statements come down to my hoping that Apple doesn't lose this battle like it lost the desktop battle. I have big hopes for iOS and for Lion. Having Samsung make whatever chip it is that Apple will use is a good thing, because they seem to do that very well.

As for my prior statement regarding graphics, it was in relation to Apple's history of being behind the PC makers with regard to GPU performance. The #1 problem I have with my Mac Pro is the NVidia card I have in it. It seems like every Mac I've owned, the GPU was it's weak point. I'm really hoping this will soon be a "past experience" case. My iPhone 3Gs does alright with games, but I can already tell it's at the edge of its capabilities. The A4 seems to be doing fantastically with regard to the iPhone 4 and the iPad, but moving forward requires much more detail. The Retina screen on the iPhone 4 is drool-worthy, but 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. If you want your head to explode, try watching an old DVD in the old Full Screen mode as it was called. It just sucks. 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.
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post #22 of 93
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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".
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post #23 of 93
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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.
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post #24 of 93
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post #25 of 93
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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.
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post #26 of 93
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.
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post #27 of 93
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 dont 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.
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post #28 of 93
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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.
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turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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post #29 of 93
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.
post #30 of 93
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.
post #31 of 93
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.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #32 of 93
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.
post #33 of 93
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.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #34 of 93
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.
post #35 of 93
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.
post #36 of 93
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.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #37 of 93
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.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #38 of 93
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).
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post #39 of 93
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.
post #40 of 93
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.
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