Samsung ramps up A5 production in Texas; iOS 5.0.1 tweak may aid Siri ports

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Samsung began full-scale production of Apple's A5 processor at a new facility in Austin, Texas, this month, while hackers are claiming that Apple's recent tweaks to iOS 5.0.1 could open up legal ways to port the Siri voice assistant feature to other iOS devices.



A5 in Texas



Reuters reports that Apple's South Korean component supplier reached full production at its 1.6 million square-foot factory earlier this month. Though Samsung reportedly began producing A5 processors at the plant earlier in the year, the company only recently reached full capacity.



"Nearly all of the output of the non-memory chip production from the factory?is dedicated to producing Apple chips," a source told the publication.



Samsung already produced NAND Flash memory chips at the facility. The report claims the new production line cost $3.6 billion to build, while the company's total investment in Texas amounts to roughly $9 billion. Samsung's only other non-memory logic chip factory is located in South Korea.



A Samsung spokeswoman told Reuters that 1,100 jobs had been added for the new production line, which can generate up to 40,000 silicon wafers a month.



Apple introduced the A5 chip with the iPad 2 in March, eventually adding it to its iPhone line with the release of the iPhone 4S in October. The chip reportedly cost $25 to build, though volume production is believed to have brought the price down to around $15, roughly in line with prices of competing chips.







Rumors had suggested that Apple would transition away from dealing with Samsung because its relationship with the company had soured. Though Apple is set to become Samsung's biggest component customer this year, it is also locked in a fierce legal battle with the company over patents related to smartphones and tablets. However, Apple has reportedly signed deals for the next-generation A6 processor, believed to be a quad-core model, with both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung.



iOS 5.0.1 and Siri



Recent changes to iOS 5.0.1 by Apple may have paved the way for a fully legal port of Siri from the iPhone 4S to other devices, Cult of Mac reports. The Cupertino, Calif., company quietly updated iOS 5.0.1 to build 9A406 without specifying what changes had been made.



Well-known jailbreak hacker MuscleNerd revealed on Thursday that the update allowed a user to collect the files needed for a Siri port without having to break Apple's copyright, the report noted.



"It?s the first public 4S ipsw where the main filesystem keys are obtainable (due to non-encrypted ramdisks),? he said.



But, given that Siri requires communication with Apple's servers to function, it's not immediately clear whether a port of the virtual voice assistant would fit within all applicable terms of service and license agreements for the device in question.



A number of members of the jailbreak community have been hard at work trying to port Siri to other devices. In late October, two hackers claimed to have gotten a limited functionality version of Siri working on a jailbroken iPhone 4 and iPod touch. Doing so, however, required custom information from an iPhone 4S device. Also, Apple has warned that jailbreaking an iOS device may void its warranty.







Apple released Siri as an exclusive feature for the iPhone 4S after acquiring the app last April. The Siri team has since grown to become one of the largest development teams at the company.



Full Siri functionality may also require minor hardware modifications. A teardown of the iPhone 4S revealed that the proximity sensor on the handset has a new infrared component built to work with Siri's raise-to-speak feature.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Small government = low taxes.

    Low taxes = business investment (Samsung!).

    Business investment = jobs.



    Go Texas!
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Never mind I jumped the gun
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Small government = low taxes.

    Low taxes = business investment (Samsung!).

    Business investment = jobs.



    Go Texas!



    You write like a Jerry Lewis telethon poster child for the GOP.



    Low Taxes do not == business investment.



    The US is at an historical low in Business Taxes going back 50+ years and we also are at a low in domestic business investment.



    Non-linear dynamic market analysis where bifurcations occur through the advent of exploiting 3rd world nations economic weaknesses occurs irrespective of the tax levels for businesses in a mature, economically strong world power.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Small government = low taxes.

    Low taxes = business investment (Samsung!).

    Business investment = jobs.



    Go Texas!



    Couldn't bring yourself to say 'Go Samsung', could you.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Great ! cheap factory to be bought by Apple when its main customer Apple will stop buying the production, thereby making the factory of no interest ... except for Apple ...
  • Reply 6 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member
    How long till A5 clones start showing up in Samsung products?
  • Reply 7 of 42
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post


    Great ! cheap factory to be bought by Apple when its main customer Apple will stop buying the production, thereby making the factory of no interest ... except for Apple ...



    With people already complaining that too much of hi tech production is outsourced to developing economies, it may be a bit of a PR bonus for Apple to be helping create US based jobs. Pulling out of this as long as A5s are still being used may be a PR disater in the making. I think it is in Apple's best interest to use the Texas factory for this product as long as possible.



    If Apple want to eliminate Samsung parts from their products better to start elsewhere.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    Anyone else thinking there is a chance the A5 will be in the iPad 3?
  • Reply 9 of 42
    jack99jack99 Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post


    Great ! cheap factory to be bought by Apple when its main customer Apple will stop buying the production, thereby making the factory of no interest ... except for Apple ...





    And you know this will happen how?





    Leave the business speculation to the adults. Seriously.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    Since I got my new iPhone 4S some days ago, I've been really frustrated with the signal problems, no sim card or invalid sim card errors, to the point I was going to return it to the US for a replacement, and I live in Colombia, South America, so for me returning an iPhone is a painfully process, it can take like a month or two and I have to pay the shipment costs. Yesterday I read about this new iOS 5.0.1 build so I thought maybe this was the last chance to get a fix for the problem that basically make my iPhone an iPod. I did a full restore downloading the complete 5.0.1 firmware from iTunes, no OTA updates or anything like that. Then I restored the iPhone from my backup, and for my surprise all the problems disappeared. Now it is working perfectly. I don't know if it has to do with this new 5.0.1 build but for me was the ultimate solution, now my iPod 4S is again an iPhone 4S.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    Anyone else thinking there is a chance the A5 will be in the iPad 3?



    Well it is in the ipad2 so either it is still in the ipad3 or something better
  • Reply 12 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,877member
    Given Siri is server side technology I would think Apple have ways of deciding what hardware will gain access regardless of hackers porting it to non supported devices. If another device works it is only because Apple haven't (yet) closed off that device's access surely?



    Regarding A5 .... where is the speculation of an A6 in iPad 3? Meanwhile I am surprised Apple continue such developments with Samsung. The way that partnership is going I wouldn't hold out for a very long term relationship.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Given Siri is server side technology I would think Apple have ways of deciding what hardware will gain access regardless of hackers porting it to non supported devices. If another device works it is only because Apple haven't (yet) closed off that device's access surely?



    Regarding A5 .... where is the speculation of an A6 in iPad 3? Meanwhile I am surprised Apple continue such developments with Samsung. The way that partnership is going I wouldn't hold out for a very long term relationship.



    I believe that to be the case. Logically, it makes the most sense.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    Anyone else thinking there is a chance the A5 will be in the iPad 3?



    It seems that the geek world is constantly wanting more processing power, faster speeds, more Ram, better GPU. But all this comes at a price ... it all takes more power, and battery life falls off quickly. In the mobile world, battery life is a major issue.



    My opinion is that the quad core of A6 has merit on a small die size as that is also power saving. Also 4s is being hyped at 200 million ... that's lots of A5 chips. iPad2 is not going to go away anytime soon either. The future is in software and SIRI ... just watch and wait
  • Reply 15 of 42
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    Why can't Apple outsource the chip production to a US based company like IBM or Intel? After all Samsung is building the chips in the US anyway. Allowing Samsung to build proprietary chips just gives them an insight into Apple's technology, IPRs, etc. Samsung is more than willing to rip off Apple's tech as we have seen.



    Doing biz with Samsung even with commodity products allowed them to achieve economies of scale with Apple as a customer. Then Samsung can produce components for its pirated products at a minimal incremental cost.



    Need multiple suppliers diversified geographically and politically. Same with assembly.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by madhatter61 View Post


    It seems that the geek world is constantly wanting more processing power, faster speeds, more Ram, better GPU. But all this comes at a price ... it all takes more power, and battery life falls off quickly. In the mobile world, battery life is a major issue.



    My opinion is that the quad core of A6 has merit on a small die size as that is also power saving. Also 4s is being hyped at 200 million ... that's lots of A5 chips. iPad2 is not going to go away anytime soon either. The future is in software and SIRI ... just watch and wait



    since when is battery life a major issue where Apple is concerned? They out do the entire electronics industry on battery life and that remains true generation after generation. The 4S has the best battery life of any iPhone yet (despite the wild fantasies of a few irritating bloggers), and the iPad is simply ridiculous.



    The A6 powered devices of 2012 will be twice as fast as what we own now, with higher resolution displays, and as good or better battery life. How's that for awesome?
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    Why can't Apple outsource the chip production to a US based company like IBM or Intel? After all Samsung is building the chips in the US anyway. Allowing Samsung to build proprietary chips just gives them an insight into Apple's technology, IPRs, etc. Samsung is more than willing to rip off Apple's tech as we have seen.



    Doing biz with Samsung even with commodity products allowed them to achieve economies of scale with Apple as a customer. Then Samsung can produce components for its pirated products at a minimal incremental cost.



    Need multiple suppliers diversified geographically and politically. Same with assembly.



    Errr.....





    Intel manufacture in India.

    IBM... do they still make stuff? If they do it'll be in China or Korea.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    You know the mentioned 3.6B for the cost of the factory is awful close to the 3.9B "strategic investments" Cook spoke of earlier this year. Maybe this is what he was talking about.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Samsung began full-scale production of Apple's A5 processor at a new facility in Austin, Texas, this month,



    If Samsung thinks that Texas is a good place to build a factory, why does Apple use Chinese slave labor?



    C'mon Apple! America has given you everything. Stop treating America like dogshit!
  • Reply 20 of 42
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    Why can't Apple outsource the chip production to a US based company like IBM or Intel?



    Because all that Apple cares about is money.
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