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Complex chip shift from Samsung expected to take Apple 12-18 months - Page 2

post #41 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I think that Apple will have no other choice but to buy its way into the fab business. Production volume is getting too massive. Apple is at a f*cked if you do, f*cked if you don't crossroads. Chip fab is the weak link in Apple's chain. Will Apple ever get what it really needs from another manufacturer? I doubt it. At the very least Apple needs more control over the fab plant and its not going to get it unless it buys the plant.

This aint your Grandpa's Apple...

I can't go with that. It's a very complex business. Just because you think Apple needs to do this doesn't mean that they can do this. Even Intel is finding it difficult to invest in new fabs by themselves. It's thought that the next generation may cost close to $12 billion a pop. You haven't given a cogent reason why they should do this.

There are a number of companies with decades of experience in building and running fabs. Apple has none. Even those companies have problems meeting their standards. TSMC often has problems, and runs behind with every new process technology. Look to the problems Nvidia and ATI have had over the years. Golbal foundries is worse. IBM is pretty good, but doesn't have the production capability. Intel is the best, and can do whatever they need to.

Apple pays suppliers billions every year to upgrade plant and equipment, hire and train workers, and buy equipment for their own use. It's believed that they recently made a $1 billion payment to TSMC. TSMC has been getting better at meeting schedules, and is the largest independent fab out there. It's believed that they could devote one or two fabs for Apple production.

It would be insane for Apple to go this alone.

Even Samsung buys SoC's from other companies for their own devices. Apple's biggest bottlenecks are in displays. So you might as well say that they should build their own plants for that as well. And what about cases? They've had problems with those too.

By not building those by themselves, they have saved billions of dollars. They don't need to deal with plant and infrastructure. They don't have to deal with the workers. They don't have to deal with old equipment and breakdowns. I could go on. This saves them a lot of headaches. Being vertically integrated is a problem. Let others have that problem
post #42 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

And there are over $100 billion reasons they can.  

 

The market cap of several of the pure-play foundries are in the single digit billion range.  For example UMC is only $4.7B and is sometimes the rumored takeover target of Qualcomm.  Of course they NEED about another $8B (if I recall correctly) in CAPEX to get to the 20nm process.  TowerJazz is only 181M if all apple wants is to acqui-hire a company that is already in the foundry business (although not in the CPU one they are a ARM licensee) to manage new fabs.  That's a longer road than buying UMC but UMC has a asston of 40nm stuff Apple probably can't use.

You miss the point. Apple keeps that much cash (and other liquid assets) for being able to make investments quickly, that is: being flexible.

If you tell me you want to invest billion in a production plant, that means exactly the opposite. Flexibility is at Apple's heart, that's what they have always been used to!

 

You must always consider the culture of a company. A company that has always followed, from the very beginning, a "make and buy" approach, and is currently really successful, can't change its colture so easily!

They decided to not be integrated upstream, because that reduces flexibility (see the Nokia case: they were so focused on containing costs and standardizing components that they missed the change in the market). They preferred instead a downstream integration (with the DOS and the Online Store), to be closer to the market and consumers.

 

Remember that Apple did, in fact, tried to build its own manufacturing plant, in the early years... And that idea was a complete failure. Because they simply weren't used to that! They could have hired hundreds of new engineers, but that would have not helped.

See also what is happening with iCloud: even if it's still more reliable than Mobile Me, it often goes down. Because you may have the best people working, but if you're not specialized in online services (because that is not in your core competencies) you *will* have troubles.

 

In the past, authors who were supporting the "make" approach, used arguments like: it gives you more margins (but yet, Apple already has huge margins: EBIT margin of 35%) and fits best your needs (but most components are standardized, and Apple works together with its partners to develop them).

And when you have an impressive ROI of 37%, which is ~2.5 times the industry average, and thus a proven competitive advantage, why change?

 

This doesn't mean, however, that Apple can't invest in its manufacturers. Actually, they should acquire stakes, to gain tighter control (and also help avoiding the issues with breaking contracts). However, they don't need the majority of the company.

 

 

PS: I'm a business student, graduating next summer. I may not know a lot about technical details of chips (I know nothing, actually), but I deal with topics like innovation management and supply chain management every day or so...

 

--EDIT
@Melgross got the point. That's exactly what I was thinking about when I talked of "corporate culture".

post #43 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Re: "Such a transition away from Samsung is expected to have shockwaves through the industry."
Really? Headlines yes. Shockwaves only through Samsung's chip division.
And presumably, Samsung would continue to make older AX chips like the A5 / A5X / A6 / A6X for a few years. So the total transition away from Samsung for all AX manufacturing business would take 2 or 3 years after the TSMC chips (A7 / A7X ?) volume production begins.
I wouldn't be surprised if the A7 / A7X will be 64-bit dual / quad core designs. Dual core for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV. Quad core for MacBook Air running OS X 10.9.

Shock waves because they will take so much of TSMC's production that smaller players will have a problem getting production for themselves. This isn't the first time this happened. Apple buys so much flash that other companies have often had to wait, and have had to pay more. Same thing with screens, and even shipping last holiday, when Apple bought all the air shipping space from carriers working in Asia.
post #44 of 100
T
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

And there are over $100 billion reasons they can.  

The market cap of several of the pure-play foundries are in the single digit billion range.  For example UMC is only $4.7B and is sometimes the rumored takeover target of Qualcomm.  Of course they NEED about another $8B (if I recall correctly) in CAPEX to get to the 20nm process.  TowerJazz is only 181M if all apple wants is to acqui-hire a company that is already in the foundry business (although not in the CPU one they are a ARM licensee) to manage new fabs.  That's a longer road than buying UMC but UMC has a asston of 40nm stuff Apple probably can't use.

Qualcomm is in the same boat.  They need more capacity than TSMC is willing to promise.

On the other hand, even AMD/ATI is fabless after spinning off Global Foundries.

The AMD deal shows that having your own foundry isn't always a profitable thing. Apple wouldn't be needing to make a big profit. But Apple being who they are would want to make a small one so that the business wouldn't fall into the red.

But it could easily cost them $10 billion to start. How many chips would they need to produce to pay that back, including the running costs? About a billion chips. So that would be about three years production, not including running costs. So say five years, maybe. But that wouldn't include bi-yearly major plant upgrades to a new process technology. And wait, you can't upgrade a plant while using it! So that means another plant.

And if things don't go according to schedule, uh oh!

This is beginning to get very expensive, even for Apple.
post #45 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

If Apple needs to go down this road the sooner started the better.  TI is going to cut 1700 jobs as they move away from OMAP.  If they aquihire a functioning fab management team to build a new fab in texas it could work.

If it were only that simple. But it isn't.
post #46 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedalmatian View Post

What about AMD?

No no no!!!
post #47 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

UMC is in the process of building out their sub 28nm capabilities so I have no clue what the hell you are smoking.  Are you stating that UMC is licensing IBM's 14nm and 20nm FinFET tech only to sit on it?  The reason they are offering 10% equity stakes is because the need the capital injection to build out their capacity...although I think they are claiming they are skipping 20nm planar to jump to 14nm FinFET.  Certainly Apple can use their 28nm planar capacity and UMC has stated it has developed 20nm planar capabilities but aren't going to offer them due to lack of interest.

The question is also whether Apple is also ready to go 3D with the A7 or if 20nm planar is a better fit for where they are at.  Because I guarandamntee you that if Apple went to UMC and asked for billions worth of 20nm planar capacity UMC and offered billions of aid to build the fabs that they would reconsider the direct jump to 14nm FinFET.

ASML also offered equity stake which Apple could also buy into (Intel bought 15% for $3B) earlier this year to get a starting push.

Yes, I know Tower does mostly CMOS and they specialize in SiGe not GaAs.  However they do have the operational knowledge of running fabs although how well that translates into the volume Apple needs is debatable.  Maybe it's not as good a fit as UMC but I think it's kinda like buying the very small PA Semi, not for the product they made at the time but because of other knowledge.  In this case operational rather than technical...although the RF CMOS expertise is likely useful the Apple as well.  That they have some SGOI experience helps too.

UMC is the better fit but as I said, Qualcomm is the most rumored partner for equity and a lock on UMC capacity.  Apple wont likely want to get into a bidding war with Qualcomm to buy UMC or even UMC capacity unless it has no choice in the matter.  Pursuing a smaller company and building out their own capabilities seem more in line with what they do.

Being an IDM is risky.  Being fabless is risky.  Between the two Apple has more supply constraint issues than worries about how to fill capacity.

I don't see either of those companies ramping up to meet Apple's capacity needs. It also takes experience at running those production numbers, and neither has it. Maybe in a few years they may get it, but that's just a guess, as they may not. Apple isn't usually in the business of nurturing companies along in an area critical to Apple's business. And after the problems with Motorola and later Freescale, I don't think they ever want to experience that again. And relying on small inexperienced fabs isn't something I see them doing.

This is why I don't see them going it on their own. They would have all of those problems.
post #48 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


I can't go with that. It's a very complex business. Just because you think Apple needs to do this doesn't mean that they can do this. Even Intel is finding it difficult to invest in new fabs by themselves. It's thought that the next generation may cost close to $12 billion a pop. You haven't given a cogent reason why they should do this.
There are a number of companies with decades of experience in building and running fabs. Apple has none. Even those companies have problems meeting their standards. TSMC often has problems, and runs behind with every new process technology. Look to the problems Nvidia and ATI have had over the years. Golbal foundries is worse. IBM is pretty good, but doesn't have the production capability. Intel is the best, and can do whatever they need to.
Apple pays suppliers billions every year to upgrade plant and equipment, hire and train workers, and buy equipment for their own use. It's believed that they recently made a $1 billion payment to TSMC. TSMC has been getting better at meeting schedules, and is the largest independent fab out there. It's believed that they could devote one or two fabs for Apple production.
It would be insane for Apple to go this alone.
Even Samsung buys SoC's from other companies for their own devices. Apple's biggest bottlenecks are in displays. So you might as well say that they should build their own plants for that as well. And what about cases? They've had problems with those too.
By not building those by themselves, they have saved billions of dollars. They don't need to deal with plant and infrastructure. They don't have to deal with the workers. They don't have to deal with old equipment and breakdowns. I could go on. This saves them a lot of headaches. Being vertically integrated is a problem. Let others have that problem

 

Let others have that problem? I think you are condemning Apple to bottlenecks for life. Apple is at maximum production right now. If Apple is really leaving Samsung, then Apple will have to front another manufacturer big big bucks ($1 billion will be a drop in the bucket) to take on the risk of increasing production capacity to Apple's needs. TSMC or any other manufacturer may cherish the thought of having Apple's business but they are also not stupid. Fortunes come and go all the time in the tech world and for a company to tie its future too tightly with Apple would be downright silly.

 

Samsung is vertically integrated and is in a much better position than Apple for long term health of the company. Samsung will eventually eat Apple's lunch if current trends continue.

 

Just because you think that Apple can't do this doesn't mean it can't be done (or shouldn't be done).

 

By the way... I don't recall saying that Apple would have to go it alone but I have said that Apple needs much much more control over chip production. it sounds like you assume I meant that Apple has to go and build its own plant and forget about all the others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

... and, yes, Apple might have to gain more control over its displays as well.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #49 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Even Samsung buys SoC's from other companies for their own devices. Apple's biggest bottlenecks are in displays. So you might as well say that they should build their own plants for that as well. And what about cases? They've had problems with those too.
By not building those by themselves, they have saved billions of dollars. They don't need to deal with plant and infrastructure. They don't have to deal with the workers. They don't have to deal with old equipment and breakdowns. I could go on. This saves them a lot of headaches. Being vertically integrated is a problem. Let others have that problem

 

But that has nothing to do with Samsung's manufacturing capacity. Samsung buys Qualcomm's snapdragon SoC's for US LTE only.  Most of Samsung devices use Samsung's own Exynos SoC's.  And let's not forget, Qualcomm contracted Samsung to produce the S4 when TSMC couldn't keep up with Qualcomm's demand. Samsung is now also producing the S4 SoCs.  

post #50 of 100
The changes of Intel's leadership and the Fabs they are investing into are going make Intel a preferred partner if that finally deciding to give in. Intel will have Fabs capacity sitting idle next year, little to no presence in Mobile and Tablet space in a booming market, Shrinking Desktop and Laptop sales with even slower upgrade cycle. Every single server CPU they made may have been 10 times more profitable then Desktop CPU, but they will still need volume to fill up those capacity.

So Intel either bet they can make the best Mobile chip with x86 and their process, with less profit margin then what they are used to, or give in to Qualcomm or Apple to fill up those Fabs capacity.

We should know the decision soon i think. So this is Apple waiting for Intel's answer.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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post #51 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

But that has nothing to do with Samsung's manufacturing capacity. Samsung buys Qualcomm's snapdragon SoC's for US LTE only.  Most of Samsung devices use Samsung's own Exynos SoC's.  And let's not forget, Qualcomm contracted Samsung to produce the S4 when TSMC couldn't keep up with Qualcomm's demand. Samsung is now also producing the S4 SoCs.  

 

... and yet Melgross believes that somehow or another that TSMC is going to magically take over from Samsung to produce Apple's chips. Hell, even Samsung is at the top of the capacity that they want to give to Apple.

 

In other words, these guys want Apple's capacity to go no further than the maximum we're seeing right now. Apple might have 10% left before it hits the ceiling.

 

Great business plan.

 

My opinion... Apple is going to have think long and hard about the future of the company... but if Cook really is the numbers guy that everyone says he is then he's already staying awake at night thinking about this.

 

I see a major amount of cash burning in the very near future.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #52 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post



Apple pays suppliers billions every year to upgrade plant and equipment, hire and train workers, and buy equipment for their own use. It's believed that they recently made a $1 billion payment to TSMC. TSMC has been getting better at meeting schedules, and is the largest independent fab out there. It's believed that they could devote one or two fabs for Apple production.
It would be insane for Apple to go this alone.
Even Samsung buys SoC's from other companies for their own devices. Apple's biggest bottlenecks are in displays. So you might as well say that they should build their own plants for that as well. And what about cases? They've had problems with those too.
By not building those by themselves, they have saved billions of dollars. They don't need to deal with plant and infrastructure. They don't have to deal with the workers. They don't have to deal with old equipment and breakdowns. I could go on. This saves them a lot of headaches. Being vertically integrated is a problem. Let others have that problem

When was that? I remember rumors that such a bid was rejected. I can't find the Appleinsider link. Here is one from Macobserver.

post #53 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

Amit is as credible as his suggestion about Intel taking over chip production.
As credible as a factor 10 price hike and a factor 5 in power dissipation.
J.

I guess you don't understand chip production then. While Intel's current chips are clearly more expensive and more power hungry than ARM chips, that's a function of architecture. If Intel were to act as the foundry for an Ax chip designed by Apple, it would not suffer any power dissipation problems (nor would Intel be able to price it much higher than market price). In fact, since Intel's process technology is the most advanced in the industry, an Ax chip produced by Intel would almost certainly have lower power usage than the same chip produced by Samsung (and, since chip cost is proportional to chip area, Intel's chip might well be less expensive, too. Even if Intel insists in an 80% gross margin (compared to 60% on their existing products), it would still not be more than twice the cost of current chips - probably less.

Now, I agree that Intel is unlikely to fab chips for Apple, but it's not for the reasons you cited.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #54 of 100
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I guess you don't understand chip production then. While Intel's current chips are clearly more expensive and more power hungry than ARM chips, that's a function of architecture. If Intel were to act as the foundry for an Ax chip designed by Apple, it would not suffer any power dissipation problems (nor would Intel be able to price it much higher than market price). In fact, since Intel's process technology is the most advanced in the industry, an Ax chip produced by Intel would almost certainly have lower power usage than the same chip produced by Samsung (and, since chip cost is proportional to chip area, Intel's chip might well be less expensive, too. Even if Intel insists in an 80% gross margin (compared to 60% on their existing products), it would still not be more than twice the cost of current chips - probably less.
Now, I agree that Intel is unlikely to fab chips for Apple, but it's not for the reasons you cited.


You have to wonder, though, what the initial cost would be for Intel to begin fabrication of this Arm chip.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #55 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I guess you don't understand chip production then. While Intel's current chips are clearly more expensive and more power hungry than ARM chips, that's a function of architecture. If Intel were to act as the foundry for an Ax chip designed by Apple, it would not suffer any power dissipation problems (nor would Intel be able to price it much higher than market price). In fact, since Intel's process technology is the most advanced in the industry, an Ax chip produced by Intel would almost certainly have lower power usage than the same chip produced by Samsung (and, since chip cost is proportional to chip area, Intel's chip might well be less expensive, too. Even if Intel insists in an 80% gross margin (compared to 60% on their existing products), it would still not be more than twice the cost of current chips - probably less.
Now, I agree that Intel is unlikely to fab chips for Apple, but it's not for the reasons you cited.

The poster did have the point. Not only would Intel have to fab for Apple, Intel would essentially have to invest heavily in ARM. Intel won't go off and just fab Apple chips for the fun/money. It would have to be a committed move to drop x86 for mobile and go to ARM, essentially killing off Intel x86 for mobile... If you're talking the volumes that Intel would do for Apple, it would be somewhat pointless to continue x86 for mobile.

I said it in the past few years. x86 for mobile is a big, big gamble and I am now more than ever, certain that Intel will not pull it off 2013-2018. Just not in the face of where ARM is going to be in 2015, let alone tomorrow.
post #56 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

You miss the point. Apple keeps that much cash (and other liquid assets) for being able to make investments quickly, that is: being flexible.
If you tell me you want to invest billion in a production plant, that means exactly the opposite. Flexibility is at Apple's heart, that's what they have always been used to!

Except that apple has made billion dollar capex in the past to guarantee capacity.

And investing 10% of the cash hoard stuck overseas in a long term strategic move is not unreasonable.

Take UMC...buy UMC with non-USA money, build fabs in Austin using UMC expertise. Essentially you got about $2b of value back into the us untaxed. AND you have the added PR bonus of US jobs creation...and chips are one of those things we can profitably manufacture in the US.
post #57 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Except that apple has made billion dollar capex in the past to guarantee capacity.
And investing 10% of the cash hoard stuck overseas in a long term strategic move is not unreasonable.
Take UMC...buy UMC with non-USA money, build fabs in Austin using UMC expertise. Essentially you got about $2b of value back into the us untaxed. AND you have the added PR bonus of US jobs creation...and chips are one of those things we can profitably manufacture in the US.

Again, UMC builds chips. Apple "builds ideas: they develop and design hardware and software, but they don't manufacture it.

So whatever argument you take about economic convenience is pointless.

 

If you want some theory... That is the basic of corporate finance! When considering an investment, you have to look at it under 3 points of views:

1. economic convenience (if the NPV of the investment is > 0 - or other methods)

2. financial sustainability (how to finance the investment - debt or equity? - and the costs of the financing)

3. general impact on the company

Let's say that building chips in-house is economically convenient, as you can get higher margins on a strategic component and you can reduce transaction costs. I take this for granted. Apple shouldn't have big troubles in financing it as well, as they do have a lot of cash (and the "opportunity costs" of using that cash are likely lower than the benefits).

It's in the third point where the investment plan fails. There are hundreds of example of companies that made big investments that were excellent under the first 2 aspects, but proved to be a total failure in the following years. That is because, again, Apple doesn't have any experience in manufacturing. What if the chips were more expensive than what planned? Or, even worse, what if they were faulty (not unlikely, if they aren't experts... again, see what's happened with Mobile Me and what's happening with iCloud, which is still pretty unstable). Even, even worse: what if they weren't able to produce volumes that are big enough? You know: you can't start producing 100 million chips per year from zero... The impact on the statements of income would be bad as well: investing in plants means increasing the operating leverage, and thus making the cost structure more rigid. Eventually, having your own manufacturing plant means that you will have to use it: you are putting a lot of money into a technology, without being able to change it completely in the next years.

post #58 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The AMD deal shows that having your own foundry isn't always a profitable thing. Apple wouldn't be needing to make a big profit. But Apple being who they are would want to make a small one so that the business wouldn't fall into the red.

I would argue if AMD had not gotten hammered by the Core2 they wouldn't have spun off their fabs because they would have needed all of that capacity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't see either of those companies ramping up to meet Apple's capacity needs. It also takes experience at running those production numbers, and neither has it.

You do know that UMC was the #2 foundry behind TSMC before being overtaken this year by GF right?

They are more than capable of volume production.
Quote:
And after the problems with Motorola and later Freescale, I don't think they ever want to experience that again. And relying on small inexperienced fabs isn't something I see them doing.
This is why I don't see them going it on their own. They would have all of those problems.

I would argue that given their experience as a fabless company with IBM, Freescale and now Samsung that going the IDM route starts looking pretty good for the volumes they are talking about.

And also, regarding your point about upgrading a fabs you do know that a fab can be composed of multiple modules and each can be updated independently and make different stuff. That also means that they can expand and contract their capacity over time in a more granular fashion than you imply.

To me, apple investing billions into a fab is not any different than apple investing billions into iCloud server farms and I would argue they have a far better handle on hardware production than servers.
post #59 of 100
Originally Posted by Nathillien View Post
Are you saying Apple design looks like crap? 1rolleyes.gif

 

No, but if you'd read my post you'd know that.

post #60 of 100
If Intel is operating as a fab for Apple that would have zip to do with the i86 business. The two aren't even slightly related. In fact I would see Intel setting up a division within the company to address the fab "business". Honestly I don't know where this idea comes from that facing for Apple suddenly makes Intels i86 chips dead in the water.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I guess you don't understand chip production then. While Intel's current chips are clearly more expensive and more power hungry than ARM chips, that's a function of architecture. If Intel were to act as the foundry for an Ax chip designed by Apple, it would not suffer any power dissipation problems (nor would Intel be able to price it much higher than market price). In fact, since Intel's process technology is the most advanced in the industry, an Ax chip produced by Intel would almost certainly have lower power usage than the same chip produced by Samsung (and, since chip cost is proportional to chip area, Intel's chip might well be less expensive, too. Even if Intel insists in an 80% gross margin (compared to 60% on their existing products), it would still not be more than twice the cost of current chips - probably less.
Now, I agree that Intel is unlikely to fab chips for Apple, but it's not for the reasons you cited.

The poster did have the point. Not only would Intel have to fab for Apple, Intel would essentially have to invest heavily in ARM. Intel won't go off and just fab Apple chips for the fun/money. It would have to be a committed move to drop x86 for mobile and go to ARM, essentially killing off Intel x86 for mobile... If you're talking the volumes that Intel would do for Apple, it would be somewhat pointless to continue x86 for mobile.

I said it in the past few years. x86 for mobile is a big, big gamble and I am now more than ever, certain that Intel will not pull it off 2013-2018. Just not in the face of where ARM is going to be in 2015, let alone tomorrow.
post #61 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If Intel is operating as a fab for Apple that would have zip to do with the i86 business. The two aren't even slightly related. In fact I would see Intel setting up a division within the company to address the fab "business". Honestly I don't know where this idea comes from that facing for Apple suddenly makes Intels i86 chips dead in the water.

Not x86 period, but ~x86 for mobile~. Of course x86 for laptop and desktop is Intel's behemoth that also keeps them large-and-in-charge.

But if you're talking ~x86 for mobile~ ... suddenly fabbing ARM will cause conflict in Intel with their x86 mobile endeavours.
post #62 of 100
How does it cause a conflict. Running a fab business is something that would be completely decoupled from whatever Intel is doing with i86.
post #63 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How does it cause a conflict. Running a fab business is something that would be completely decoupled from whatever Intel is doing with i86.

That would be rational, and it may be possible. But I suspect some of the higher-ups at Intel may not like fabbing ARM while pushing i86 mobile. I'm not sure they can be that unemotional about it... Because, also, why haven't they done it yet? It's not like Apple is ~not~ selling bazillion ARM devices, buying ARM from their most troublesome competitor.
post #64 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

That would be rational, and it may be possible. But I suspect some of the higher-ups at Intel may not like fabbing ARM while pushing i86 mobile. I'm not sure they can be that unemotional about it... Because, also, why haven't they done it yet? It's not like Apple is ~not~ selling bazillion ARM devices, buying ARM from their most troublesome competitor.

Intel have done it... and then stopped. XScale.

I too doubt Intel will get into this. x86 is their focus, and why not as it is the most successful processor market, and their IP focus.

Apple moving to x86 processors might be possible now we have Medfield and it's successors. But I think ARM is still their focus, especially given purchases of Intrincity etc.

And all this is rumor. Samsung will continue to supply over the next few years during any migration as any change will certainly take time.

If Apple are smart they'd use more than one fab company to get competitive rates, remove single source vulnerability and push fabs forward in investing in next generation processes.
post #65 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Let others have that problem? I think you are condemning Apple to bottlenecks for life. Apple is at maximum production right now. If Apple is really leaving Samsung, then Apple will have to front another manufacturer big big bucks ($1 billion will be a drop in the bucket) to take on the risk of increasing production capacity to Apple's needs. TSMC or any other manufacturer may cherish the thought of having Apple's business but they are also not stupid. Fortunes come and go all the time in the tech world and for a company to tie its future too tightly with Apple would be downright silly.



 
Samsung is vertically integrated and is in a much better position than Apple for long term health of the company. Samsung will eventually eat Apple's lunch if current trends continue.

Just because you think that Apple can't do this doesn't mean it can't be done (or shouldn't be done).

By the way... I don't recall saying that Apple would have to go it alone but I have said that Apple needs much much more control over chip production. it sounds like you assume I meant that Apple has to go and build its own plant and forget about all the others. Nothing could be further from the truth.



 



... and, yes, Apple might have to gain more control over its displays as well.



There is now talk that Apple is negotiating with Intel over manufacturing "A" series chips for their phones, and possible, Apple moving to newer x86 chips for the iPad. While I'm not saying I believe this, I'm not discounting it either—yet.

Obviously, Apple is involved with Samsung in this now. Apple is also reported to have paid Samsung a good deal of money to get that Texas plant going, and then upgraded. I believe this to be true. And it would be true for any other company Apple works with in the future, as I've already said. But the suggestions here are that Apple BECOME a chip manufacturer, and that's nuts. Samsung is vertical, sure, we all know that. But that's not why they're doing well right now. We all know that too. But one reason is marketing. Apple will be spending a bit over $1 billion on marketing in 2012, while Samsung is going to be spending over $12 billion.

One would think that for that kind of money, they should be getting more sales. Take a look at this article:

http://www.asymco.com/2012/11/29/the-cost-of-selling-galaxies/
post #66 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

But that has nothing to do with Samsung's manufacturing capacity. Samsung buys Qualcomm's snapdragon SoC's for US LTE only.  Most of Samsung devices use Samsung's own Exynos SoC's.  And let's not forget, Qualcomm contracted Samsung to produce the S4 when TSMC couldn't keep up with Qualcomm's demand. Samsung is now also producing the S4 SoCs.  

The point I was making was that is doesn't pay for even a company like Samsung, who makes and designs its own chips, for itself, as well as others, to make all its chips. For Apple to get into a business like this is very difficult. It will cost a enormous amount of money, even for Apple, with no guarantee that they will ever be able to meet high quality standards.

I know that there are people here who want to see Apple do everything by themselves, but in the long run, no company has ever been successful at it. I would much rather have Apple in successful long term strategic relationships with companies who are expert at this sort of thing. When Apple first dealt with Samsung, Samsung wasn't a major competitor. Now they are. But companies who don't produce finished goods aren't a competitor. I think Apple is learning that.
post #67 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

When was that? I remember rumors that such a bid was rejected. I can't find the Appleinsider link. Here is one from Macobserver.

The offer, assuming it was true, that was rejected, was that Apple take over ALL of TSMC's production. Qualcomm supposedly made the same offer, which was also rejected.

TSMC is going to build a new chip plant in upstate NY. There are rumblings that this is for Apple's production. True? Maybe. But Apple does give billions each year to manufacturers for this very thing. I would expect that Apple would do the same thing here.
post #68 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

I would argue if AMD had not gotten hammered by the Core2 they wouldn't have spun off their fabs because they would have needed all of that capacity.
You do know that UMC was the #2 foundry behind TSMC before being overtaken this year by GF right?
They are more than capable of volume production.
I would argue that given their experience as a fabless company with IBM, Freescale and now Samsung that going the IDM route starts looking pretty good for the volumes they are talking about.
And also, regarding your point about upgrading a fabs you do know that a fab can be composed of multiple modules and each can be updated independently and make different stuff. That also means that they can expand and contract their capacity over time in a more granular fashion than you imply.
To me, apple investing billions into a fab is not any different than apple investing billions into iCloud server farms and I would argue they have a far better handle on hardware production than servers.

AMD has been a loser company for as far back as I can remember. But it was thought that by selling the fabs they could cut expenses enough to plow them back into R&D. It didn't help. One major outcry about AMD ridding themselves of their fabs was because of the nature of a tight relationship between chip design, and chip production. Intel has it, and AMD never did. So owning your own fab is good if you're like Intel, and bad if you're like AMD.

The problem is that Apple has no experience in this at all. Hiring people doesn't give a company experience. It doesn't work that way. As Intel discovered years ago, fabs are special. They're not like other manufacturing processes. That's why they have a process where every new fab is EXACTLY like every other fab, at least, of the same generation. But Apple can hire all of TI's chip people, and still have a lousy fab. It's a VERY big risk.
post #69 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There is now talk that Apple is negotiating with Intel over manufacturing "A" series chips for their phones, and possible, Apple moving to newer x86 chips for the iPad. While I'm not saying I believe this, I'm not discounting it either—yet.
Obviously, Apple is involved with Samsung in this now. Apple is also reported to have paid Samsung a good deal of money to get that Texas plant going, and then upgraded. I believe this to be true. And it would be true for any other company Apple works with in the future, as I've already said. But the suggestions here are that Apple BECOME a chip manufacturer, and that's nuts. Samsung is vertical, sure, we all know that. But that's not why they're doing well right now. We all know that too. But one reason is marketing. Apple will be spending a bit over $1 billion on marketing in 2012, while Samsung is going to be spending over $12 billion.
One would think that for that kind of money, they should be getting more sales. Take a look at this article:
http://www.asymco.com/2012/11/29/the-cost-of-selling-galaxies/

That's not how Chaebol's roll. They go big no matter what happens, since these massive multinationals by cash flow, turnover etc. move the economies of entire nations. Profit and more rational ROI is secondary in many cases.

The US is large enough that you can have several massive corporations alongside massive (unfortunately) government debt & spending. In Asia, outside of China, local large multinationals carry economies like crazy and that's more important than profits per se.
post #70 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

That's not how Chaebol's roll. They go big no matter what happens, since these massive multinationals by cash flow, turnover etc. move the economies of entire nations. Profit and more rational ROI is secondary in many cases.
The US is large enough that you can have several massive corporations alongside massive (unfortunately) government debt & spending. In Asia, outside of China, local large multinationals carry economies like crazy and that's more important than profits per se.

I don't understand what you're trying to say. Samsung is a pretty profitable company by most standards. They would be a lot more profitable, possibly, if they didn't spend so much for marketing. But then, they might be a much smaller company too. While they get benefits from being the biggest Chaebol in S Korea, that's become less of an advantage as time goes on. In fact, Chaebols are considered to be holding many companies back.

The two main reason why Samsung has been doing much better in mobile is in their copying of Apple's products. You can easily see that from the way their products looked before, and after. The next reason is the massive advertising they are doing. I can hardly watch a program on Tv without seeing a Samsung Ad. Usually, they are attempting to put down Apple's products in those Ads. They are a nasty company these days, which is too bad.
post #71 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

AMD has been a loser company for as far back as I can remember. 

 

 

There was a period where the Pentium 4 sucked and the Athlon was supreme.  They were pretty much selling every CPU they could make and it was thought that Intel was on the wane.  

 

Then came the Core 2/Core 2 Duo.

Quote:
But it was thought that by selling the fabs they could cut expenses enough to plow them back into R&D. It didn't help. One major outcry about AMD ridding themselves of their fabs was because of the nature of a tight relationship between chip design, and chip production. Intel has it, and AMD never did. So owning your own fab is good if you're like Intel, and bad if you're like AMD..

 

Bad if your demand craters right after you spent a lot of money investing in fabs yes.  In any case GF is the #2 pure play foundry today.

 

 

Quote:
The problem is that Apple has no experience in this at all. Hiring people doesn't give a company experience. It doesn't work that way. As Intel discovered years ago, fabs are special. They're not like other manufacturing processes. That's why they have a process where every new fab is EXACTLY like every other fab, at least, of the same generation. But Apple can hire all of TI's chip people, and still have a lousy fab. It's a VERY big risk

 

It's an equally big risk if they are unable to make sufficient iPhones and iPads because their desired foundry has elected to serve another customer.

 

And I disagree.  If they acquired UMC they would own the #3 pure play foundry in the world behind TSMC and GF with working 28nm fabs and a road map to 14nm FinFET.

 

They could do that and STILL partner with Samsung and TSMC in the near term for 10% of their money hoard.  Somewhat less if they sold off the 40nm capacity to someone since they likely wouldn't want it.

 

Going the IDM route is a viable one for Apple and they certainly have more than enough money and technical expertise to do so if they choose.  I bet they do so within the next few years.

post #72 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


There was a period where the Pentium 4 sucked and the Athlon was supreme.  They were pretty much selling every CPU they could make and it was thought that Intel was on the wane.  

Then came the Core 2/Core 2 Duo.

That's slightly different than x86 for mobile by Intel, as well as custom ARM by Intel. Remember that Intel's chips ruled the roost long before AMD, and even during the Pentium fiasco the Pentium 2 and Pentium 3, particularly, was excellent. Thanks to that heritage Intel was extremely quick to dump the Pentium 4 and go back to Pentium 3 which AFAIK was a basis for the Core and Core 2 architecture... And also based on their past experience and with some strong leadership they could do tick/tock.

But there are absolutely no signs that they "get" chips for mobile/tablet.

They could make a comeback, but it's very, very late in the game.

The Pentium 4 was like a carriage in the Intel train that went off the tracks, luckily without taking most of the train with it.

With chips for mobile/tablet, there is no Intel train at all, right now it's a horse-drawn cart. Sounds cruel but there ain't nothing on the planet from Intel that compares with a Tegra 3, let alone iPad 4 A6X, let alone what ARM itself has in its labs right now.

Because indeed, Intel's approach is to use a faster, thinner horse, rather than a diesel engine. That is, refusing to give up x86 as an architecture that is clearly within the next 5 years never going to offer any ~significant~ advantages over ARM, architecturally.

Which means Intel is fighting on both tick and tock fronts, never a good thing. The architecture is troublesome, which requires a lot of work to reach ARM's elegance, and process-wise, where you have to take that gluggy architecture and cram it down ever more difficult nodes (at least until optical/quantum/whatever nodes).

It is obvious that the financially beneficial choice would be to use Intel's brilliant fabbing but with ARM architecture to cater for the post-PC world. How many laptop and desktops are going to be made in the next 10 years compared to mobile and tablet devices? Even if the margins are nice, we're talking whether they can "get with the program"... Because if they don't do that ~today~, then they definitely will have to in 5-10 years. Unless they leapfrog to optical/quantum/etc. but that's some more massive R&D while milking x86 for laptop/desktop.

To me, the layperson, Intel fabbing ARM architecture while transitioning their x86 to "the PCs we will still need in the post-PC-world"... is a no-brainer as their bridge to optical/quantum/etc.
Edited by sr2012 - 12/5/12 at 3:22am
post #73 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

[SNIP]

 


Wow...nothing you wrote has anything to do with whether or not Apple should become an IDM.
 
In any case, it wasn't JUST the Pentium 4, it was also the Itanium and loss of face when AMD's x86-64 was adopted over Intel's IA-64.
 
As far as intel not getting mobile chips I think you're simply deluded. Intel is working hard on power efficiency since it applies to both mobile and the data center...which is something that ARM is also eyeing and of course AMD announced 64 bit ARM based servers by 2014 last month.  Back to the mobile discussion, Intel finally has Medfield smartphone design wins in 2012 with the K800 and multiple tablet design wins.  The K800 has 8 hours talk time, 5 hours browsing time and 14-day standby on a 1900 mAh battery running Android which isn't shabby.  It ran faster than the Galaxy Nexus on SunSpider which on par for an early 2012 phone.  The Xolo X900 also reviewed well so the Atom isn't a slouch.
 
Here are the benchmarks against common ARM phones:
 

 

It's essentially dual core A9 performance in a single core Atom.

 

It beats the iPhone 4S in browser tests:

 

 

Battery Life:

 

"One of the downsides to living in rural New York State is that 3G coverage is hard to come by. As a result, our talk-time tests were done on AT&T’s 2G network. One of the most common arguments against an x86 cell phone is the idea that it would draw too much power to be useful. In our tests, however, the Xolo actually beat the iPhone 4S, turning in 13 hours and 15 minutes of talk time against the iPhone 4′s 11 hours. WiFi was disabled on both devices."

 

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/127347-going-xolo-x900-intels-first-x86-medfield-smartphone-reviewed/2

 

The fact is that 32nm single core Atom Saltwell isn't bad as a smartphone processor and on par with the A9. The late 2013 22nm quad core Bay Trails using Silvermont should be pretty impressive and the Clover Trail Saltwells are probably on par with A15s despite being a process node behind.  The older 18W TDP 45nm D525 was slower and more power hungry than the ARM Exynos 5 (around 4W TDP) in the Phoronix benchmarks but the 32nm Z2760 has a TDP around 1.7W should be on par with the Exynos in terms of performance per watt even if slower overall.  

 

Intel's TDP has been plummeting over the last few years.  Low power Haswells will have 10W TDP...nearly half that of the D525 Atoms.  Current gen low power Core i5s and i7s are in the 17W TDP range.

 

Counting Intel out today is as stupid as counting them out when they looked really bad against AMD with the P4/iTainic debacle.  Intel has zero need to make ARM chips given the massive improvements they've made the last few years in power performance.  The 2016 mobile CPU landscape (both smartphone and tablet) may look as different from the 2012 landscape as the 2006 desktop CPU landscape looked from the 2002 landscape when the AMD's Athlon XP was kicking around Intel's Northwood P4 processor like a sad little puppy.

 

If Intel's roadmap continues unabated I could potentially see the 2016 iPad make the hop to Atom just like the Mac moved from the PPC despite Apple's investments.  The 2014 14nm Airmonts indicate to me that Intel is moving to tick/tock for Atom as well Core and putting Atom on the same process node.  


Edited by nht - 12/5/12 at 6:45am
post #74 of 100
@nht OK, I could be wrong. But something is fishy about Intel and Medfield. Benches are one thing, design wins another, adoption by the major players even another.

It looks promising, but in the long run (5-10 years), I am still not sure Intel can do such a big turnaround:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/353351-i-d-still-take-arm-holdings-by-a-nose

Also, what do you think that the A15 dual- and quad-core can do compared to the single-core Medfield?

Something is fishy. I can't quite explain it, but this looks almost "too good to be true" for Intel.

Edit:
Also, for Apple, a switch to Intel for iOS would be another big transition, which without Steve, I am not sure they are agile enough now to pull it off well within the next 5 years. So Apple to Intel for iOS could be at least 3-5 years away.

Which leaves Android which can easily switch and some hardware makers might, but say for Nexus, LG, Samsung... Again, that's 3 years away, at least 2 years minimum.

So the trajectory compared to ARM would be really tight for Intel to keep up.

Intel ~could~ do it, but I'm not seeing the beef here.


EDIT


Here's what I think is going on:
http://www.jayceooi.com/2012/08/26/how-to-overclock-nexus-7/
http://androidcommunity.com/nexus-7-overclocked-to-1-64-ghz-destroys-benchmarks-20120807/
http://www.slashgear.com/nexus-7-2ghz-overclock-delivers-benchmark-crushing-tablet-27243969/
vs
http://www.firstdroid.com/2012/04/07/medfield-powered-lenovo-k800-benchmark-scores-show-promise/

Now, what I am postulating here is that the "headroom" in ARM A9 alone and room for Android optimisation is very large.

We've seen 2.3.7 to 4.2 on ARM make a massive, massive difference, in fact, what makes Android really viable for 2013.

If they can figure things out more, I think Android on ARM A9 itself, particularly dual- and quad-core, has a lot more space for improvement.

Yes Intel is single-core posting good benches but it does seem dual and quad ARM A9 might not be optimised well.
Edited by sr2012 - 12/5/12 at 8:13am
post #75 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

@nht OK, I could be wrong. But something is fishy about Intel and Medfield. Benches are one thing, design wins another, adoption by the major players even another.
It looks promising, but in the long run (5-10 years), I am still not sure Intel can do such a big turnaround.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/353351-i-d-still-take-arm-holdings-by-a-nose

 

He says this:

 

"Intel is using the billions it spends on proprietary processing technology to wage a 'die shrink' war.

 

What it lacks in low power system on chip design expertise, it makes up for in being able to make smaller chips that those who rely on foundries such as Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC)."

 

And then doesn't realize that Medfield is 32nm while many 2012 Cortex A9s it competes with are 28nm as are the Cortex A15s.  Atom has traditionally been a process node or two behind Intel's best. That wont change until 2014.  If Intel had given up some 2012 Ivy Bridge production capacity for 22nm Atom production then this analyst might have a point.  But it didn't so he doesn't.

 

Intel spends billions on process technology because that's part of being competitive in the chip business.  Especially in the far more profitable desktop and server CPU business.  ARM is the new AMD...it's keeping Intel prices in check and that's a good thing.  It's beating Intel in the power department leading Intel to invest heavily in improving the efficiencies of their Core design and that's a good thing if you like using Mac laptops in addition to your iPad.

post #76 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


There was a period where the Pentium 4 sucked and the Athlon was supreme.  They were pretty much selling every CPU they could make and it was thought that Intel was on the wane.  

Then came the Core 2/Core 2 Duo.

Bad if your demand craters right after you spent a lot of money investing in fabs yes.  In any case GF is the #2 pure play foundry today.



It's an equally big risk if they are unable to make sufficient iPhones and iPads because their desired foundry has elected to serve another customer.

And I disagree.  If they acquired UMC they would own the #3 pure play foundry in the world behind TSMC and GF with working 28nm fabs and a road map to 14nm FinFET.

They could do that and STILL partner with Samsung and TSMC in the near term for 10% of their money hoard.  Somewhat less if they sold off the 40nm capacity to someone since they likely wouldn't want it.

Going the IDM route is a viable one for Apple and they certainly have more than enough money and technical expertise to do so if they choose.  I bet they do so within the next few years.

I like to remind people that AMD got lucky with Intel's Netburst. Intel thought they could succeed with their superior fab tech alone, but they couldn't. When the industry got hit with leakage, and other problems at the 90nm level, Intel was hit the worst because of their advanced CPU speeds. AMD, with their always poorer fabs, went wide in order to compete (IBM had done about the same with the PPC, though their fabs were much better than AMD's). So for dumb luck, AMD had the lead for about two years.

GF isn't doing all that well, which is why the country that bought it, forgot their name right now, is trying to get investors. It's going to cost GF megabucks to keep relevant, and they don't want to spend them.

I'm sorry, but I just don't agree with you on the last bit. It's nice to be doing 28nm, but next year, that will be behind. Apple needs to move to 22 by then. Having a roadmap is useless. Everyone has a roadmap. It's traveling down that road that's the problem.

There's also no guarantee that Apple will have enough capacity by themselves, or that their new plants will work well, or on time, no matter who they buy. And then they have to contend with more staff, etc. Buying capacity from other players is much better. And when you have a very large account, you can have that company expand more easily, as Apple does now with their manufacturers.

I don't understand why you insist that Apple has to do this. Dell, HP and others don't need to make their own chips. Their successes and failures have nothing to to with it either. Apple's success as a chip company is in their designs, not in the manufacture, and that will remain so.
post #77 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

@nht OK, I could be wrong. But something is fishy about Intel and Medfield. Benches are one thing, design wins another, adoption by the major players even another.
It looks promising, but in the long run (5-10 years), I am still not sure Intel can do such a big turnaround:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/353351-i-d-still-take-arm-holdings-by-a-nose
Also, what do you think that the A15 dual- and quad-core can do compared to the single-core Medfield?
Something is fishy. I can't quite explain it, but this looks almost "too good to be true" for Intel.
Edit:
Also, for Apple, a switch to Intel for iOS would be another big transition, which without Steve, I am not sure they are agile enough now to pull it off well within the next 5 years. So Apple to Intel for iOS could be at least 3-5 years away.
Which leaves Android which can easily switch and some hardware makers might, but say for Nexus, LG, Samsung... Again, that's 3 years away, at least 2 years minimum.
So the trajectory compared to ARM would be really tight for Intel to keep up.
Intel ~could~ do it, but I'm not seeing the beef here.
EDIT
Here's what I think is going on:
http://www.jayceooi.com/2012/08/26/how-to-overclock-nexus-7/
http://androidcommunity.com/nexus-7-overclocked-to-1-64-ghz-destroys-benchmarks-20120807/
http://www.slashgear.com/nexus-7-2ghz-overclock-delivers-benchmark-crushing-tablet-27243969/
vs
http://www.firstdroid.com/2012/04/07/medfield-powered-lenovo-k800-benchmark-scores-show-promise/
Now, what I am postulating here is that the "headroom" in ARM A9 alone and room for Android optimisation is very large.
We've seen 2.3.7 to 4.2 on ARM make a massive, massive difference, in fact, what makes Android really viable for 2013.
If they can figure things out more, I think Android on ARM A9 itself, particularly dual- and quad-core, has a lot more space for improvement.
Yes Intel is single-core posting good benches but it does seem dual and quad ARM A9 might not be optimised well.

Intel isn't down for the count. But I think it's more complex than that. Also remember that the chart shows the 4S. The 5 is about twice as powerful, and easily wins all of those comparisons. This is going to be interesting. As I said earlier, it's being said that Apple and Intel are in talks to have Intel produce "A" chips for Apple on 22nm for the phones, at least, and possibly the Atom for iPads. I have no idea if any of this is true of course. Intel is said to be interested in producing mobile chips for Apple, as can be expected, but whether that means ARM, or x86 I don't know.

It's a quandary for Intel. They could produce at least 250 to 300 million chips for Apple next year if an agreement was in place. Apple's chips are thought to cost between $25-$27 apiece. If so, that would be a lot of money.
post #78 of 100

Wouldn't it be amusing if after finally completing the shift, Samsung were to launch a hostile takeover of TSMC.

post #79 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Intel isn't down for the count. But I think it's more complex than that. Also remember that the chart shows the 4S. The 5 is about twice as powerful, and easily wins all of those comparisons. This is going to be interesting. As I said earlier, it's being said that Apple and Intel are in talks to have Intel produce "A" chips for Apple on 22nm for the phones, at least, and possibly the Atom for iPads. I have no idea if any of this is true of course. Intel is said to be interested in producing mobile chips for Apple, as can be expected, but whether that means ARM, or x86 I don't know.
It's a quandary for Intel. They could produce at least 250 to 300 million chips for Apple next year if an agreement was in place. Apple's chips are thought to cost between $25-$27 apiece. If so, that would be a lot of money.

But do you see that it is ~unlikely~ that Intel would fab ARM for Apple while also doing its x86 for mobile development? I see it as ~unlikely~, though I see it also as ~Intel's best choice~ :: cover all bases.

The main risk, outside of political decisions, is that ARM could say Intel ripped off ARM in doing x86 for mobile because Intel fabbing and customising ARM could have "fed" Intel's x86 endeavours. Of course, Intel could easily take care of this, hopefully ethically, in the first place.

What do you think?
post #80 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

Yes Intel is single-core posting good benches but it does seem dual and quad ARM A9 might not be optimised well.

 

The thing about multi-core is that it benches better than real world performance in general.  Why?  Because parallelizing your code is hard to do right.  You can have worker threads to do whatever but most programs are still fairly linear beyond moving some time consuming tasks off the main GPU thread.  There's simply not that much trivially/embarrasingly parallelizable problems that are easily solved to move to multi-core.  Kinda like GPU computing.  I would be 99% of real world GPU computing is via PhysX and not CUDA or OpenCL.

 

So the single core design of the current Medfield is not as big a hindrance as it would seem even with quad-core ARMs appearing.

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