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Samsung excluded from development of Apple's next-gen 'A7' chip - report

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
The growing rift between Samsung and Apple has led to Samsung being cut out of the development process of Apple's next-generation custom chips for the iPhone and iPad, according to a new report.

Chips
All of Apple's iDevice chips to date have been manufactured by Samsung in Austin, Tex.


Apple's so-called "A7" processor will debut in the first half of 2014, and development for the chip is underway, according to a new report Wednesday by The Korea Times. But Samsung is said to not be a part of that development process, as Apple has apparently turned to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. for assistance.

Apple has been using custom designs for its iPhone and iPad chips for years, but to date the production of those chips has been handled entirely by Samsung. Rumors have persisted that Apple plans to cut Samsung out of its chipmaking business, but Apple's latest iPhone and iPad models still feature chips built by Samsung.

Samsung is said to be planning to grow its business partnerships with Nvidia in an effort to offset any losses it will experience in the departure of Apple as a customer.

The chipmaking division at Samsung is also expected to see growth from the sale of Samsung's own Galaxy handsets, which use custom Exynos-branded ARM chips. That includes the flagship Galaxy S4, which is set to debut this month.

Wednesday's report is just the latest in a series of claims that Apple is planning a shift in the near future to TSMC for its mobile chip production. While such rumors have persisted for years, Samsung continues to benefit from its intact partnerships with Apple.

An "A7" chip was also pegged as a transition product from Samsung to TSMC in a separate report earlier this month from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. That report also claimed that the "A7" would debut in 2014, and added that the chip will be built on a smaller, more efficient 20-nanometer process.

The naming conventions cited in the rumors suggest that Apple's anticipated 2013 iPhone model, the so-called "iPhone 5S," will not feature a full-fledged next-generation "A7" processor. Apple's latest generation of mobile processors debuted in the iPhone 5 with the A6, while the beefed-up A6X was introduced with the fourth-generation iPad.
post #2 of 55

Good!

post #3 of 55

Good, the more than Apple can develop away from Samsung's peeping eyes the better.

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #4 of 55
While the change over could be true, the reasons might not be. This could be simply that TMSC is better at the processes to be used so the switch is totally practical, not political.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #5 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

While the change over could be true, the reasons might not be. This could be simply that TMSC is better at the processes to be used so the switch is totally practical, not political.

Adding to that point, if other supplies have appreciably worse yields and worse power efficiency then I'm all for Samsung being Apple's supplier.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #6 of 55
Use some of that cash horde to build fabrication plants. Sure, it would take years and isn't easy but developing AND fabricating your own chips would make it much harder for the copycats. And I believe this sort of plant is highly automated so why not build it in the U.S.
post #7 of 55

Unless iOS7 has some new features that really need a faster SOC I would think that the best interests of consumers would be served by just die-shrinking the A6 and pocketing the power savings and associated extra battery life. My iPhone 5 is the first iPhone I've owned where I perceive no need for greater speed in any feature I use regularly (the iPhone 4 was my prior model, so I can't speak to the 4s). 

 

As for Samsung.... it's become clear that they will face a cost in losing Apple to offset the benefit of their smartphone business. For now, the benefit would appear to exceed the cost by a large margin. I'm very curious to see how the benefits and costs line up longer term, though. It is a heck of a lot easier for consumers to decide to switch from Samsung to another Android phone than it has been for Apple to switch from Samsung to TSMC. And I doubt any other OEM is going to trust Samsung to provide it with SOCs. So Samsung has essentially kissed goodbye its business of selling SOCs to other companies. 

 

I really think Samsung could have become the Intel of mobile computing. Instead, they've decided they'd rather be a Dell or Compaq. That might seem like a good idea today, but looking back at how PC OEMs fared over time, it might not seem so smart in 10 years. 

post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Unless iOS7 has some new features that really need a faster SOC I would think that the best interests of consumers would be served by just die-shrinking the A6 and pocketing the power savings and associated extra battery life. My iPhone 5 is the first iPhone I've owned where I perceive no need for greater speed in any feature I use regularly (the iPhone 4 was my prior model, so I can't speak to the 4s). 

 

As for Samsung.... it's become clear that they will face a cost in losing Apple to offset the benefit of their smartphone business. For now, the benefit would appear to exceed the cost by a large margin. I'm very curious to see how the benefits and costs line up longer term, though. It is a heck of a lot easier for consumers to decide to switch from Samsung to another Android phone than it has been for Apple to switch from Samsung to TSMC. And I doubt any other OEM is going to trust Samsung to provide it with SOCs. So Samsung has essentially kissed goodbye its business of selling SOCs to other companies. 

 

I really think Samsung could have become the Intel of mobile computing. Instead, they've decided they'd rather be a Dell or Compaq. That might seem like a good idea today, but looking back at how PC OEMs fared over time, it might not seem so smart in 10 years. 

 

I understand your POV. Why the need for a V8 over a V6 when you can still go to 100 mph in 7.5 second. But there is more to the need for speed than how a driver drives his car. Likewise, there is more going on in your phone than your perceived user experience, whether it has to do with iOS7 features or not.

 

Edit: I have read your post more carefully - you wrote about your perceived need for greater speed rather than your perceived need for speed. No offense and please don't take it the wrong way, but why would Apple make a decision based *your* perceived need?

post #9 of 55

Why a company that relies on a constant stream of innovation for its competitive edge would partner with a known, shameless, and proven copycat is beyond me.  It's about time that Apple cut the umbilical cord to Samsung.

post #10 of 55

This makes me happy. It's high time copy cats suffered some karma. Even Microsoft, as useless of a job as they are doing, are at least original.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 55

If this article is to be read literally, then Samsung was involved in previous development processes, and wasn't just a dumb foundry? How many people here will now retract some of their previous statements? Nah, why allow hindsight promote humility?

post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

While the change over could be true, the reasons might not be. This could be simply that TMSC is better at the processes to be used so the switch is totally practical, not political.

 

Hooking up with a reliable, solitary partner for manufacturing is also just plain common sense if you are increasingly becoming reliant on designing your own chips.  I could easily see this move happening regardless of Samsung's thievery.  

post #13 of 55

Great news. The less Samesung in the iPhone the better.

post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Unless iOS7 has some new features that really need a faster SOC I would think that the best interests of consumers would be served by just die-shrinking the A6 and pocketing the power savings and associated extra battery life. My iPhone 5 is the first iPhone I've owned where I perceive no need for greater speed in any feature I use regularly (the iPhone 4 was my prior model, so I can't speak to the 4s). 

 

As for Samsung.... it's become clear that they will face a cost in losing Apple to offset the benefit of their smartphone business. For now, the benefit would appear to exceed the cost by a large margin. I'm very curious to see how the benefits and costs line up longer term, though. It is a heck of a lot easier for consumers to decide to switch from Samsung to another Android phone than it has been for Apple to switch from Samsung to TSMC. And I doubt any other OEM is going to trust Samsung to provide it with SOCs. So Samsung has essentially kissed goodbye its business of selling SOCs to other companies. 

 

I really think Samsung could have become the Intel of mobile computing. Instead, they've decided they'd rather be a Dell or Compaq. That might seem like a good idea today, but looking back at how PC OEMs fared over time, it might not seem so smart in 10 years. 

 

We do not know what new, greater, and better functions will become feasible because of the increased speed and power.  That's why we are here posting inconsequential palaver rather than in Cupertino running Apple.

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Why a company that relies on a constant stream of innovation for its competitive edge would partner with a known, shameless, and proven copycat is beyond me.  It's about time that Apple cut the umbilical cord to Samsung.

 

Because Samsung are the best (and the cheapest) at doing what they are told.

 

If you do the designs and advanced engineering (brains), samsung can find the right amount of tiny hands and machinery for the job. That's the advantage of owning a whole country. No one can compete with that, not at that price (or close).

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Hooking up with a reliable, solitary partner for manufacturing is also just plain common sense if you are increasingly becoming reliant on designing your own chips.  I could easily see this move happening regardless of Samsung's thievery.  

I wonder why Apple is so reluctant to establish their own chip foundry. They are already designing their own chips and their habitual secrecy seems like it would be complemented by having their own chip plant. Perhaps they should build it in Austin and then poach all of Samsung's engineers. It is not like they won't be needing lots of new chips for the foreseeable future.

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post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

If you do the designs and advanced engineering (brains), samsung can find the right amount of tiny hands and machinery for the job. That's the advantage of owning a whole country. No one can compete with that, not at that price (or close).

Apple's chips manufactured by Samsung are produced in the United States. Not sure where the tiny hands and owning the whole country come into play.

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post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

If this article is to be read literally, then Samsung was involved in previous development processes, and wasn't just a dumb foundry? How many people here will now retract some of their previous statements? Nah, why allow hindsight promote humility?

 

It's well known here that Samsung did most of design and implementation of Apple's early APs (A4 & A5 notably), while Apple's technical contribution was quite minimal until the A6.  It's also been discussed several times that Apple stole Samsung's technical / business partners like Intrinsity to build Apple's own ARM expertise in 2010. 

 

There is nothing to retract - everyone here knows that when Jobs returned back in 1997, he gutted non-essential, non-money-making business units to stay lean and mean.  And that's one of the reasons why Apple relied on Samsung's technical and manufacturing expertise for the first ARM base APs. Nobody here would ever admit however that Apple depended on technical inspiration, manufacturing ideas from Samsung, SONY, Nokia, etc, etc.  It's important to maintain the false facade of innovation and originality -- which in turn translates to sales & customer loyalty.

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

 

Because Samsung are the best (and the cheapest) at doing what they are told.

 

If you do the designs and advanced engineering (brains), samsung can find the right amount of tiny hands and machinery for the job. That's the advantage of owning a whole country. No one can compete with that, not at that price (or close).

 

That's kind of an ignorant statement.  They might be a notch below in certain types of creative thinking but years of South Korea sending its best students to get advanced degrees in the US's best science and technology graduate programs and then coming back home to work in Samsung, Hyundai, etc. makes your assertion just pure garbage.

 

And chip fabrication is a highly automated process, don't know where 'tiny hands' figure there.  You're thinking of fine component assembly which is downstream of chip fabrication.

post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

 

Because Samsung are the best (and the cheapest) at doing what they are told.

 

If you do the designs and advanced engineering (brains), samsung can find the right amount of tiny hands and machinery for the job. That's the advantage of owning a whole country. No one can compete with that, not at that price (or close).

Regardless of one's feelings toward Samsung, it would be misleading to claim that they are strictly about hands and machinery. As for "tiny hands", are you implying child labor or something else? 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple's chips manufactured by Samsung are produced in the United States. Not sure where the tiny hands and owning the whole country come into play.

Are all chips going to Apple manufactured in the US? If so, then switching away from Samsung would represent non-insignificant loss of US jobs.

post #21 of 55
Finally! Now Samsung is going to have to send in spies all over the place to steal Apple's designs.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

It's well known here that Samsung did most of design and implementation of Apple's early APs (A4 & A5 notably), while Apple's technical contribution was quite minimal until the A6.  It's also been discussed several times that Apple stole Samsung's technical / business partners like Intrinsity to build Apple's own ARM expertise in 2010. 

 

There is nothing to retract - everyone here knows that when Jobs returned back in 1997, he gutted non-essential, non-money-making business units to stay lean and mean.  And that's one of the reasons why Apple relied on Samsung's technical and manufacturing expertise for the first ARM base APs. Nobody here would ever admit however that Apple depended on technical inspiration, manufacturing ideas from Samsung, SONY, Nokia, etc, etc.  It's important to maintain the false facade of innovation and originality -- which in turn translates to sales & customer loyalty.

Man, you're asking for it, even if there are large fragments of truth in your post. Good luck, mate.

post #23 of 55

After reading the last comments it's very funny to take a look at this link:

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57578882-38/samsung-hq-raided-over-alleged-theft-of-oled-technology/

 

When this happens to Samsung, "the" samsung, in Korea, I guess we can all agree that no one knows exactly how much of criminals, thugs and garbage they are.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Man, you're asking for it, even if there are large fragments of truth in your post. Good luck, mate.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

It's well known here that Samsung did most of design and implementation of Apple's early APs (A4 & A5 notably), while Apple's technical contribution was quite minimal until the A6.  It's also been discussed several times that Apple stole Samsung's technical / business partners like Intrinsity to build Apple's own ARM expertise in 2010. 

 

There is nothing to retract - everyone here knows that when Jobs returned back in 1997, he gutted non-essential, non-money-making business units to stay lean and mean.  And that's one of the reasons why Apple relied on Samsung's technical and manufacturing expertise for the first ARM base APs. Nobody here would ever admit however that Apple depended on technical inspiration, manufacturing ideas from Samsung, SONY, Nokia, etc, etc.  It's important to maintain the false facade of innovation and originality -- which in turn translates to sales & customer loyalty.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple's chips manufactured by Samsung are produced in the United States. Not sure where the tiny hands and owning the whole country come into play.

(this post from tundraboy is especially funny right know)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

 

That's kind of an ignorant statement.  They might be a notch below in certain types of creative thinking but years of South Korea sending its best students to get advanced degrees in the US's best science and technology graduate programs and then coming back home to work in Samsung, Hyundai, etc. makes your assertion just pure garbage.

 

And chip fabrication is a highly automated process, don't know where 'tiny hands' figure there.  You're thinking of fine component assembly which is downstream of chip fabrication.

Stelligent, no one even dared to take a look at samsung's plants and cases were already found. I wouldn't be surprised if things like slavery are present. They are Mafia after all.. If their CEOs are already known as criminals, what is going on bellow the command chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Regardless of one's feelings toward Samsung, it would be misleading to claim that they are strictly about hands and machinery. As for "tiny hands", are you implying child labor or something else? 

Are all chips going to Apple manufactured in the US? If so, then switching away from Samsung would represent non-insignificant loss of US jobs.

(jdsonice FTW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsonice View Post

Finally! Now Samsung is going to have to send in spies all over the place to steal Apple's designs.
 

Edited by pedromartins - 4/10/13 at 10:11am
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Are all chips going to Apple manufactured in the US? If so, then switching away from Samsung would represent non-insignificant loss of US jobs.

No, I don't think so. Just the ARM processors I believe. The memory chips come form South Korea as far as I know, but Samsung is not the exclusive provider of those chips either.

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post #25 of 55
I'm sorry but being good enough for you means nothing! Further it is tablets where advance technology really pays off, I don't see a need to stop improving the SoC anytime soon. Ultimately the power drain from the SoC needs to be low enough that user agents can be ripun in background with no loss of performance or battery life. Currently running background tasks are still to demanding in battery power to employ widely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Unless iOS7 has some new features that really need a faster SOC I would think that the best interests of consumers would be served by just die-shrinking the A6 and pocketing the power savings and associated extra battery life. My iPhone 5 is the first iPhone I've owned where I perceive no need for greater speed in any feature I use regularly (the iPhone 4 was my prior model, so I can't speak to the 4s). 
First we don't know what iOS 7 will bring. Considering how quickly they have been able to advance LLVM/CLANG I suspect that a good bit of functionality could be added with out a regression in performance. That is on the same hardware. However if Apple is to be able to ever deliver some of the features commonly asked for they will need to significantly advance the stte of the art in their SoC.
Quote:
As for Samsung.... it's become clear that they will face a cost in losing Apple to offset the benefit of their smartphone business. For now, the benefit would appear to exceed the cost by a large margin. I'm very curious to see how the benefits and costs line up longer term, though. It is a heck of a lot easier for consumers to decide to switch from Samsung to another Android phone than it has been for Apple to switch from Samsung to TSMC. And I doubt any other OEM is going to trust Samsung to provide it with SOCs. So Samsung has essentially kissed goodbye its business of selling SOCs to other companies. 
It is to the point that Samsung wont have a lot of customers anyways. Think about it, how many strong competitors to Apple and Samsung now exist out there?
Quote:
I really think Samsung could have become the Intel of mobile computing. Instead, they've decided they'd rather be a Dell or Compaq. That might seem like a good idea today, but looking back at how PC OEMs fared over time, it might not seem so smart in 10 years. 
Actually Intel is in lots of trouble too. They really don't have viable mobile solutions no mater how Agressively marketed. The entire computing industry is in the midst of taking a hard right turn off the highway they have been riding on for the last 20 years or so. Intel has yet to demonstrate an ability to adapt to that new reality. What is that reality - simple, SoC have replaced printed circuit boards as a place where company's like Apple can leverage their engineering skills. Intel simply isn't willing or able to play in that field.
post #26 of 55
When you go to build a SoC you have to partner with your foundry, that is a reality of the business. What is stupid on Samsungs part is running a foundry while trying to steal a product of the competitions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

If this article is to be read literally, then Samsung was involved in previous development processes, and wasn't just a dumb foundry? How many people here will now retract some of their previous statements? Nah, why allow hindsight promote humility?
I have to believe that somebody rolled out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. Samsung has provided the manufacturing capability in the same way any other foundry does. If it wasn't for Apple through Intrinsity, Samsung simply would not have made the strides they did with their ARM processors. By the way that isn't being dumb but rather partnering with the right people and companies to deliver innovative products.

You seem to be promoting the idea that Samsung was a major contributor to Apples SoC initiative. They certainly have had their part in all of this but let's not blow things out of proportion. There is nothing to imply that Samsung provided Apple with any services that another foundry would not provide. In a nut shel they aren't any smarter than any other foundry.

Think about it this way, if Apple goes with TSMC, what will TSMC provide that is different from Samsung? Not much really. They will provide the design tools needed to support the process node being targeted and likely support needed to make use of those tools. It is still Apples responsibility to merge all of the collected IP into a working SoC.
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder why Apple is so reluctant to establish their own chip foundry. They are already designing their own chips and their habitual secrecy seems like it would be complemented by having their own chip plant. Perhaps they should build it in Austin and then poach all of Samsung's engineers. It is not like they won't be needing lots of new chips for the foreseeable future.

This is perhaps the most interesting question that the thread has seen. I think the problem comes Down to this, Apple can't afford to replace a factory every two years. Samsung, TSMC and others have many customers willing to pay for products built on older processes but Apple not so much. At least not internally and Apple hasn't demonstrated the ability to act as a foundry or supplier of chips.

The simple fact is foundries are very expensive and are often only good for one or two process nodes before a rebuild is required. Once your product demands move beyond that process node, you don't have a way to pay for all of that capital if you are like Apple and focus on bleeding edge hardware. In a nut shell there isn't a good economic argument for Apple to get involved in manufacturing chips.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm sorry but being good enough for you means nothing! Further it is tablets where advance technology really pays off, I don't see a need to stop improving the SoC anytime soon. Ultimately the power drain from the SoC needs to be low enough that user agents can be ripun in background with no loss of performance or battery life. Currently running background tasks are still to demanding in battery power to employ widely.

I would say that we're at a point where a lot of users could get everything they need from a tablet. The things that are lacking are storage and backups without the use of another computer. Printing is becoming less of a necessity with the number of things that can be e-signed. I will be glad when it goes away entirely. It's a waste of trees. On a side note, I would like to see Apple put some more effort into iWork. iOS lacks Office. They should view that as an opportunity.

post #29 of 55
This is just plain garbage!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

It's well known here that Samsung did most of design and implementation of Apple's early APs (A4 & A5 notably), while Apple's technical contribution was quite minimal until the A6.  It's also been discussed several times that Apple stole Samsung's technical / business partners like Intrinsity to build Apple's own ARM expertise in 2010. 

There is nothing to retract - everyone here knows that when Jobs returned back in 1997, he gutted non-essential, non-money-making business units to stay lean and mean.  And that's one of the reasons why Apple relied on Samsung's technical and manufacturing expertise for the first ARM base APs. Nobody here would ever admit however that Apple depended on technical inspiration, manufacturing ideas from Samsung, SONY, Nokia, etc, etc.  It's important to maintain the false facade of innovation and originality -- which in turn translates to sales & customer loyalty.
post #30 of 55
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
This is just plain garbage!

 

It's tooltalk. *shrug*

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post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

It's well known here that Samsung did most of design and implementation of Apple's early APs (A4 & A5 notably), while Apple's technical contribution was quite minimal until the A6.  It's also been discussed several times that Apple stole Samsung's technical / business partners like Intrinsity to build Apple's own ARM expertise in 2010. 

 

There is nothing to retract - everyone here knows that when Jobs returned back in 1997, he gutted non-essential, non-money-making business units to stay lean and mean.  And that's one of the reasons why Apple relied on Samsung's technical and manufacturing expertise for the first ARM base APs. Nobody here would ever admit however that Apple depended on technical inspiration, manufacturing ideas from Samsung, SONY, Nokia, etc, etc.  It's important to maintain the false facade of innovation and originality -- which in turn translates to sales & customer loyalty.

 

Look who's back for more punishment. Samsung DOES NOT design ARM SoC's. They build reference ARM designs which is nothing more than cloning the work ARM has already done. Of course any foundry would have to work closely with someone who wants a chip fabricated, but none of that work is design work. It's more like modifying your design to ensure it can be manufactured properly, not modifying your design because someone at Samsung came up with a better architecture. There's a huge difference, which apparently you're too blind to see.

 

Apple's early SoC's were also off-the-shelf ARM designs. The A5 had a small amount of custom design provided by Apple while the A6 was completely designed by Apple. The A6 and A6X represent ARM processor that DO NOT EXIST anywhere else. Even Samsung's Exynos and Octo core SoC's are nothing more than carbon copies of ARM designs. In other words, they already exist.

 

As for Apple, they have a long history of processor design. They were also heavily involved back in the PowerPC days and Apple owns a considerable number of patents related to processor design. They didn't just start getting into things in 2010 as you imply - they've always been there.

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post #32 of 55

O U C H !!!

 

Samsung Chip R&D

 

just went dark !!!

post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The simple fact is foundries are very expensive and are often only good for one or two process nodes before a rebuild is required. Once your product demands move beyond that process node, you don't have a way to pay for all of that capital if you are like Apple and focus on bleeding edge hardware. In a nut shell there isn't a good economic argument for Apple to get involved in manufacturing chips.

Thanks for the reply. I think Apple is using quite a few older designs still in the 3GS, 4, 4S as well as Apple TV, and iPod Touch. It might be enough to amortize the expenditure going forward if that trend continues. Certainly they would not build plants to produce those older designs since there are already production lines in operation.

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post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

If this article is to be read literally, then Samsung was involved in previous development processes, and wasn't just a dumb foundry? How many people here will now retract some of their previous statements? Nah, why allow hindsight promote humility?

 

This path of development has always been widely known, For the first few generations of the iPhone, Apple relied on Samsung parts custom made for Apple. During the development of the A4 Apple bought Intrinsity; the company that worked with Samsung to build more efficient SoC designs. The A5 is where Apple started to really deviate away from Samsung and design their own SoCs. And the A6 further pushed this customization with the use of their own Swift CPUs.

 

Now that Apple no longer works with Samsung when designing their SoCs, the next logical step is to spread fabrication to other foundries.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #35 of 55
They will be back. There are not a ton of foundries out there & TSMC has already told Apple that they have no intention of being exclusive & Samsung takes a ton of their chips on top of their own. Given the knowledge of Apple's design (& Sammy's own E5 Octo 8-core Big.little) I would not be surprised to see Sammy processors back in the mix. If demand is high enough, they will do whatever they have to to move units & Samsung has a proven record of building products to spec & doing it on time. Not to mention, that Sammy is still providing memory & displays for iOS products like the Mini. You guys sure rip a lot on Samsung, who for an unimaginative copycat, surprisingly accounted for 60% of the iPad 2 bill of materials.

Samsung is far from your run of the mill counterfeiter. They are themselves, pretty innovative. Not just with mobile devices, but if anyone has had a chance to play with the new 2013 75" 9000 series smart TV from Samsung, you will know what I am talking about. & whoever said "nobody else is going to trust Samsung with SoC" you must surely be joking, right? Samsung's processors are used in so many things, not just mobile devices, but even there they are in numerous places, including the important emerging market devices. Apple only has a few choices, Samsung, TSMC, Intel, Global or building there own fab, which will take years to get going. I don't currently see a way they can cleanly & easily jump ship while keeping up with demand, unless demand takes a steep dive.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

I understand your POV. Why the need for a V8 over a V6 when you can still go to 100 mph in 7.5 second. But there is more to the need for speed than how a driver drives his car. Likewise, there is more going on in your phone than your perceived user experience, whether it has to do with iOS7 features or not.

 

Edit: I have read your post more carefully - you wrote about your perceived need for greater speed rather than your perceived need for speed. No offense and please don't take it the wrong way, but why would Apple make a decision based *your* perceived need?

 

Naturally they should not make a decision based on the perceptions of a single customer if those perceptions are not shared by any other customers. I'm not in a position to know that either way. All I do know is that when I had my iPhone 4, I appreciated the fact that it was much faster than the 3G that I had owned before, but I could still see areas where I would benefit from greater speed (for example, the time it took for the camera app to be ready to take a picture after launching it). But with the iPhone 5, I can't think of anything where I wish I had more speed. But I could always benefit from more battery life. 

 

If somebody has a survey showing that a majority of iPhone 5 users would pick a faster CPU over longer battery life, then obviously Apple should ignore me. But in the absence of that survey, my own experience is the best measure I have of what makes sense for apple to do in the next iPhone. 

post #37 of 55

I did not mean to suggest that all progress should stop and that Apple should never introduce an A7. Instead, I only meant that for the iPhone 5S, I'm not sure that it's really necessary to improve SOC performance. I think that given a choice between longer battery life and higher CPU performance, it would currently be best to move in the direction of longer battery life. But eventually, sure, it will make sense to push again on performance. And tablets are a different question entirely -- I agree there's more need for speed there. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm sorry but being good enough for you means nothing! Further it is tablets where advance technology really pays off, I don't see a need to stop improving the SoC anytime soon. Ultimately the power drain from the SoC needs to be low enough that user agents can be ripun in background with no loss of performance or battery life. Currently running background tasks are still to demanding in battery power to employ widely.
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

 

Look who's back for more punishment. Samsung DOES NOT design ARM SoC's. They build reference ARM designs which is nothing more than cloning the work ARM has already done. Of course any foundry would have to work closely with someone who wants a chip fabricated, but none of that work is design work. It's more like modifying your design to ensure it can be manufactured properly, not modifying your design because someone at Samsung came up with a better architecture. There's a huge difference, which apparently you're too blind to see.

 

Apple's early SoC's were also off-the-shelf ARM designs. The A5 had a small amount of custom design provided by Apple while the A6 was completely designed by Apple. The A6 and A6X represent ARM processor that DO NOT EXIST anywhere else. Even Samsung's Exynos and Octo core SoC's are nothing more than carbon copies of ARM designs. In other words, they already exist.

 

As for Apple, they have a long history of processor design. They were also heavily involved back in the PowerPC days and Apple owns a considerable number of patents related to processor design. They didn't just start getting into things in 2010 as you imply - they've always been there.

 

 

Not to nitpick, but ARM mainly designs CPUs and other "bits and pieces" that can be used to build SoCs, but they do not have a reference SoC design. An SoC is a system on a chip, basically an entire motherboard's logic on a chip including GPU, memory controller, memory, I/O, radios, etc. Most SoCs are customized - depending on what they're being used for as certain things can be omitted or added to make it more efficient. All the SoCs prior to the A4 were designed by Samsung with input from Apple. The A4 is were Apple started working with Samsung and Intrinsity in a more hands on approach. After they bought up Intrinsity Apple designed much of the A5 SoC themselves, but they did still work with Samsung. Development of the A6 was completely Apple's design all the way down to the CPU cores. Samsung even made a statement saying they had no part in its development.

 

Side note: Along with the PowerPC (based off IBMs POWER architecture) Apple was also involved in the development of the original ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) CPU (based off Acorn's ARM architecture).

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #39 of 55

I've been wondering that for years, and you don't have to take 100% of the lead you could incrementally increase as more fab plants come online. One thing I think most people don't realize is there are only a few MFGs in the WORLD that have the production capacity you even think about making the number of chips that Apple demands. 

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"I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory." - proverb
RepairZoom.com Best Apple fix around!
Best Buy - Special Agent 5 Years
Apple - Specialist 1 1/2 Years
Best Years of my LIFE!

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post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

 

 

... All the SoCs prior to the A4 were designed by Samsung with input from Apple. ...

 

You can say this all you want, but it doesn't make it true.  

 

The SoCs in question were built by Samsung, assembled by Samsung, but "designed" by Apple (if you call implementing an SoC based on clearly published reference designs "designing" in the first place that is). 

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