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TSMC forecasts near 100% share of 28nm chip market in 2013, may signal massive Apple orders

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Chairman and CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Morris Chang said on Friday that he expects his company to be responsible for almost all chips built on the 28nm process in 2013, prompting analysts to suggest that the company may have struck a deal with Apple to build the next-generation of A-series SoCs.

TSMC Logo


Chang expects to spend some $9 billion in capital expenditures in 2013 as shipments of chips made on the firm's 28nm process triple, reports the China Times (via The Next Web). The chief executive sees capex rising even further in 2014 as the company moves toward more advanced 20nm and 16nm technology.

With claims of a near monopoly on 28nm wafer shipments, analysts predict that TSMC has secured orders from Apple to build the next-generation of the iPhone maker's A-series chips. Currently, Apple uses Samsung foundries for their chip making needs, though rumors have been circulating that the partnership may soon end.

The predictions are in line with rumors that claimed TSMC has already begun to produce trial batches of the A6X processor found in the fourth-generation iPad. Existing versions of the iPad and iPhone 5 use processors built on Samsung's 32nm process, but Apple will likely move to more efficient 28nm technology with its next-gen designs. The move is to be expected as Apple went from the 45nm process to the 32nm process last year.

As for TSMC, the company is forecasting a drastic rise in revenues from its 28nm wafers. In 2012, 28nm chip shipments accounted for roughly $2.1 billion, or 12 percent of the firm's yearly revenue. That number is expected to reach $6.2 billion in 2013.

The Taiwanese company is also rumored to be building a foundry in the U.S. According to numerous reports, TSMC is believed to be the company behind what is known as "Project Azalea," a mystery development thought to be a chip manufacturing facility connected to Apple.
post #2 of 54

Hot Damn.. if true, pretty impressive. 

post #3 of 54
Re: "may signal massive Apple orders"

Ya think?

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post #4 of 54
What kind of power saving are we talking about going from a 32nm to a 28nm process? What is the equation for this?

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post #5 of 54

Intel ivy bridge (3rd gen i series) processors are already 22nm

post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post

Intel ivy bridge (3rd gen i series) processors are already 22nm

And?

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post #7 of 54

Performance improvement is about the square of the ratio of the transistor sizes. So here (32/28)^2 = 30%

post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


And?


If intel could fabricate chips for apple, we could expect dramatic performance and battery life improvements

post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

From the rumors, I'm going to guess an iPhone 5S this year will have a 28nm A6X processor and a fingerprint scanner on the home button. Next year's iPhone 6 could have a 16nm A7 processor, built-in NFC and a new form factor. I'm keeping my 4S until the 6 comes out.


20nm seems more like it for the 2014 iPhone .

post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post


If intel could fabricate chips for apple, we could expect dramatic performance and battery life improvements

Intel could but there is no indication that Intel would fab ARM chips for Apple or anyone else and there is plenty of reasons why Intel would avoid doing so. I believe AnandTech ran through the possibilities recently.

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post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

From the rumors, I'm going to guess an iPhone 5S this year will have a 28nm A6X processor and a fingerprint scanner on the home button. Next year's iPhone 6 could have a 16nm A7 processor, built-in NFC and a new form factor. I'm keeping my 4S until the 6 comes out.

I don't see a reason for any X chip in the iPhone with the current resolution. I'd expect an A7 at 32 or 28nm to find its way into the successor to the iPhone 5.

As for a fingerprint reader in the phone that seems so gimmicky to me. If it's faster than putting in a PIN then I guess it would make sense but I'd think any tech that can determine your identity would have other features that supersede an attempt at secure authentication.

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post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What kind of power saving are we talking about going from a 32nm to a 28nm process? What is the equation for this?

It isn't that simple. Processes can be optimized for speed or low power. So you have to ask which process Apple will use. They might use both, using the low power/speed process for iPhone and a high speed process for iPad. So Apple might get anywhere from a 20 to 45% power savings over today's chips at the same clock rate.

All in all this is good news.
post #13 of 54

Goodbye Samsung, CYA! Wouldn't want to be ya! 1smoking.gif

 

This could be huge, if Apple is finally moving away from Samsung, for at least the CPUs.

 

That's the news that I take out of this story.

post #14 of 54
That is one ugly logo for a company though
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinolo View Post

That is one ugly logo for a company though

Yes. I constantly question why TSMC hasn't updated their Logo. But Since they aren't really a consumer facing company may be they thought it didn't matter.

I haven't read the original info. So some of what this is reported may be not in context of what TSMC was really trying to say. To have 100% 28nm in 2013 would means Samsung wont be doing any 28nm apart from themselves. And GF hasn't secured any 28nm design win.

I still have doubt over Apple moving to TSMC in such a quick pace ( unless it has been planned ahead for years ), otherwise i cant think of any things else that could make TSMC 28nm output nearly triple.

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post #16 of 54

Would Apple go again with just one supplier?

Maybe TSMC for the iPhone on 28nm and Samsung on 32nm for the iPad?

Hopefully they can find a few more reliable suppliers for the chips.
 

post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post

Intel ivy bridge (3rd gen i series) processors are already 22nm

 

Yes, and they scale like crap wrt the latest from AMD. Global Foundries collaborating with TSMC and to some extent, Samsung have all three stamped out 14nm FinFET for mobile. All three are releasing general consumer products with this tech in a 20nm/14nm FinFET arrangement.

 

Good article on the 20nm planar/14nm FinFET race: http://semimd.com/blog/tag/14nm/

 

At any rate, ARM and AMD will be benefiting from this tech to keep pushing the boundaries and Intel will be hitting a brick wall with their poor multi-threading architecture no longer having TDP and single-threading leads that has been beat to death in marketing and fully hiding the fact Intel absolutely stinks at multi-core scalability in fully parallel computing.

 

With AMD and ARM now partners to create hybrid servers it will be an interesting next 5 years.

post #18 of 54
Hmm, and that's with Samsung making 28nm processors (the Exynos Octo for example), ST are making them (2.8GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9s on their 28nm FD-SOI process), and GlobalFoundries as well. Probably UMC to boot.

Might I suggest that TSMC might be just blowing their trumpet?
post #19 of 54
Apple's last gasp at holding decent tablet market share. Samsung is going to flood the market with cheap, low-quality tablets in 2013 in an attempt to put Apple out of the tablet business. Samsung said it has plenty of money to throw away despite losing Apple's component contracts. I'm sure they'll gladly give Android tablet vendors price breaks in order to ramp up production against Apple. Samsung has always tried to stifle the competition and it going to go all-out to cut deeply into iPad market share. I'm glad Apple moved away from Samsung. That company is run by backstabbing crooks who'll do anything in order to steal business away from rivals.
post #20 of 54

I'm not as up to date in knowledge of the chip mfg industry, but here is a list of the top ten mfg equipment companies.  Companies like TSMC, Samscum, Intel, buy the equipment from these equipment mfg and build foundries to actually make the final chips, but they just have to continually invest in new equipment and some are just building foundries to make the latest gen chips.

 

 

                                             $bn

ASML                           7.9

Applied Materials           7.4

Tokyo Electron              6.2

KLA-Tencor                 3.1

Lam Research               2.8

Dai Nippon                   2.1

Nikon                           1.6

Advantest                     1.4

ASMI                           1.4

Novellus                        1.3

post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


And?

Actually, TSMC also has 20nm technology they have as well.  

post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post

Performance improvement is about the square of the ratio of the transistor sizes. So here (32/28)^2 = 30%

However, in the past, Apple has used process improvements to add clock speed, features or performance to their chips. So they might keep the same power consumption and make a much faster chip (more GPUs, etc). Or anywhere in between.
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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


And?

I read somewhere that TSMC and Apple were working on 20nm processors.  Here's the link.

 

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20130116VL201.html

post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Yes, and they scale like crap wrt the latest from AMD. 

 

Intel is working heavily on power consumption and single threaded performance, not ballooning out their cores at the cost of TDP.  The FX-8350 is a 125W TDP, has 8 cores and runs slower than the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K with a 77W TDP and sometimes the Core i5 EVEN in some multi-threaded benchmarks. 

 

Quote:

Global Foundries collaborating with TSMC and to some extent, Samsung have all three stamped out 14nm FinFET for mobile. All three are releasing general consumer products with this tech in a 20nm/14nm FinFET arrangement.

 

Good article on the 20nm planar/14nm FinFET race: http://semimd.com/blog/tag/14nm/

 

IBM has a good process which everyone else (except TSMC) is basing their 20nm/14nm FinFET...but on the ground today they are competing against Intel's 22nm tri-gate process with their current 28nm planar process.  Which for TSMC had some teething pains.  I expect them to get there by 2015 but by then Intel will be at 10nm.

 

Quote:

At any rate, ARM and AMD will be benefiting from this tech to keep pushing the boundaries and Intel will be hitting a brick wall with their poor multi-threading architecture no longer having TDP and single-threading leads that has been beat to death in marketing and fully hiding the fact Intel absolutely stinks at multi-core scalability in fully parallel computing.

 

With AMD and ARM now partners to create hybrid servers it will be an interesting next 5 years.

 

Multi-threaded scalability is also highly dependent on OS and software. It does you no good for your CPU architecture to scale to 32 cores when most OS and apps use at most 4-8 efficiently.  Right now even quite a few enterprise apps don't scale all that great which is why I often see these hugely cored servers used for virtualization rather than performance.

 

Plus Intel has been working on TSX for improved synchronization efficiency in Haswell so everyone isn't waiting on spinlocks quite as much with better fine and coarse grain locking performance.

 

GIven that Intel will likely still enjoy a process node and TDP advantage in 2015 and show that they are working improving the x86 ISA to support writing improved multi-threaded software in terms of locks I'm thinking that it is hard to assume that ARM and AMD will be kicking Intel's butt in two years.

 

Possible but not likely and I've completely glossed over Marvin's favorite:  Xeon Phi.  With 50 cores anything that is embarrassingly parallelizable will do well on Xeon Phi and the tech used on Phi and TSX will cross pollinate between HPC CPUs and mainstream CPUs.  The fine grained control needed in Xeon Phi to manage 50 cores efficiently can be applied to general server chips if Intel needs to massively scale those up to a lot more cores.  

 

More importantly, Intel's compilers and tools will likely be much better than ARMs.  I've always found them best of breed back in the day when I coded closer to the metal.  That may have changed but the only ones I liked better for parallel/multi-threaded work was Sun's toolchain.  We saw a good deal of performance gains just switching to Intel's compilers over gcc and on par with green hills with IMHO a better tool chain.

post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I read somewhere that TSMC and Apple were working on 20nm processors.  Here's the link.

 

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20130116VL201.html

http://www.digitimes....... I stopped being interested once I saw that, sorry.

post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post


If intel could fabricate chips for apple, we could expect dramatic performance and battery life improvements

excuse ME... intels OWN design's, and "power saving mobile" chips are not better than Apples designs... thus how is your statement correct? (where's my coffee...)

perhaps you have confused the power/performance of intel's CPU designs with AMD's ... (AMD's processor designs while working (I have one are disappointing) compared to Intel's Cpu designs... and yes, AMD's GPU's are better than intel's...

and also the game of "what if's" is pointless when talking about intel...
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post


If intel could fabricate chips for apple, we could expect dramatic performance and battery life improvements

 

Ha-ha-ha-ha! lol.gif

 

good one. 

post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Intel could but there is no indication that Intel would fab ARM chips for Apple or anyone else and there is plenty of reasons why Intel would avoid doing so. I believe AnandTech ran through the possibilities recently.

 

Heh, I can't remember what year I predicted Intel chips in the iPhone/iPad but 2014/2015 14nm Intel SoCs should be pretty damned impressive.  

 

Shame that the 22nm ValleyView (Bay Trail-T tablets) got pushed to Q1 2014.  We'll see the 22nm Merrifield smartphone SoC at MWC and that should be pretty interesting considering the Medfields weren't all that bad.

 

With the volumes that Apple needs moving the X86 and I think that Intel would be amenable to the same kinds of enhancements that Apple has made in the A series chips for a custom run of Apple SoCs.

 

Cost per unit is the kicker though.  The A6 is cheap in comparison.

post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Intel could but there is no indication that Intel would fab ARM chips for Apple or anyone else and there is plenty of reasons why Intel would avoid doing so. I believe AnandTech ran through the possibilities recently.

 

I think people are being blinded by intel's past success here.  They've shown categorically that they don't really have any design chops in this area.  At the very least they've shown that they aren't any better at designing mobile chips that many other shops.  Their advantage has always been scale, and huge production capability, aided by the fact that they had an almost complete monopoly on what they are selling.  

 

The monopoly doesn't matter now because it's on desktop and laptop processors, not the new mobile ARM stuff.  

 

Apple's processor design has already shown itself to be the top performer in this new field.  Now they are helping TSMC increase their production capability and scale.  If they can pull that off, intel is history in this market, or at the very least five years away from re-tooling everything for ARM chips and catching up.

 

If I had intel stock I would have already sold it last year.  

post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Ha-ha-ha-ha! lol.gif

 

good one. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haar View Post

excuse ME... intels OWN design's, and "power saving mobile" chips are not better than Apples designs... thus how is your statement correct? (where's my coffee...)

perhaps you have confused the power/performance of intel's CPU designs with AMD's ... (AMD's processor designs while working (I have one are disappointing) compared to Intel's Cpu designs... and yes, AMD's GPU's are better than intel's...

and also the game of "what if's" is pointless when talking about intel...

 

He means because of the 22nm process node advantage over Samsung 32nm.  If Intel were to fab the A6 and A6X for Apple you'd see a nice little power and performance bump just from that.

 

Plus I think that folks will stop laughing at Intel after MWC.  The Merrifields look pretty decent if the unofficial benchmarks are to be believed and the Bay Trails look like contenders in the tablet market...especially for Surface Pro tablets.

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I think people are being blinded by intel's past success here.  They've shown categorically that they don't really have any design chops in this area.  At the very least they've shown that they aren't any better at designing mobile chips that many other shops.  Their advantage has always been scale, and huge production capability, aided by the fact that they had an almost complete monopoly on what they are selling.  

 

Scale and huge production capability is key to being able to afford to go to 10nm and less.  The expectation is only Samsung and maybe TSMC will follow to 10, 7 and 5 nms.

 

 

Quote:

The monopoly doesn't matter now because it's on desktop and laptop processors, not the new mobile ARM stuff.  

 

Apple's processor design has already shown itself to be the top performer in this new field.  Now they are helping TSMC increase their production capability and scale.  If they can pull that off, intel is history in this market, or at the very least five years away from re-tooling everything for ARM chips and catching up.

 

If I had intel stock I would have already sold it last year.  

 

Intel, like Apple, enjoys a huge profitability advantage over ARM fabs given the Atom chips sell for more.

 

In any case, Medfield phones are middle of the pack.

 

"The x86 power myth is finally busted. While the X900 doesn't lead in battery life, it's competitive with the Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Nexus. In terms of power efficiency, the phone is distinctly middle of the road - competitive with many of the OMAP 4 based devices on the market today. If you've been expecting the first x86 smartphone to end up at the bottom of every battery life chart, you'll be sorely disappointed.

...

The performance side is obviously even more competitive. Atom isn't always industry leading in our tests, but the X900 is rarely more than a couple places away from the top (with the exception of GPU performance of course, but that's a matter of licensing a different IP block in future versions). For a reference design that an Intel partner can just buy, barely customize, and ship - that's not bad at all. Smartphone vendors spend a considerable amount of time building phones that perform well - Intel's offer to internalize much of that can be either scary or amazing depending on who you're talking to."

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5770/lava-xolo-x900-review-the-first-intel-medfield-phone

 

It should be an interesting couple years in the SoC wars.  Apple jumping to custom Intel SoCs for the iPad is a lot more likely to me than an ARM based MBA at this point.

 

If Apple is going to help TSMC get to 5nm then having 100B in the bank is a good thing.

post #32 of 54
The problem is that Apple would need all of TSMC capacity. Apple needs almost 70K wafer starts per month. Thats more then 1 fab line!

BTW. Remember that TSMC had trial runs of A6 in june 2011. Yield problems. Apple's SoC team have tons of work to do. First the A5 32 nm shrink, then the A5X, A6 32nm, A6X 32nm.

I personally don't understand why TSMC would manufacture A6/X. Apple needs to do a new tape out for TSMC. Why not instead do a A7 SoC with PowerVR Rouge? That is what I predict.
post #33 of 54

Intel generally doesn't make System-on-a-Chip (SoC) modules, they make pure microprocessors.  There are different techniques involved, and Intel doesn't have a lot of experience making tiny SoCs. Samsung is the world leader at it, but Apple seems to be co-investing heavily with TSMC to bring them up to higher volumes and undermine Samsung (thus the billions in capex Apple has spent in the last year).

 

Besides the fact that Intel hasn't made ARM processors in over a decade and doesn't generally make SoCs, I think working with Intel on this would be slower than TSMC and other companies Apple's iOS team has a working relationship with.  The desktop folks don't even seem to particularly like Intel lately, who seems to try to make a generic version of every hit Apple design.

post #34 of 54
Intel could produce A series chips.
But please understand that Apple would need almost ALL of Intels 22nm manufacturing capacity. Intel don't have the capacity.

People seems to forget that Apple needs 50K 22nm wafers starts / 70K 28/32nm wafer starts each month.

Apple should buy a fab from Global Foundries.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Intel could produce A series chips.
But please understand that Apple would need almost ALL of Intels 22nm manufacturing capacity. Intel don't have the capacity.

People seems to forget that Apple needs 50K 22nm wafers starts / 70K 28/32nm wafer starts each month.

Apple should buy a fab from Global Foundries.

 

22nm yields are reported to be really good and on par with 32nm yields.   Given that Intel hedged it's bet with 4 22nm fabs.

 

"This brings us to Intel’s unexpected revelation during their earnings call and the primary reason we're covering this: idle fabs and inventory buildups. Due to a buildup in inventory and a desire to prevent further buildup in what Intel is projecting to be a weak quarter, Intel will be taking the unusual step of letting quite a bit of fab capacity go idle. For Q4 Intel’s fab utilization will be sub-50%, with that being a combination of capacity idled to keep supply down and another fraction idled for the upgrade to 14nm.

...

On that note, perhaps the cruelest part of this is that because Intel’s overcapacity appears to be at 22nm – Intel’s standing inventory is nearly 70% Ivy Bridge – Intel’s options are to produce Ivy Bridge or go idle."

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6378/intel-q312-earnings-3-billion-profit-on-weakening-market-intel-to-idle-some-fab-capacity

 

I believe that if Tim Cook asked Intel to make 22nm A6 and A7s with a promise for an 14nm Atom iPad design win Intel would take it even if 22nm Atom SoC production took a hit. 

 

Those 22nm fabs probably aren't idle any more but an Apple design win would be huge for Intel.  Apple could ask for a lot of concessions and it wouldn't hurt Intel if TSMC didn't have the revenue to go 10nm leaving it just Samsung and Intel at the sub-14nm process nodes.

 

An A6 is 97 mm^2 at 32nm.  On 22nm it would be around 55mm^2 and get around 75%-80% more chips per wafer giving Intel 30% gross margins even at current Samsung A6 prices.

post #36 of 54

Apart from the tests being set up by Intel, another reason that the Intel part is in any way slightly competitive on power is because the graphics capabilities are abysmal.

 

Very abysmal. http://semiaccurate.com/2013/01/18/gaming-on-intels-atom-z2670/

 

A large amount of the TDP on the ARM SoCs is in the GPUs, because the SoCs are far more balanced than the CPU-heavy Intel solutions.

post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by haar View Post

excuse ME... intels OWN design's, and "power saving mobile" chips are not better than Apples designs... thus how is your statement correct? (where's my coffee...)

perhaps you have confused the power/performance of intel's CPU designs with AMD's ... (AMD's processor designs while working (I have one are disappointing) compared to Intel's Cpu designs... and yes, AMD's GPU's are better than intel's...

and also the game of "what if's" is pointless when talking about intel...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Intel is working heavily on power consumption and single threaded performance, not ballooning out their cores at the cost of TDP.  The FX-8350 is a 125W TDP, has 8 cores and runs slower than the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K with a 77W TDP and sometimes the Core i5 EVEN in some multi-threaded benchmarks. 


IBM has a good process which everyone else (except TSMC) is basing their 20nm/14nm FinFET...but on the ground today they are competing against Intel's 22nm tri-gate process with their current 28nm planar process.  Which for TSMC had some teething pains.  I expect them to get there by 2015 but by then Intel will be at 10nm.


Multi-threaded scalability is also highly dependent on OS and software. It does you no good for your CPU architecture to scale to 32 cores when most OS and apps use at most 4-8 efficiently.  Right now even quite a few enterprise apps don't scale all that great which is why I often see these hugely cored servers used for virtualization rather than performance.

Plus Intel has been working on TSX for improved synchronization efficiency in Haswell so everyone isn't waiting on spinlocks quite as much with better fine and coarse grain locking performance.

GIven that Intel will likely still enjoy a process node and TDP advantage in 2015 and show that they are working improving the x86 ISA to support writing improved multi-threaded software in terms of locks I'm thinking that it is hard to assume that ARM and AMD will be kicking Intel's butt in two years.

Possible but not likely and I've completely glossed over Marvin's favorite:  Xeon Phi.  With 50 cores anything that is embarrassingly parallelizable will do well on Xeon Phi and the tech used on Phi and TSX will cross pollinate between HPC CPUs and mainstream CPUs.  The fine grained control needed in Xeon Phi to manage 50 cores efficiently can be applied to general server chips if Intel needs to massively scale those up to a lot more cores.  

More importantly, Intel's compilers and tools will likely be much better than ARMs.  I've always found them best of breed back in the day when I coded closer to the metal.  That may have changed but the only ones I liked better for parallel/multi-threaded work was Sun's toolchain.  We saw a good deal of performance gains just switching to Intel's compilers over gcc and on par with green hills with IMHO a better tool chain.


Actually the fx8350 out performs the i7 in certain tasks. It does suffer in single threaded performance and of course power consumption though only if the chips in question are running at full load. Also that chip is marketed to compete against the i5 in performance not a chip that costs $100+ more. With the resources at its disposal, Intel should be leading the pack in development and yet is still behind Arm in terms of efficiency. The use of cheap thermal paste in the Ivy bridge CPUs heat spreader implies a "it's good enough" attitude not one that is trying to be the innovation leader.
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post

Actually the fx8350 out performs the i7 in certain tasks. It does suffer in single threaded performance and of course power consumption though only if the chips in question are running at full load. Also that chip is marketed to compete against the i5 in performance not a chip that costs $100+ more. With the resources at its disposal, Intel should be leading the pack in development and yet is still behind Arm in terms of efficiency. The use of cheap thermal paste in the Ivy bridge CPUs heat spreader implies a "it's good enough" attitude not one that is trying to be the innovation leader.

 

/shrug

 

Yes, it's cheaper and priced against the Core i5 market but its still considered their flagship CPU.  The contention was that Intel can't scale vs AMD which is a weird assertion given the TDP and IPC advantage Intel enjoys.

 

Bulldozer was a disappointment and Piledriver isn't that much better.  Piledriver is what Bulldozer should have been.  The FX line USED to be top tier in terms of price and performance...not a budget part that competes against Intel's second string.

 

In terms of Intel vs ARM, Intel appears to me to be driving power usage down faster than ARM is driving performance up.  10W Haswell is going to have very impressive performance-per-watt numbers.   Enough so that Tom's reports:

 

"Intel is picking the easiest competitor to beat (Tegra 3 running under Windows RT on a Microsoft Surface), but our own preliminary estimates suggest the 32 nm Atom is going to be roughly equivalent to Qualcomm's 28 nm APQ8060A in the ATIV Tab, and more efficient than the 32 nm Exynos 5 Dual in the Chromebook Series 3 XE303C12.

...

Before we had actual Atom-based hardware running in our labs, it was easy to accept that ARM was more efficient than x86. The Cortex-A9 core is slower than Atom, so it should be more efficient. Then, when we started seeing the -A15's performance numbers and how much faster that architecture is, x86 appeared to be doomed. But nobody really stopped to ask whether -A15's power consumption was still as good, nor had they sat down to run the numbers.  Once we started looking at battery life for a given capacity, we began to think about power use in terms of actual watts consumed during a particular task."

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/atom-z2760-power-consumption-arm,3387-5.html

 

Anand writes something similar:

 

"We already know that Atom is faster than Krait, but from a power standpoint the two SoCs are extremely competitive.

...

If the previous article was about busting the x86 power myth, one key takeaway here is that Intel's low power SoC designs are headed in the right direction. Atom's power curve looks a lot like Qualcomm's, and I suspect a lot like Apple's. There are performance/power tradeoffs that all three make, but they're all being designed the way they should.

...

I'd always heard about Haswell as the solution to the ARM problem, particularly in reference to the Cortex A15. The data here, particularly on the previous page, helped me understand exactly what that meant. Under a CPU or GPU heavy workload, the Exynos 5 Dual will draw around 4W. Peak TDP however is closer to 8W. If you remember back to IDF, Intel specifically called out 8W as a potential design target for Haswell.

...

The really crazy part is that it's not too absurd to think about being able to get a Core based SoC into a large smartphone as early as 14nm, and definitely by 10nm (~2017) should the need arise"

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6536/arm-vs-x86-the-real-showdown/14

 

If Intel isn't leading today, it's come a helluva long way and looks like it could lead in the future. Anand seems bullish on the idea.

 

If I can get Core i7 performance in an iPad Mini by 2016 I will welcome our new Intel mobile overlords.

post #39 of 54

Keep in mind TSMC also has Qualcomm and Nvidia as customers.  Qualcomm ships alot of chips, and they've been 28 nm for quite some time (Krait).  Even most of the US bound Samsung S3s have Qualcomm krait chips, as do most of HTC's lineup.  

post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Intel could but there is no indication that Intel would fab ARM chips for Apple or anyone else and there is plenty of reasons why Intel would avoid doing so. I believe AnandTech ran through the possibilities recently.

I think one of the reason adnandtech gave was because arm is intels atom series chip's direct competition.  I dont think they want to help the demise of there own product more than has already happened.

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