or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Samsung confirmed to be manufacturer of Apple's new A7 chip in iPhone 5s
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Samsung confirmed to be manufacturer of Apple's new A7 chip in iPhone 5s

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
Apple has once again turned to Samsung to manufacture its new 64-bit A7 processor that powers the flagship iPhone 5s, an analysis of the system-on-a-chip has confirmed.

A7


The silicon experts at Chipworks revealed on Friday that the new A7 ARM CPU, custom designed by Apple, was in fact fabricated at Samsung's foundry.

They are still looking for closer details, but suspect that the processor will utilize Samsung's 28-nanometer Hi K metal Gate. If that prediction proves accurate, it would mean Apple is using the same process as the Galaxy S4's Exynos Application processor.

Chipworks also found the new M7 motion coprocessor inside the iPhone 5s, which is labeled as the NXP LPC18A1. It's based on the LPC1800 series Cortx-M3 microcontrollers made by NXP

As for the enhanced camera in the iPhone 5s, the iSight module was discovered to be a custom Exmor-RS sensor from Sony. Other parts in the handset include a touchscreen controller from Broadcom, an LTE modem by Qualcomm, and NAND flash from SK Hynix.

But it's the CPU that powers the iPhone 5s that has been of much speculation, as all of custom A-series chips to date have been built by Samsung. There have been indications that Apple would prefer to move away from Samsung, and potentially to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., for its chip production, as Samsung is Apple's chief competitor in a number of markets.

Apple has worked in recent years to lessen its reliance on Samsung for other key parts, such as flash memory found in the iPhone and iPad. But to date, Samsung's silicon fabrication facilities in Austin, Tex., have been responsible for all A-series chips.
post #2 of 113
That is horrible news... I dont trust that lowlife company!
post #3 of 113

Then a 64-bit Android phone should be just around the corner.

post #4 of 113
Does that mean DED jumped the gun in his previous article!?
post #5 of 113
Dang it!
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #6 of 113
Good to see Apple can look past "sentiment" to deliver an outstanding product.
post #7 of 113
A7 manufactured by Samsung, but the company's CEO seemed to have no idea that Apple was going 64bit with its SoC this time. You have to give it to Samsung, they did preserve the security of their client's (in this case Apple) plans from leaking into other parts of the company it shouldn't of. And so they should, otherwise they'd be out of business!
post #8 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post

Then a 64-bit Android phone should be just around the corner.

I wouldn't be so sure. I think Samsung themselves have the advantage here; they could 'reconfigure' Tizen in-house to 64-bit and not have to wait for Google, who looks to be moving to Chrome anyway. Not to say Android won't go the 64-bit route, but I just don't see any incentive for Google to hurry that project up.

edit: and where the heck is the news on the M7?
Edited by PhilBoogie - 9/20/13 at 11:15am
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
post #9 of 113

It's spelled ARM "Cortex" not "Cortx". I like how that typo spread over the web.

post #10 of 113
Oh we'll. perhaps they'll migrate from Sammy next year or perhaps they split the manufacturing between a couple foundries. Quick, everyone crack open your 5S to see who made the chip!
post #11 of 113
How exactly do we know, that they kept a lid on what CPU Apple was cooking?

Obviously Samsungs CEO wouldn't admit to their fab sharing information with their semiconductor unit.

They probably did copy and learn as much as they could from it (like with Samsungs previous Hummingbird CPUs.

They even said they have a 64 bit phone coming in the near future.

Apple is really digging their own graves this way...
post #12 of 113
Here's to a long and prosperous future with TSMC (~~)
post #13 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


I wouldn't be so sure. I think Samsung themselves have the advantage here; they could 'reconfigure' Tizen in-house to 64-bit and not have to wait for Google, who looks to be moving to Chrome anyway. Not to say Android won't go the 64-bit route, but I just don't see any incentive for Google to hurry that project up.

edit: and where the heck is the news on the M7?

 

M7 has been identified. It's not an Apple designed chip rather an off the shelf discrete processor from NXP.

post #14 of 113
It was DESIGNED by Apple! Samsung has the robotic infrastructure to make them in mass. That is all. Samsung doesn't have the skill to design something like this yet.
post #15 of 113
This is not possible!!!
post #16 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhitalks View Post

Does that mean DED jumped the gun in his previous article!?

 

Sounds like it means his speculation (hope?) was incorrect. :)

 
So I guess Samsung was not surprised then and were just responding to the announcement. Surprised they didn't announce their work on a 64-bit ARM chip for their 2014 Galaxy phones ahead of the iPhone launch then.
post #17 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by v900 View Post

How exactly do we know, that they kept a lid on what CPU Apple was cooking?

 

Because there was zero mention in any media of an apple switch to 64-bit before Apples announcement. We saw everything else, 5C details, 5s colors, flash, touchId etc in perhaps the most worst kept product details of any iPhone iteration. Except for 64-bit, there was nothing not even the faintest smell.

post #18 of 113
Anyone know this answer ?

iPhone 5s = ___ RAM
post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post

Anyone know this answer ?

iPhone 5s = ___ RAM

 

1GB confirmed.

post #20 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by v900 View Post

How exactly do we know, that they kept a lid on what CPU Apple was cooking?

Obviously Samsungs CEO wouldn't admit to their fab sharing information with their semiconductor unit.

They probably did copy and learn as much as they could from it (like with Samsungs previous Hummingbird CPUs.

They even said they have a 64 bit phone coming in the near future.

Apple is really digging their own graves this way...

 

Samsung doesn't design processors. They directly license the Cortex IP design from ARM itself and fab them. (

http://www.arm.com/products/processors/licensees.php)

All this processor copy fodder of Apple, who doesn't license from ARM and self designs, is good forum fun but largely a circle****. Samsung signed on to the 64bit A57 design in October of last year(http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/arm-goes-64-bit-with-new-cortex-a53-and-cortex-a57-designs/), they've yet to use it though instead going the A53 route idiotically. Considering their processors don't even support LTE (ha!) and they use Qualcomm chips in most of their devices in most markets to support that does it even matter?

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
Reply
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
Reply
post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Samsung doesn't design processors. They directly license the Cortex IP design from ARM itself and fab them. (

http://www.arm.com/products/processors/licensees.php)

Samsung licenses cores from ARM and is developing their own proprietary ARM ISA core designs.

post #22 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

Sounds like it means his speculation (hope?) was incorrect. 1smile.gif
 
So I guess Samsung was not surprised then and were just responding to the announcement. Surprised they didn't announce their work on a 64-bit ARM chip for their 2014 Galaxy phones ahead of the iPhone launch then.

The contract probably had a non-disclosure clause with penalties somewhat akin to having one's testicles forcibly removed through the anus with a set of rusty vice grips. Besides, Samsung (corrective text actually just suggested "same sung" - LMAO) already has the worldwide reputation of being a slavish copier. They seem to be fine with it. It hasn't hurt their sales.
post #23 of 113

"What a world!  What a world!  What a world!" = Wicked Witch of the West / The Wizard of Oz

/

/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #24 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post
 

Then a 64-bit Android phone should be just around the corner.

 

Intel's Silvermont cores are x86 and 64-bit.  They will be in phones in Q1 of of 2014.

 
This was known to the public since ~May of 2012.
 
Apparently, at IDF13,  Intel already mentioned 64-bit Android.
 
android-64-bit.jpg 
post #25 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

 

Sounds like it means his speculation (hope?) was incorrect. :)

 
So I guess Samsung was not surprised then and were just responding to the announcement. Surprised they didn't announce their work on a 64-bit ARM chip for their 2014 Galaxy phones ahead of the iPhone launch then.

 

Yes.

I said this days ago:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/159530/after-its-disastrous-exynos-5-octa-samsung-may-have-lost-apples-a7-contract-to-tsmc/200#post_2397808

I also said:
post #26 of 113

Samsung though is handcuffed in that they do not possess an ARM architectural license.  Even if they already knew that Apple was moving to a 64-bit architecture, Samsung does not have the licensing needed to develop their ARM-based CPUs independent of ARM's timetable.

 

Unlike Apple and Qualcomm (both ARM architectural licensees), Samsung can only build their SOCs using ARM's reference cores, and the first CPUs based on the reference ARMv8 designs won't come out until sometime in 2014.  Architectural licensees can build their own custom CPUs, and only need to be compatible with the reference instruction sets.  This gives Apple and Qualcomm a potential leg up in that they can do the CPU development entirely on their own schedule and using their own core designs, while retaining the option to use ARM's reference design. 

post #27 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
 

Samsung though is handcuffed in that they do not possess an ARM architectural license.  Even if they already knew that Apple was moving to a 64-bit architecture, Samsung does not have the licensing needed to develop their ARM-based CPUs independent of ARM's timetable.

 

Unlike Apple and Qualcomm (both ARM architectural licensees), Samsung can only build their SOCs using ARM's reference cores, and the first CPUs based on the reference ARMv8 designs won't come out until sometime in 2014.  Architectural licensees can build their own custom CPUs, and only need to be compatible with the reference instruction sets.  This gives Apple and Qualcomm a potential leg up in that they can do the CPU development entirely on their own schedule and using their own core designs, while retaining the option to use ARM's reference design. 

 

Samsung has had an ARM architectural license for some years now. Their proprietary core designs will show up soon.

post #28 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by patpatpat View Post
 

Because there was zero mention in any media of an apple switch to 64-bit before Apples announcement. We saw everything else, 5C details, 5s colors, flash, touchId etc in perhaps the most worst kept product details of any iPhone iteration. Except for 64-bit, there was nothing not even the faintest smell.

There were reports in August that speculated that Apple would move to 64-bit, but most of the commentators found those reports too far fetched to believe.  We saw those other details IMO because Apple leaked them, perhaps to divert attention from the much bigger lift going on behind the scenes with the 64-bit transition.  That transition involved multiple parts (64-bit SoC, 64-bit OS, 64-bit apps, 64-bit developer tools), none of which had any credible leaks prior to Sept 10.  I guess it's easier to keep a chip architecture and 64-bit code under wraps than brightly colored cases.

post #29 of 113
Apple will source more than one foundry as supplies ramp up. Each one will have its own stamp on it.
post #30 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartoni View Post
 

 

Samsung has had an ARM architectural license for some years now. Their proprietary core designs will show up soon.

Actually, you're right.  Never mind!

post #31 of 113

Must be tough for a Samsung semiconductor engineer to see their own chips coming off the line that are clones of ARM designs while on the line next door there's an advanced 64 bit chip designed by your competitor.

 

And realizing the chip you're making for your competitor is far superior to anything you make yourself.

post #32 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartoni View Post
 

 

Samsung has had an ARM architectural license for some years now. Their proprietary core designs will show up soon.

 

They've had a license yet nothing has come from it. Apple already had their own custom design in the A6 from last year. Apple is way ahead of Samsung in this area.

post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAKings33 View Post

Intel's Silvermont cores are x86 and 64-bit.  They will be in phones in Q1 of of 2014.
 
This was known to the public since ~May of 2012.
 
Apparently, at IDF13,  Intel already mentioned 64-bit Android.
 
android-64-bit.jpg 

That's nice. If they actually ship it, maybe they can be the second 64-bit phone. Maybe.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #34 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartoni View Post

Samsung has had an ARM architectural license for some years now. Their proprietary core designs will show up soon.

Really? I found indications they may have signed an architectural license this year, but years past looks like just a standard licensee.
http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/29/samsung-new-arm-compatible-exynos-processor/
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NE1 View Post
 

So much for Apple "innovation"...

So, maybe the S does not stand for "Same" after all, but for SAMSUNG.

You sheep must be so happy to know that with each iPhone 5S sold, mighty SAMSUNG receives some of your money.

iPhone 5C = Con

iPhone 5S = SAMSUNG

내가 제일 잘 나가

 

 

 

... until Apple farms all their mfg out to other suppliers. At that point, Samsung won't have anything but techblog rumors to pre-emptively copy from . . .

post #36 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by reydn View Post

Here's to a long and prosperous future with TSMC (~~)

 

Yet it looks like being a short and sweet one.

 
Supposedly TSMC will make the A8 chip 2014, but Apple will go back to Samsung for the A9 in 2015.
 
At least according to the Korea Economic Daily (July 15) 
post #37 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Really? I found indications they may have signed an architectural license this year, but years past looks like just a standard licensee.
http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/29/samsung-new-arm-compatible-exynos-processor/

 

Really. Look on linkedin when Samsung hired Brad Burgess away from AMD. They've been working on their own 64-bit ARM core since about that time. Why else would they hire him? For that matter so has Apple and AMCC and so on.

post #38 of 113

Either Samsung didn't know what the A7 was capable of, or they truly kept it secret.


Question: Can you (someone knowledgable in the field) look at an IC layout and determine if it's 64-bit addressing (vs. 32-bit)?

post #39 of 113
Samsung must be so embarrassed and ashamed that they have to make Apple's 64-bit A7 CPU.

Samsung realized it cannot copy the A7 since Android is still stuck in 32-bit and will not convert to 64-bit for 1-2 years - if ever. Thus Samsung is stuck with its slower 4-core 32-bit CPUs.

This is why they have to try to make fun of Apple as a way of coping with the bad news.
post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post
Samsung must be so embarrassed and ashamed that they have to make Apple's 64-bit A7 CPU.

Samsung is likely very happy to have won this business and that Apple is taking the lead on 64-bit ARM. See: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/159530/after-its-disastrous-exynos-5-octa-samsung-may-have-lost-apples-a7-contract-to-tsmc/200#post_2397808 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Samsung confirmed to be manufacturer of Apple's new A7 chip in iPhone 5s
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Samsung confirmed to be manufacturer of Apple's new A7 chip in iPhone 5s