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Samsung to reportedly share production of Apple's 'A8' SoC with TSMC

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
A rumor out of the Far East on Sunday claims Apple has once again retained Samsung's services to build a next-generation processor dubbed the "A8," though a majority of production will reportedly be handled by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

A7
Apple's latest A7 SoC. | Source: Chipworks


Citing industry sources, The Korea Economic Daily claims Apple has placed an order with Samsung to produce some 30 to 40 percent of a next-gen system-on-chip, dubbed the "A8," iterations of which is expected to power next year's flagship iOS devices. The sources explained difficulties with the advanced 20 nanometer fabrication process have resulted in unacceptable yield rates, prompting Apple to turn to Samsung's foundries.

It was reported in June that TSMC landed a contract to build future A-series SoCs starting next year, spurring speculation that the firm would be the sole provider of Apple's silicon. Rumors of a switch away from Samsung gained traction in April, when a separate report claimed Apple would move to TSMC after its current contract with the Korean company expired.

Further, AppleInsider reported in July that TSMC held a job fair in New York, suggesting the chip maker is planning to open a facility in the area. Apple could feasibly help finance the rumored fab, which could grant access to a dedicated production line.

Samsung has supplied Apple's A-series chips since the first iPhone debuted in 2007, including the A7 chip powering this year's iPhone 5s, as well as other components like RAM modules and device displays. The two companies have since become fierce rivals, however, due in no small part to an ongoing global patent dispute.

Recently, Apple has been actively looking to diversify away from Samsung, but the Korean company is one of the few electronics manufacturers that can produce the advanced components Cupertino needs to for its popular devices. The iPhone maker's attempts lessen its reliance on Samsung have been successful in some areas, however, an example being device displays.
post #2 of 50
Cant wait until apple cuts all orders from samsung. Will be hilarious to see them file for bankrupcy
post #3 of 50

It's almost unbelievable, how the whole west has given up to such a strategical value as silicon manufacturing is... 

post #4 of 50

This is business.  No wonder if Samsung can pull all the production too for making best apple designed processors.  After all they make money.  

But... But...

post #5 of 50
First rule of business and politics: "No permanent friends, no permanent enemies".

Though American WW2 hero General Patton would likely have described Samsung as "The Enema" :-)
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Cant wait until apple cuts all orders from samsung. Will be hilarious to see them file for bankrupcy

 

Samsung aren't dependent on Apple's semiconductor manufacturing orders, so I fail to see what your point is, apart from being some Apple fanboy, anti-Samsung fantasy.

 

Back in the real world, losing Apple's orders would be painful for Samsung's Foundry Business Unit (yeah, like most large modern companies, Samsung isn't a single business entity) but so far it appears that Apple will be the one feeling pain, as Samsung appear to deliver for Apple, time and time again, when it comes to actually being able to produce working SoCs in the quantities that Apple needs.

 

However Samsung have had enough prior warning to allow them to get replacement business for an in-demand resource. If Samsung's 20nm process works (no reason why it doesn't) then there will be customers who demand the latest processes lining up to use it.

post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Cant wait until apple cuts all orders from samsung. Will be hilarious to see them file for bankrupcy

It will make a dent in their profits (revenue 197 bn $ / profit 26 bn $ in the last 4 quarters). 

post #8 of 50
``Further, AppleInsider reported in July that TSMC held a job fair in New York, suggesting the chip maker is planning to open a facility in the area. Apple could feasibly help finance the rumored fab, which could grant access to a dedicated production line.''

The facility in the Area is Global Foundries Malta Complex.
post #9 of 50
TSMC is leading in 28 nm. Why is Apple still stuck with samsung? Qualcomm, Nvidia all rely on TSMC.
post #10 of 50

I can see why Apple would might wish not to spend money with an arm of its major competitor. However, business is business and Samsung appears to have been a reliable supplier:

  • They have the leading-edge fabrication technology in the required (high) volume
  • No-one has suggested that the A7 is constraining iPhone 5s availability
  • They appear to have respected Apple's confidentiality, at least this time*

 

Some of these things are better than certain other suppliers: hands up those who saw leaked cases, cameras etc well before launch and shortage of some component is crippling 5s availability. So Apple potentially has something to lose also in any supplier change.

 

*It's quite impressive that the 64-bit nature of A7 didn't leak to the press. What's more, I read Samsung's phone business's generic response on 64-bit - 'we'll do that sometime too' - as meaning they were surprised as well.

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post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Command_F View Post

*It's quite impressive that the 64-bit nature of A7 didn't leak to the press. What's more, I read Samsung's phone business's generic response on 64-bit - 'we'll do that sometime too' - as meaning they were surprised as well.
Yes, it is quite impressive. I was genuinely surprised which is harder to do these days with all these leaks. The fact that Samsung did not immediately announce a 64-bit chip says to me they exercised amazing restraint, or really are managing to keep their divisions at arms length. That must be painful to do.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by smalM View Post
 

It will make a dent in their profits (revenue 197 bn $ / profit 26 bn $ in the last 4 quarters). 

 

No way that Samsung would go Bankrupt. Its a conglomerate. And, i am sure of the billions of stupids who still buys Samsung products. So, sorry!

post #13 of 50
The whole idea of a hatred between Apple and Samsung is simply to deter an antitrust allegation, lesson learned from Microsoft. It's interesting how Google's Android spawned from a close relationship and suddenly turned to "stealing"- reality was that Jobs gave it to Schmidt to have a friend in charge of the competition. No one would keep up with iOS otherwise. Then when the hardware market showed it couldn't keep up either, Apple recruited HTC but settled on Samsung. Don't let the lawsuits fool you, they're just a dog and pony show. All these companies are in bed together. Not that it's a bad thing, they seem to be doing the right thing with it- healthy competition.
post #14 of 50
Just because Samsung didn't say anything about their 64 bit roadmap prior to the announcement of the A7 doesn't conclusively prove anything. I still wouldn't trust them. Also, keeping the internal architecture of a new processor secret is far easier than say the design of a new case or camera which would have an obvious physical difference to many factory staff. It's not like anyone can look at the chips rolling off the plant, or even the very rare few with access to the designs, and easily proclaim it to be 64 bit... That's why the info stayed private...
post #15 of 50

Actually this makes lots of senses, not that I would not like to see apple pull all its business from Samsung to teach them lesson about who is paying their bills. However, Apple took a large risk putting all it productions in Samsung in the first place. The same would be true for putting it all in TSMC. It is smart to split the business. Plus it allows apple to pit each supplier against one another. Now Mothership Samsung has to decide is it worth losing apple all together to allow the Samsung phone guys insight into apples doing as well as selling internally at the same price they sell to Apple. It makes the dynamics more complicated for Samsung that is for sure.


Edited by Maestro64 - 9/30/13 at 9:52am
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

No way that Samsung would go Bankrupt. Its a conglomerate. And, i am sure of the billions of stupids who still buys Samsung products. So, sorry!

I don't think anyone said that Samsung would go bankrupt. But losing a few billion dollars in orders would definitely hurt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A rumor out of the Far East on Sunday claims Apple has once again retained Samsung's services to build a next-generation processor dubbed the "A8," though a majority of production will reportedly be handled by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

"Well, this rumor wasn't true the last 10 times we tried to pass it off, but it should be good for a few more tries, so let's have another go at it."
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2kip View Post

TSMC is leading in 28 nm. Why is Apple still stuck with samsung? Qualcomm, Nvidia all rely on TSMC.

 

TSMC struggled to meet Qualcomms and Nvidia's demands and almost lost them as customers.  Those are their #1 and #2 customers.  Apple will be the new number one.  While I'm sure they are being told 'nothing will change' with Apple becoming their biggest customer, we all now that things *do* change when you are no longer the top tog.  I wouldn't be surprised if one of them seek a new supplier.  Hopefully TSMC can deliver for Apple as well as Samsung has.

 

I really think Apple did this right, as the temptation to cut everything Samsung must have been tremendous.  Rolling in a new supplier while phasing out the old is a much better way to go.  Actually, keeping a second source handy is even better.

 

Samsung outsources a huge percentage of its manufacturing for its own devices to third party companies.  Apple leaving Samsung would just mean they shift their outsourced business back in house- so its those third party manufacturers that would be left in the lurch, not Samsung.

 

I would like to see Apple build some venture in NY in the good old USA.

post #18 of 50
People can argue whether or not Samsung, TSMC or another party will build the next A Series chip until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't make it relevant.

What is relevant (and also happens to be 100% true) are the following facts:

- The A7 is the worlds most advanced, most powerful and efficient mobile SoC you can get.
- The reason the A7 can lay claim to this title is due to the fact that Apple is far ahead of Qualcomm and even ARM when it comes to designing processors.
- Samsung still has yet to deliver any custom designed SoC (or even announce one).
- Samsung has to to rely on Qualcomm SoC's for their high-end devices as they outperform Exynos.
- Apple has not only beat veryone to 64bit, but they are in a position to be 100% 64bit in only 2 years and have a smooth transition while doing so.
- Samsung is in no position to dictate when they will be able to go 64bit since they only control half of their product (the hardware). And no, It's highly unlikely Tizen will be 64bit.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post
 

 

No way that Samsung would go Bankrupt. Its a conglomerate. And, i am sure of the billions of stupids who still buys Samsung products. So, sorry!

Among those 'stupids' who buy Samsung products, you would have to put Apple at the very top of the list.

post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

People can argue whether or not Samsung, TSMC or another party will build the next A Series chip until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't make it relevant.

What is relevant (and also happens to be 100% true) are the following facts:

- The A7 is the worlds most advanced, most powerful and efficient mobile SoC you can get.
- The reason the A7 can lay claim to this title is due to the fact that Apple is far ahead of Qualcomm and even ARM when it comes to designing processors.
- Samsung still has yet to deliver any custom designed SoC (or even announce one).
- Samsung has to to rely on Qualcomm SoC's for their high-end devices as they outperform Exynos.
- Apple has not only beat veryone to 64bit, but they are in a position to be 100% 64bit in only 2 years and have a smooth transition while doing so.
- Samsung is in no position to dictate when they will be able to go 64bit since they only control half of their product (the hardware). And no, It's highly unlikely Tizen will be 64bit.

Wrong on every level.

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post
 

 

No way that Samsung would go Bankrupt. Its a conglomerate. And, i am sure of the billions of stupids who still buys Samsung products. So, sorry!

Among those 'stupids' who buy Samsung products, you would have to put Apple at the very top of the list.

 

Not really. Samsung is the best at manufacturing and some of their products.

 

But the galaxy line? Only for ignorant people. That's nothing you can do about it. They have inferior devices with higher prices and sell them based on advertising alone. Inferior device for inferior people. Well done, actually.

post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

People can argue whether or not Samsung, TSMC or another party will build the next A Series chip until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't make it relevant.

What is relevant (and also happens to be 100% true) are the following facts:

- The A7 is the worlds most advanced, most powerful and efficient mobile SoC you can get.
- The reason the A7 can lay claim to this title is due to the fact that Apple is far ahead of Qualcomm and even ARM when it comes to designing processors.
- Samsung still has yet to deliver any custom designed SoC (or even announce one).
- Samsung has to to rely on Qualcomm SoC's for their high-end devices as they outperform Exynos.
- Apple has not only beat veryone to 64bit, but they are in a position to be 100% 64bit in only 2 years and have a smooth transition while doing so.
- Samsung is in no position to dictate when they will be able to go 64bit since they only control half of their product (the hardware). And no, It's highly unlikely Tizen will be 64bit.

Wrong on every level.

 

Is the a7 the most advanced? Yes. More efficient? Yes. Core vs core the most powerful? Yes. is the iphone 5s the fastest phone available? Yes.

 

He is right on every level.

post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
 

Wrong on every level.

 

You can always spot the trolls when they can't accept facts.

post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Cant wait until apple cuts all orders from samsung. Will be hilarious to see them file for bankrupcy

Huh, bankruptcy? It's a conglomerate, with revenue close to $300B. Half a trillion in assets. Over 400,000 employees. I don't think a single client will make a dent in their operation.

Maybe you just wanted to your first post to be the first. Well, you're the 1
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #25 of 50
*hint*
To use 2 different foundries for one SoC is highly unrealistic. You have to design 2 different SoCs to do this. You cant just take your tapeout from Samsung and walk to TSMC with it.

A more realistic (and more secure for Apple) is to continue use Samsung for A7 and under SoCs and use TSMC for A8 and above. Apple could even do A7X on TSCM and A7 with Samsung.

But Apple really needs to dump Samsung. Samsung got the head up on 64bit A7 because they manufactured it 6 month ago. Its not good when your biggest competitor with a habit to copy things have the blueprints for Apple's roadmap because they sell parts/manufacture stuff for Apple.
--
There are some things in IT history that is significant but people dont know how important they are.
For example NexTStep. This have turned out to be the most important piece of software in IT history. The whole foundation to todays mobile revolution is because of Unix and NexTStep.

The other thing was when Steve decided to start to manufacture Apple's own SoCs. Apple can now put stuff into their own SoCs that they need/want. Like the A5 DSP for Siri or the Security enclave on the A7. The security enclave will be a huge problem to implement on Android where most customers buy on price. For example Samsung flagship phones even use different SoCs depending on where in the world you buy it. Samsung could put a security enclave in their own SoC but millions of their stuff use QualComm.

Point being:
Apple needs to control its destiny. They should buy their own foundry.

(And Apple should start to sell Android iPhones. Why do Apple care. They make the money on the hardware. Apple could sell at least 10-20% more phones. Free money.)
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

(And Apple should start to sell Android iPhones. Why do Apple care. They make the money on the hardware. Apple could sell at least 10-20% more phones. Free money.)

That is such a stupid idea I'm not even going to explain why.
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post #27 of 50

FUD! 

 

Apple knows it has to move away from Samsung in order to gain a lead in processor technology and features. I see this being one of their biggest advantages. Software is easy and quick to copy, hardware is not. 

post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
 

 

Not really. Samsung is the best at manufacturing and some of their products.

 

But the galaxy line? Only for ignorant people. That's nothing you can do about it. They have inferior devices with higher prices and sell them based on advertising alone. Inferior device for inferior people. Well done, actually.

Ignorant; inferior?

 

What are your educational qualifications?

post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Cant wait until apple cuts all orders from samsung. Will be hilarious to see them file for bankrupcy

That division was originally a USA company Samsung bought and is still making parts in the USA. So what you are wishing for here is that more US based workers be put on the A-Z line. Nice guy you are.
post #30 of 50
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post
reality was that Jobs gave it to Schmidt to have a friend in charge of the competition. No one would keep up with iOS otherwise.

 

That’s absolutely psychotic and contradictory to absolutely everything we know about the history of this industry. I’m surprised I’m the first to reply to it.

 

Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
That division was originally a USA company Samsung bought and is still making parts in the USA. So what you are wishing for here is that more US based workers be put on the A-Z line. Nice guy you are.

 

I truly don’t believe he has any specific animosity against workers of any line. War, however, always seems to end up punishing those who’ve little stake in it.

 

And who knows, without Apple’s revenue, Samsung may be force to sell said plant. To… Apple?

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

Samsung aren't dependent on Apple's semiconductor manufacturing orders, so I fail to see what your point is, apart from being some Apple fanboy, anti-Samsung fantasy.
Well yeah they are in a sense, at one time it was suggested that Apple was 80% of Sansungs entire foundry capacity and that was well before iOS devices took off in popularity. On the other hand I have to agree with you Apples business would likely be easy to replace for Samsung.
Quote:
Back in the real world, losing Apple's orders would be painful for Samsung's Foundry Business Unit (yeah, like most large modern companies, Samsung isn't a single business entity) but so far it appears that Apple will be the one feeling pain, as Samsung appear to deliver for Apple, time and time again, when it comes to actually being able to produce working SoCs in the quantities that Apple needs.
I have to agree here, Samsungs pain will be short term. In the end delivery of product is what makes or breaks a relationship.
Quote:
However Samsung have had enough prior warning to allow them to get replacement business for an in-demand resource. If Samsung's 20nm process works (no reason why it doesn't) then there will be customers who demand the latest processes lining up to use it.
Any foundry be it high tech silicon or old fashion iron needs to continually look for new customers, so I would imagine that Samsung has been doing this all along. The only real question here is how much off Samsungs production capacity is dedicated to Apple. At one time it was rumored that at least part of the plant was built in partnership with a client. That client was never mentioned but if 80% of your capacity goes to support Apple it is a fair guess who that partner is.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Actually this makes lots of senses, not that would not like to see apple pull all its business from Samsung to teach them lesson about who is paying their bills. However, Apple took a large risk putting all it production in Samsung in the first place. The same would be true for putting it all in TSMC. It smart to split the business.
I've been saying this for weeks now, Apple may have no choice but to split production between two suppliers to keep up with demand and to reduce risk. The growth in iOS products is not slowing down, if anything it is getting to be much more intense.
Quote:
Plus it allows apple to pit each supplier against one another.
That isn't really good business practice in this case.
Quote:
Now Mothership Samsung has to decide is it worth losing apple all together to allow the Samsung phone guys insight into apples doing as well as selling internally at the same price they sell to Apple. It makes the dynamics more complicated for Samsung that is for sure.

It is an entirely different division for Samsung. As far as insight goes Samsung isn't even using its own chips in some products. Beyond that the insight as to what is needed in a SoC comes from looking towards the future and integrating features wanted in the phone into Silicon. The SoC is literally the printed circuit board of the 1980's.
post #33 of 50
I admire your persistence TS, but don't you get tired of continuously being proved wrong?! Time after time... Maybe think about cutting your losses...
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That’s absolutely psychotic and contradictory to absolutely everything we know about the history of this industry. I’m surprised I’m the first to reply to it.

I got fed up with replying to single-digid IQ posts.
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post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post



I would like to see Apple build some venture in NY in the good old USA.
I'd like to see Apple build in the USA too, but not New York. NY is just an evil place to run a business, too much political corruption, excessively high taxes, poor maintenance of infra structure, political promises that are never keep, a significant number of stupid people even though we supposedly have good schools and a host of other ills.

Believe me I've lived in NY all my life and it isn't getting any better. They (the political establishment) try to tell you it is getting better but taxes go up every year and they refuse to do the rational thing which is down size government and cut welfare support.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Wrong on every level.

Really? Everything he said can be backed up with a little research, you just have to honestly evaluate what you read.
post #37 of 50
You need to wrap your mind around Apples needs here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

*hint*
To use 2 different foundries for one SoC is highly unrealistic. You have to design 2 different SoCs to do this. You cant just take your tapeout from Samsung and walk to TSMC with it.
While true for a small operation, Apple operates under a different set of rules. Think of it this way to hand any production over to TSMC they have to "port" the chip to TSMC tools and processes. If they are even considering TSMC this work has already been done.

The bigger issue is that Apples SoC demand aren't slowing up, they may need two suppliers just to keep a comfortable supply of chips available.
Quote:
A more realistic (and more secure for Apple) is to continue use Samsung for A7 and under SoCs and use TSMC for A8 and above. Apple could even do A7X on TSCM and A7 with Samsung.
That is actually a less secure path for Apple! Let's say for example a tornado hits Texas near the Samsung plant, doesn't even need to be a direct hit, that could wipe out weeks of production. It would have major implications for Apple. Just look at what the flooding in Thailand did to hard disk supplies awhile ago.

The simple concept of having too many eggs in one basket applies here. The reality is Apple has the chip demand to go with two suppliers without having a significant impact on costs. When you sell close to a hundred million of something a year you don't have the economic problems of a smaller operation when it comes to sourcing parts.
Quote:
But Apple really needs to dump Samsung. Samsung got the head up on 64bit A7 because they manufactured it 6 month ago. Its not good when your biggest competitor with a habit to copy things have the blueprints for Apple's roadmap because they sell parts/manufacture stuff for Apple.
There is no evidence of this at all.
Quote:
--
There are some things in IT history that is significant but people dont know how important they are.
For example NexTStep. This have turned out to be the most important piece of software in IT history. The whole foundation to todays mobile revolution is because of Unix and NexTStep.

The other thing was when Steve decided to start to manufacture Apple's own SoCs. Apple can now put stuff into their own SoCs that they need/want. Like the A5 DSP for Siri or the Security enclave on the A7. The security enclave will be a huge problem to implement on Android where most customers buy on price. For example Samsung flagship phones even use different SoCs depending on where in the world you buy it. Samsung could put a security enclave in their own SoC but millions of their stuff use QualComm.
If Samsung goes with QualComm, then they likely have lost interest in doing their own SoC.
Quote:

Point being:
Apple needs to control its destiny. They should buy their own foundry.

(And Apple should start to sell Android iPhones. Why do Apple care. They make the money on the hardware. Apple could sell at least 10-20% more phones. Free money.)

That is hysterical. 😂😂😂😳😳😉😉
post #38 of 50
Originally Posted by Tufts View Post
I admire your persistence TS, but don't you get tired of continuously being proved wrong?! Time after time... Maybe think about cutting your losses...

 

Thanks, two posts; probability says you’re not a “first time poster, long time reader” and just a returning banned account.

 

If you cared at all about being right–or were in the right yourself–you would have actually proven me wrong instead of simply saying I was wrong. Since you’re the time to enjoy gloating about such things, of course, it makes sense that you would have done this. As you didn’t, it’s safe to say you don’t have a clue whether I’m right or wrong and simply want to see me in the negative.

post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Not really. Samsung is the best at manufacturing and some of their products.

But the galaxy line? Only for ignorant people. That's nothing you can do about it. They have inferior devices with higher prices and sell them based on advertising alone. Inferior device for inferior people. Well done, actually.

Best at manufacturing ?!
Taiwan's companies are better than Samsung at manufacturing technology and quality.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That’s absolutely psychotic and contradictory to absolutely everything we know about the history of this industry. I’m surprised I’m the first to reply to it.
Something's posted here are to ignorant to even bother with a comment.
Quote:

I truly don’t believe he has any specific animosity against workers of any line. War, however, always seems to end up punishing those who’ve little stake in it.

And who knows, without Apple’s revenue, Samsung may be force to sell said plant. To… Apple?
You know what I object to hear is the idea that this is some sort of war between Apple and Samsungs foundry division. I don't buy that at all! Rather you have companies pitching their next processes and you have Apple evaluating them. It is tough for all companies involved, nobody wants to loose a massive customer, but bleeding edge processes are hard to do. In the end those that can get the work.

On top of that I'm of the opinion that Apple needs to look out for number one and avoid the all eggs in one basket problem. They need a two track program for their chip supplies.
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