Originally Posted by shompa
1) Samsung does not need more "space" of its own 64bit chips. They have enough wafer quantity to produce everything they need.
Actually the evidence points the other way. Some years ago when demand from Apple was much lower, apple was taking 80% of Samsungs capacity. They then expended the plant roughly doubling capacity but that was years ago now. today Apples demands for chips is massive, i would not be surprised at all to find out that they are bumping up avians maximum capacity again.
2) You can't take a chip design from Samsung and just start produce them at a GloFo foundry. You need a new tapeout, testwafers, verifying and probably re-spins.
You can't do that directly but tho isn't the big hurdle it might be going to another plant. Global is part of the same consortium that Samsung is part of. As such the tools are very similar so we aren't talking scaling Everest here.
According to Semiaccurate.com Apple already have a foundry/plan. Its behind a paywall, so I dont have any details. Semi are usually correct about foundry rumors.
The sites name says it all.
Same with all that say that Intel should produce Apple A series Soc. There its a redesign Apple have to do on its socs. And people forget how big customer Apple is. Intel just have 2 22nm fabs and Apple would need 1 fab 24/7 just for their own chips.
Yep, Intel is a lone wolf here. However if deans for Intels processors continues to shrink they ill have lots of excess capacity.
But its strange that iPhone and iPad uses the same SoC. iPad usually get a better SoC with more graphic cores. For Apple its a huge saving just using one SoC design.
I actually thought this was strange also but the reality is they roughly doubled performance. That really isn't that bad and as you note it saves them money. Howeveer it does create a issue with IPad only having roughly the performance of a cell phone.
If Apple had 2 different designs, they could design one for GloFo and one for Samsung.
Which would be stupid. You would want to keep the designs as similar as possible across manufactures so that upsets at one plant can be covered by the other.
I personally have for years said that Apple should stop wasting money on dividend and share buyback. They should instead buy/build a high end foundry. Samsungs whole success story is because they have had Apples road map/chip designs since iPhone1. Samsung knows what kind of SoC Apple is going to use at least a year before the general public does.
If Samsung really had the ability to leverage any such knowledge they would be doing far better at SoC design and wouldn't be using the likes of Qualcomm and other processors. As for Apple building a foundry I'm not convinced that it is a smart move.
The interesting thing about Apple is that they dont spend too much money on research.
R&D is over a billion a quarter.
Apple however spends enormous money on tooling. For example paying sharp 500 millions to ramp up IGZO displays that made the iPad Air possible. Apple even outspend Intel on tooling and Intel have by far the best foundries in the world 1-1.5gen ahead of the competition.
And what happened to Apples own Flash/SSD? They bought Anobit years ago.
Haven't you seen the new SSD's in the Mac Pro and other machines. I'm willing to bet there is a lot of Apple/Anobit IP in those controller chips. After all that is what Anobit offered to Apple IP related to the control of flash memories. People seem to think that Anobit was a flash memory maker which has never been true.
The reason why Samsung and Apple are the only two successful tablet/phone companies are: Samsung have their own fabs and can get all parts cheaper. Apple prepays billion to get parts cheaper. This is evidence that the idiotic outsourcing needs to die and Apple with all its money should manufacture all its own stuff. The A series SoC is a huge competitive advantage over all other ARM based/user companies.
So what does Apple do with factories that are no longer suitable for its current hardware? Sometimes the economics just don't make sense. In the cue of a foundry or LCD plant I think it is hard to justify at all. for Apple to keep up they would have to constantly be disposing of plants at significant losses. Apple gets barely a year out of a process node.
1) Buy a foundry/built one
2) Buy sharp LCD plant
3) Sell developer versions of iOS stuff. Unsubsidized units without support and instead Root access to the user
4) Sell Android iPhones. The money is in the hardware. If Apple can sell 10% more phones its billions in profit
5) Dump Azure and make iCloud work. You can never outsource key business.
6) Gaming initiative for iOS and allow app installation on AppleTV.
7) Cheap USB powered AppleTV for Airplay and that kind of stuff.
8) Full A7 gaming version of AppleTV for gaming.
9) Make Ive CEO. Tim Cook is not good. He accept to made bad products/mistakes.