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Rumor: Samsung to take over Apple A-series chip production from TSMC in 2015

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
A report on Wednesday claims Samsung will likely take over fabrication orders for Apple's next-generation custom A-series mobile device processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in 2015.

Apple's A7 SoC is manufactured by Samsung and powers the iPhone 5s, Retina iPad mini and iPad Air.
Source: iFixit


Apple manufacturing partner TSMC, which reportedly began shipping A-series chips for the "iPhone 6" last week, will be replaced by Samsung when fabrication of next-generation SoCs starts in the second half of 2015, reports Reuters.

The report cites a research note from KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, who attended a TSMC investor conference on Wednesday. Liu said Samsung foundries will in effect replace TSMC as the main manufacturer of advanced 14-nanometer APs ordered by Apple and Qualcomm. According to Taiwanese publications, Qualcomm has already placed orders with Samsung for the next-gen silicon. Evidence of Apple's orders has not yet been reported.

After years of rumors and speculation, Apple inked a deal with TSMC to produce its mobile chips last June, the first of which are expected to see iOS device lineup this fall.

Today's report lines up with a rumor from early July that claimed Samsung landed orders for a trial run of Apple's "A9" chip, which is said to be built on a 14-nanometer process.

In addition to the alleged swing back to Samsung, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang said during the conference that his company's marketshare of 16-nanometer chips will be smaller than "a major competitor" in 2015. Going into 2016, however, Chang forecasts TSMC to regain its lead.
post #2 of 20

Reality: No single source fab takes over any embedded space product, now with a joint global partnership from Samsung and Global Foundries.

 

Either pull your heads firmly out of your bum or stop reporting such crap. The moment that relationship was forged ended all speculation on fab manufacturing for Samsung and Global Foundries regarding 20nm/14nm LPE and 14nm LPP FinFET and beyond.

 

Oh look! Here's the new presentation:

 

http://globalfoundries.com/ldgpages/videos/dac-2014-ip-talks!---globalfoundries-14nm-full-platform-offering

post #3 of 20
Well maybe Apple really switched to 20 nm in TSMC and it's obvious to jump to 14/16 nm as soon as possible. And maybe this is just some rummor crated by samsung's people fearing of what will happen when they will lose their most lucrative silicon consumer. The problem is I can't see Apple jumping back and forth between two different processes which requires modifying of the entire SoC which needs to be made in the beginning of the development of the SoC and that requires few years for transition as it is the case with TSMC. Second, samsung doesn't even have a 20nm class process... Which should be out any time now if we assume it will take two years from 32 nm to 20 nm.... And they are already talking about 14 nm. Even intel is struggling to bring out their 14 nm process two and half years later after their 22 nm process, the issues on that node are owerhelming as the structure of the matter itself stands in our way.
post #4 of 20

Multiple suppliers are always better than a single (point of failure) supplier.  This is yet another benefit of using an ARM architecture as the basis for the AX chip line.  A benefit that Apple doesn't enjoy in the Mac line.  Not yet anyway.

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post #5 of 20

Why don't Apple manufacture their own micro chips, so that they can stop doing business with Samsung?

post #6 of 20

This sounds like a Samsung generated rumor;

"that Samsung is taking over  supply control of a critical Apple  part".

post #7 of 20

So the rumor that TSMC will make the A8 for Apple, which we haven't seen any proof of yet,  has been supplanted by the new rumor that Samsung will make the still rumored A9 for Apple. Considering the costs of building out the fabs I would doubt that TSMC will be making the still rumored A8 for Apple unless they will manufacture at least some of the rumored A9 as well.

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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
 

Multiple suppliers are always better than a single (point of failure) supplier.  This is yet another benefit of using an ARM architecture as the basis for the AX chip line.  A benefit that Apple doesn't enjoy in the Mac line.  Not yet anyway.

 

When the Macbook Retina Pro first came out, Apple used two sources for the display panel - Sharp and Samsung.  The Sharp made panels failed in large numbers and the machines had to all be swapped for ones with Samsung panels, so it isn't always better.  It must have cost Apple a huge chunk of their profits on the early MBPRs

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Multiple suppliers are always better than a single (point of failure) supplier.  
True. However going to TSMC for one chips does not mean that Apple stops buying from Samsung. Unless Apple transitions more products than normal ( a possibility) they will still be using older Samsung chips in many products.
Quote:
.
This is yet another benefit of using an ARM architecture as the basis for the AX chip line.  A benefit that Apple doesn't enjoy in the Mac line.  Not yet anyway.

People seem to forget about AMD when making such statements. AMD offers a real alternative to buying Intel chips and effectively is like going from Samsung to TSMC. The funny thing here is that at the rate Intel is going AMD might beat them to mass production of 14 nm desktop and laptop chips.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post
 

So the rumor that TSMC will make the A8 for Apple, which we haven't seen any proof of yet,  has been supplanted by the new rumor that Samsung will make the still rumored A9 for Apple. Considering the costs of building out the fabs I would doubt that TSMC will be making the still rumored A8 for Apple unless they will manufacture at least some of the rumored A9 as well.


No need for proof. Samsung aren't making 20nm node. They skip it and went right to 16/14nm.

 

I dont think 16/14nm Apple SoC next year is a done deal yet. The problem Samsung is ahead of TSMC this round, and Apple doesn't want to risk it IF TSMC could not get 16nm+ in time. Apple could be designing for both and see how things goes.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

When the Macbook Retina Pro first came out, Apple used two sources for the display panel - Sharp and Samsung.  The Sharp made panels failed in large numbers and the machines had to all be swapped for ones with Samsung panels, so it isn't always better.  It must have cost Apple a huge chunk of their profits on the early MBPRs

It cost Apple soooo much money that they had none left over to fix the 2011 MBPr laptops that failed...
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post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

People seem to forget about AMD when making such statements. AMD offers a real alternative to buying Intel chips and effectively is like going from Samsung to TSMC. The funny thing here is that at the rate Intel is going AMD might beat them to mass production of 14 nm desktop and laptop chips.

If Apple went with AMD for their chips Apple engineers would feel right at home working with the AMD engineers, since many of them were poached from AMD to begin with.1biggrin.gif
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post

Everybody knows that Apple invented the micro chip and that all the other micro chip makers are just copying Apple. But with that being said, why don't Apple manufacture their own micro chips, so that they can stop doing business with Samsung?

Perhaps it is because Apple is not interested in manufacturing chips for competitors, which is what it would take for such a move to profitable.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

When the Macbook Retina Pro first came out, Apple used two sources for the display panel - Sharp and Samsung.  The Sharp made panels failed in large numbers and the machines had to all be swapped for ones with Samsung panels, so it isn't always better.  It must have cost Apple a huge chunk of their profits on the early MBPRs

It would have been a lot worse if Sharp were the only supplier. That's why more suppliers is better.
post #15 of 20

"Why don't Apple manufacture their own chips..." - because it's damn expensive - it's not potato chips being produced, you know!  No single company, not even Apple, can afford to run (and keep enhancing) their own chip factory.  Just think - why do you think Samsung builds chips for Apple (and other manufacturers) that are its direct competitors in the smartphone business?  Because it *needs* to have many customers in order to make its investments in these fabrication facilities worthwhile!

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
...
People seem to forget about AMD when making such statements. AMD offers a real alternative to buying Intel chips and effectively is like going from Samsung to TSMC. The funny thing here is that at the rate Intel is going AMD might beat them to mass production of 14 nm desktop and laptop chips.

 

AMD might offer a real alternative on the desktop, I don't think they do on laptops - where Apple makes most of its Mac computers.  AMD chips are way too power hungry, from what I understand.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post
 

Why don't Apple manufacture their own micro chips, so that they can stop doing business with Samsung?

To build a fab is a major CapEx undertaking, frought  with schedule and technology risk.  Better to have a samsung or a TMSC build the facility, as they do that every other year, and they have a huge number of clients to distribute the risk, and to utilize the facility once it's not the 'cutting edge' of technology supplying 'state of the shelf' chips to the masses.   Apple doesn't want to do any of that.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
 

 

When the Macbook Retina Pro first came out, Apple used two sources for the display panel - Sharp and Samsung.  The Sharp made panels failed in large numbers and the machines had to all be swapped for ones with Samsung panels, so it isn't always better.  It must have cost Apple a huge chunk of their profits on the early MBPRs

but what if samsung was the single source and they failed.   that's a FAIL.   having a supplier who is already building to spec... that's redundancy.  It may be costly, but your recovery plan is in place and tested.

post #19 of 20

I just wish Apple could be done with Samsung. It just doesn't make sense to do business with a company that has so blatantly ripped one off.

 

"But they are different divisions" I hear some say. Well, isn't Apple afraid of being ripped off int he chip division, too? (Maybe some chip expert could enlighten us.)

post #20 of 20

Samsung's phone side of the business was surprised when the iPhone came out with 64 bit chips that were made by Samsung's semiconductor company. So either they didn't know what they were making (unlikely) or they didn't tell their other division.

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