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Rumor: TSMC, Apple working on 16nm FinFET process for 'A9' chips

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
A Monday morning report from the Republic of China indicated that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is in the process of accelerating the rollout of its new 16-nanometer FinFET fabrication process in a possible bid to wrest control of Apple's A9 manufacturing from rival chipmakers.

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


The report, from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, directly contradicts earlier whispers that Samsung had won Apple's orders for the A9. Samsung's next-generation process moves the needle to 14 nanometers.

TSMC is said to be in the midst of capacity planning that would see the firm churn out some 50,000 wafers each month. It is unclear what wafer size the plant would use in production, though its current 16-nanometer test lines utilize 12-inch wafers.

Apple and TSMC have long worked together to produce smaller parts?-- the Taiwanese company produces the silicon for the iPhone 5s's Touch ID sensors, for instance --?but the production of more important components, like Apple's A-series chips, has been left to Samsung. Tensions between Apple and its South Korean competitor are believed to have given TSMC a boost, however, with the latter reportedly beginning shipments of chips destined for the so-called "iPhone 6" in early July.

The world's other major chip foundries, including Intel and former AMD subsidiary GlobalFoundries, are also thought to be chasing Apple's business. Thanks to its push into custom silicon and the massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad, Apple is now one of the largest fabrication customers on earth.
post #2 of 32
A9 rumors already!
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post #3 of 32
"The Republic of China"...also previously repeatedly called "the Far East"?

Is it that difficult to just write "China" or give the specific city? So much fluff and story padding is just juvenile.

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post #4 of 32
AI, here's a little tip on good article writing: when you put an obscure term in the headline, define it in the article. FinFET = ???
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

A9 rumors already!

I've long thought Apple took something like two years (or more) to make new iOS devices (start to finish), so their product pipeline is 24 months deep. Products exiting this pipeline today entered it back in 2012.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"The Republic of China"...also previously repeatedly called "the Far East"?

Is it that difficult to just write "China" or give the specific city? So much fluff and story padding is just juvenile.


RoC = Taiwan.

 

People's Republic of China = mainland China

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by fly75 View Post


RoC = Taiwan.

People's Republic of China = mainland China

I think the Taiwanese people would take issue with any suggestion they are a part of China.

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post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I've long thought Apple took something like two years (or more) to make new iOS devices (start to finish), so their product pipeline is 24 months deep. Products exiting this pipeline today entered it back in 2012.
For sure. Which is why we are assured to have 6S rumors the week after the 6 comes out.
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post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"The Republic of China"...also previously repeatedly called "the Far East"?

Is it that difficult to just write "China" or give the specific city? So much fluff and story padding is just juvenile.


What are you talking about? The term "the Far East" was not used in this story even once.

 

Also, I seriously doubt more than a minuscule minority of the readers here would recognize the name of the city where TSMC is headquartered, so that would actually hurt the readability of the article. 

 

What's juvenile is your complaining.

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think the Taiwanese people would take issue with any suggestion they are a part of China.

Are you going to argue* with the official self-proclaimed name of the country now?

*Very hard to reason with Honarable Westerner when he only use left side of brain.
post #11 of 32
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post


What are you talking about? The term "the Far East" was not used in this story even once.

Also, I seriously doubt more than a minuscule minority of the readers here would recognize the name of the city where TSMC is headquartered, so that would actually hurt the readability of the article. 

What's juvenile is your complaining.

AI just can't win. Several people complained about their standard naming of "sources in the Far East," so they recently switched to "Republic of China" for Taiwan. Of course they were assuming a knowledge of history and political geography among the readership, or maybe it was a matter of "ok, we'll show you, you nitpickers . . . "

Does anyone in the West still use "ROC" instead of "Taiwan"?
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Does anyone in the West still use "ROC" instead of "Taiwan"?

Yes, of course they do. That's the name of the country. Has been since 1911. Since 1949, its control has been reduced to just Taiwan (and a few smaller islands like Quemoy and Matsu), but it's still the Republic of China.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The world's other major chip foundries, including Intel and former AMD subsidiary GlobalFoundries, are also thought to be chasing Apple's business. Thanks to its push into custom silicon and the massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad, Apple is now one of the largest fabrication customers on earth.

Apple is now one of the largest fabrication customers on earth.

God, that has such a nice ring to it! Music to my Apple-fan ears....
"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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"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 #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Apple is now one of the largest fabrication customers on earth.

God, that has such a nice ring to it! Music to my Apple-fan ears....
Yeah, those under-dog days are absolutely in the past, Now when Apple comes knockin. . .
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


I think the Taiwanese people would take issue with any suggestion they are a part of China.


It's part of the official name of Taiwan in both English and Chinese. Some people in Taiwan wants to change that but not all.

post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"The Republic of China"...also previously repeatedly called "the Far East"?

Is it that difficult to just write "China" or give the specific city? So much fluff and story padding is just juvenile.

 

Because there are two Chinas.  This should be obvious to anyone why a distinction needs to be made.  Writing Republic of China is no more verbose than writing South Korea.

 

And "far east" is more or less fine as well since some of their (prior) sources may not have been Taiwanese ones but Korean or Japanese sources.

 

For example this story about iPhone 6 shortages in the Taipei Times came via Reuters Tokyo since it also addresses Japanese suppliers:

 

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2014/08/24/2003598102/1


Edited by nht - 8/25/14 at 12:45pm
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheElectricChairRepairman View Post
 

It's part of the official name of Taiwan in both English and Chinese. Some people in Taiwan wants to change that but not all.

 

Given they voted in the KMT it appears that most people don't want to change that.  2016 folks will see if that changes.

post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


I think the Taiwanese people would take issue with any suggestion they are a part of China.


Didn't say they were.

 

You asked why "China" wasn't used in the article rather than "Republic of China". Certainly would have been less confusing for you if "Taiwan" was used instead of "Republic of China".

 

Most people associate China with the communist state located on the Asian mainland that refers to itself as the "People's Republic of China", and use Taiwan to refer to the geopolitical state that refers to itself as the "Republic of China".

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post
 


What are you talking about? The term "the Far East" was not used in this story even once.

 

Also, I seriously doubt more than a minuscule minority of the readers here would recognize the name of the city where TSMC is headquartered, so that would actually hurt the readability of the article. 

 

What's juvenile is your complaining.

 

What part of the word "previously" didn't you understand?

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post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


AI just can't win. Several people complained about their standard naming of "sources in the Far East," so they recently switched to "Republic of China" for Taiwan. Of course they were assuming a knowledge of history and political geography among the readership, or maybe it was a matter of "ok, we'll show you, you nitpickers . . . "

Does anyone in the West still use "ROC" instead of "Taiwan"?

 

There's absolutely no reason for any author here to get "cute" with their references. Call it China if it's China, call it Taiwan if it's Taiwan. Right now, it's just sloppy.

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post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by fly75 View Post
 


Didn't say they were.

 

You asked why "China" wasn't used in the article rather than "Republic of China". Certainly would have been less confusing for you if "Taiwan" was used instead of "Republic of China".

 

Most people associate China with the communist state located on the Asian mainland that refers to itself as the "People's Republic of China", and use Taiwan to refer to the geopolitical state that refers to itself as the "Republic of China".

 

Last time I was in Taiwan (passing through) they were extremely offended that a member of my party attempted to buy something with RMB.

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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

 

Last time I was in Taiwan (passing through) they were extremely offended that a member of my party attempted to buy something with RMB.

 

Last time I was in Charleston SC they wouldn't take a $5 bill unless Lincoln was face down.

 

Losers of civil wars can be like that, you know. Or apparently don't know.

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post


What are you talking about? The term "the Far East" was not used in this story even once.

Also, I seriously doubt more than a minuscule minority of the readers here would recognize the name of the city where TSMC is headquartered, so that would actually hurt the readability of the article. 

What's juvenile is your complaining.

AI just can't win. Several people complained about their standard naming of "sources in the Far East," so they recently switched to "Republic of China" for Taiwan. Of course they were assuming a knowledge of history and political geography among the readership, or maybe it was a matter of "ok, we'll show you, you nitpickers . . . "

Does anyone in the West still use "ROC" instead of "Taiwan"?

 

Too be honest, I wan't aware of the acronym 'ROC.' Does Nicolas Cage live there?

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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post
 

 

Given they voted in the KMT it appears that most people don't want to change that.  2016 folks will see if that changes.


Yes. But it does't matter who wins, some will still want to change away from ROC.

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"The Republic of China"...also previously repeatedly called "the Far East"?

Is it that difficult to just write "China" or give the specific city? So much fluff and story padding is just juvenile.

First of all, "The Republic of China" is not China, but Taiwan. China is "The People's Republic Of China", or PRC. The author obviously used this term instead of using Taiwan twice right next to each other in the same sentence. Next geography lesson, the Far East refers to the entire region of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, North and South Korea, South East Asia, Japan., etc. Basically where the overwhelming majority of electronics manufacturing and assembly takes place for the entire world. So is used as a general term when referring to the entire region. Which in the case of Apple products is most accurate as almost all the major countries in that mix supply some parts or services for their products. And specifically, when used to identify sources of information, is perfectly appropriate as it implies someone close to the supply chain, versus, for example, some hack analyst here in the US. Lesson over.
post #27 of 32
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post
First of all, "The Republic of China" is not China, but Taiwan.

 

Well, they call themselves China. That pretty much makes them China.

 

Just like Ukraine is Ukraine because they say so, not “The Ukraine”.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think the Taiwanese people would take issue with any suggestion they are a part of China.

Seriously? Wow! You must have failed both geography and history! As an expat living in China, living directly across from Taiwan, and having met and worked with many Taiwanese, I can assure you they most certainly do consider themselves Chinese, and part of China, or they wouldn't call themselves The Republic of China. They just don't consider themselves part of the communist regime. Further, there are now millions of Taiwanese working on the mainland, and millions more who wish they could, as the mainland offers the best job opportunities. The corrupt political system and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few found in Taiwan has actually held back Taiwan's economic development. Whereas successful Taiwanese companies have moved and or grown significant portions of their operations on the mainland. Economically, they are joined at the hip.
post #29 of 32

1. Samsung decide to skip volume production of 20nm and went straight to 14nm ( What TSMC called 16nm ).

2. Initial projection of Samsung 14nm was supposed to be better then TSMC 16nm, hence TSMC has a new node in dev called 16nm+.

3. Apple may have decided on Samsung's 14nm last year, given the much favorable pricing rumored Samsung are giving them.  

4. However Samsung 14nm has yield and performance issues and is likely not meet Apple's target and requirement in time.

5. On the other side collaboration between Apple and TSMC has reached new height, on the new 16nm+, and rumored is 16nm+ is moving faster then expected.

 

Basically the story is Apple wanted 16/14nm for its next next generation of SoC. And will Fab it with whoever gets there first.

post #30 of 32
Parochial Americans are better served when they wander away from years of Cold War ideology and pay attention to local politics in other countries. For example, the US spent decades telling us the Kuomintang was ready to invade and free the Mainland.

Not only absurd; but, that party now is the leading voice to reunite as a great business deal.

Or you can keep on dulling your brain with the dross issued by both Murdoch and Obama.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Seriously? Wow! You must have failed both geography and history! As an expat living in China, living directly across from Taiwan, and having met and worked with many Taiwanese, I can assure you they most certainly do consider themselves Chinese, and part of China, or they wouldn't call themselves The Republic of China. They just don't consider themselves part of the communist regime. Further, there are now millions of Taiwanese working on the mainland, and millions more who wish they could, as the mainland offers the best job opportunities. The corrupt political system and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few found in Taiwan has actually held back Taiwan's economic development. Whereas successful Taiwanese companies have moved and or grown significant portions of their operations on the mainland. Economically, they are joined at the hip.

Interesting. So TSMC is something of an exception? How is it viewed locally? Serious questions. It's fascinating to me that Taiwan has chip fabrication that is competitive with Samsung.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post
The corrupt political system and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few found in Taiwan 

 

And this is different in the PRC how?

Quote:
has actually held back Taiwan's economic development.  

 

No.  Taiwan's growth period was between 1960s and 1990s as one of the four Asian Tigers (HK, Singapore, SK and Taiwan).  They had very high growth rates sustained for decades.  All four are currently advanced economies with much slower growth opportunities because they are developed.

 

The PRC's growth is occurring now and not because of they are any less corrupt or has lower wealth disparity.

 

Taiwan's Gini coefficient is 0.342 vs China's 0.477 in 2011.  0.4 is the predictor level for social unrest.  Of course the PRC is unafraid to call out the PAP and the PLA if necessary but the great worry I would think among the leadership is another cultural revolution should an economic downturn occur.  Like one precipitated by the popping of the housing balloon. 

 
 

As an expat you are somewhat shielded from these events.  Around here there's a bunch of fairly rich Chinese (multi millionaires in USD terms) that have parked their families in the US living the upper middle class lifestyle (vs luxurious in China) because if the SHTF they only need to worry about one airplane ticket out of dodge.

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