'Top secret' plans for upstate New York chip factory may involve Apple

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
New York state economic development officials have reportedly been pitched plans for a 3.2-million-square-foot chip manufacturing factory that could produce components for Apple's iPhone and iPad.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "seemed to acknowledge" in a radio interview this week that Apple is involved with the "top-secret plan," according to a report by the Albany Times Union. Cuomo was asked on AM 1300 by host Fred Dicker whether recent speculation about Apple's involvement is true.

"We're shopping a lot of different companies at any given time," Cuomo said. "Apple has a lot of competition, obviously, for their location. I don't think they're anywhere yet in the decision-making."

According to the Times Union, the company behind the secretive project is "likely a major Apple supplier." It's believed that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. could be involved in the discussions.

Chips
All of Apple's iDevice chips to date have been manufactured by Samsung in Austin, Tex.


That aligns with persistent reports identifying TSMC as a likely partner for Apple in producing custom ARM chips for the iPhone and iPad. Apple is believed to be looking to move its chip production away from its current partner, Samsung, which makes all of the mobile processors for the iPhone and iPad.

The rumored potential upstate New York location would also indicate that Apple may be looking to keep its mobile chip production inside the U.S. Samsung currently produces Apple's custom ARM chips in Austin, Tex.

The secret Apple customer eyeing upstate New York has reportedly been scouting sites such as the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the city of Malta, as well as Marcy NanoCenter in Oneida County.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider offered an in-depth look into how some of Apple's key component suppliers have begun increasing their U.S.-based production. While Apple is secretive about who supplies specific components for its devices, the trend could indicate that more of the iPhone is already made in America than some people believe.

Cook
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook personally visited a Foxconn factory in China earlier this year.


Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed last week that his company plans to bring production of an entire line of existing Macs to the U.S. in 2013, and that his company is spending $100 million to do so. He also indicated at the All Things D conference in May that he would like it if products like the iPhone were made entirely in America.

"There's an intense focus on the final assembly," Cook said. "Could that be done in the U.S.? I sure hope so."
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,974member
    Does anyone have a list of where the major components for the iPhone/iPad are manufactured? We already know at least some of the A6 chips are made in Texas. What about all the others? I know iPhones and iPads are assembled outside the US but at how many different facilities? What about all the parts for Macs? Where are they manufactured and assembled?

    As for assembly lines, the fact Apple is making it more difficult to repair (iFixit doesn't like this) might actually help bring assembly lines back to the US but simplifying how everything is built. Currently, Apple needs a lot of people with high-dexterity to assemble everything. After seeing the insides of the new iMacs, there isn't much there that has to be assembled by hand. Can the inside be further simplified to require almost no hand assembly?

    As for locating anything in up-state or mid-state NY (not from NY so not sure what the possible areas are called), I'd be worried about winter weather causing shipping problems.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    It doesn't sound like it's that much of a secret if they are writing an article about it.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post



    Does anyone have a list of where the major components for the iPhone/iPad are manufactured? We already know at least some of the A6 chips are made in Texas. What about all the others? I know iPhones and iPads are assembled outside the US but at how many different facilities? What about all the parts for Macs? Where are they manufactured and assembled?

    As for assembly lines, the fact Apple is making it more difficult to repair (iFixit doesn't like this) might actually help bring assembly lines back to the US but simplifying how everything is built. Currently, Apple needs a lot of people with high-dexterity to assemble everything. After seeing the insides of the new iMacs, there isn't much there that has to be assembled by hand. Can the inside be further simplified to require almost no hand assembly?

    As for locating anything in up-state or mid-state NY (not from NY so not sure what the possible areas are called), I'd be worried about winter weather causing shipping problems.


    I'd do the chip plant somewhere that doesn't get drastically messed up weather conditions with cheap land near a decent city.  Arizona? Certain parts of California are still cheap land that is outside of the Bay Area.

  • Reply 4 of 40
    The secret Apple customer eyeing upstate New York has reportedly been scouting sites such as the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the city of Malta, as well as Marcy NanoCenter in Oneida County.

    Malta is only 30 miles away from where IBM's chipfab was that made the G5 for the PM. Oneida is a bit further at 200 miles. What an incredible useless info I'm posting here!
  • Reply 5 of 40
    That would probably be the AMD\GlobalFoundries in Malta NY
  • Reply 6 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bleh1234 View Post



    That would probably be the AMD\GlobalFoundries in Malta NY


     


    Sounds like this is something new though, and the GF plant in Malta is already there.


     


    There's a number of fabs up in the North East, and a great research place.  I spent a couple of happy months working in Albany Nanotech.

  • Reply 7 of 40
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Malta is only 30 miles away from where IBM's chipfab was that made the G5 for the PM. Oneida is a bit further at 200 miles. What an incredible useless info I'm posting here!


     


    Actually, I thought it was very interesting.

  • Reply 8 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post



    Does anyone have a list of where the major components for the iPhone/iPad are manufactured? We already know at least some of the A6 chips are made in Texas. What about all the others? I know iPhones and iPads are assembled outside the US but at how many different facilities? What about all the parts for Macs? Where are they manufactured and assembled?


     


    Well someone will have a list!


     


    The processors for Macs will be coming out of Portland, OR and Chandler, AZ, although that's where the chips are made, they're then shipped off to China where they are packaged (the chips cut out of the wafers, wire bonding done and packaged).


     


    Memory for Apple will be coming from all over the place.  I think they get some Flash from IMFT, so Lehi, UT and Singapore.  They'll get a lot of memory (I think Flash, but certainly DRAM) from Samsung in Suwon, South Korea.


     


    Not sure who makes their screens for them.  I think I read Samsung do some of them.  Can't for the life of me remember where Samsungs display manufacturing is.  I think it's Cheonan, but I'm not 100% sure.

  • Reply 9 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    I'd do the chip plant somewhere that doesn't get drastically messed up weather conditions with cheap land near a decent city.  Arizona? Certain parts of California are still cheap land that is outside of the Bay Area.



    1) Processor shipping isnt as regular as shipping the final product is. They probably have shipments going out weekly, if not even less frequently, simply because you have massive wafers which contain millions of chips. There simply isn't that much to ship.


     


    2) Fab locations will be based on (a) areas close to where highly qualified people, who will guaranteed receive a ton of offers from different companies want to live and work and (b) close to really good research institutions. Weather will be a minuscule part of the equation.

  • Reply 10 of 40
    This is interesting to me because a couple of months ago someone posted a link to an MSNBC clip of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand talking about Big Flats, NY being the next silicon valley. I called complete bullshit on this because she made it sound like there were a bunch of tech companies in the area already, but now seeing this story I am wondering if she is actually right about there being a boom around my area.
    Big Flats, NY for those interested is in between Elmira, NY (Home of Mark Twain amongst other things) and Corning, NY (yes Corning, the company that makes Gorilla Glass.)
  • Reply 11 of 40
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    IBM still makes a lot of sense to me.

    GloFo seems less likely, as they have a lousy track record producing chips for AMD, but you never know.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    Central Florida. There is plenty of land in the middle of nowhere that apple could buy for cheap. They'd be a couple of hours outside of Miami.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    jmc54jmc54 Posts: 195member


    curious place for industry as that has to be one of the most business unfriendly places in the country in terms of taxes, regulation and weather!!!

  • Reply 14 of 40
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmc54 View Post


    curious place for industry as that has to be one of the most business unfriendly places in the country in terms of taxes, regulation and weather!!!



     


    Right, which is why Apple's headquarters is in business-friendly North Dakota rather than someplace like California. 

  • Reply 15 of 40
    jmc54jmc54 Posts: 195member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


     


    Right, which is why Apple's headquarters is in business-friendly North Dakota rather than someplace like California. 



    at least they have the weather!!

  • Reply 16 of 40
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,667member
    What difference does it make where components are made? If some smart guy comes up with an enhanced battery that gives Apple 2X run times does it really matter if the battery is built in New York, Brazil or Cambodia?
    rob53 wrote: »
    Does anyone have a list of where the major components for the iPhone/iPad are manufactured? We already know at least some of the A6 chips are made in Texas. What about all the others? I know iPhones and iPads are assembled outside the US but at how many different facilities? What about all the parts for Macs? Where are they manufactured and assembled?
    Again why are you getting all worked up over where the parts come from? I really don't understand this mentality as it puts real limits on what Apple can produce and how they can innovate. More so I'm not sure why this is all of a sudden an issue as Samsungs plants have been operating in the USA for a very long time now.
    As for assembly lines, the fact Apple is making it more difficult to repair (iFixit doesn't like this) might actually help bring assembly lines back to the US but simplifying how everything is built. Currently, Apple needs a lot of people with high-dexterity to assemble everything.
    That statement is down right racists. The only issue Apple, Foxconn or TSMC would have with locating in the USA is avoiding states with endemic poor work ethic.
    After seeing the insides of the new iMacs, there isn't much there that has to be assembled by hand. Can the inside be further simplified to require almost no hand assembly?
    Give me a break, Apple has been improving the mechanical design of its hardware for at least the past 5 years. It is evolution more than anything.
    As for locating anything in up-state or mid-state NY (not from NY so not sure what the possible areas are called), I'd be worried about winter weather causing shipping problems.
    Yep that can happen. However those locations aren't really that bad. Besides when the weather gets bad there isn't much more to do than to work or ride snowmobiles. The fact is that the weather has never stopped upstate communities from shipping in high volume all over the world. For a long time Rochester NY was one of the biggest exporting regions in the country. Weather can be bad but you don't get whipped out like coastal areas often do.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    A) Weren't the PowerPC chips made in Fishkill which is 2 hours from Malta, not 30 miles.
    B) Oneida, nor Oneida County, are NOT 200 miles away from the Albany Region.
    C) I wouldn't put any money into a chip factory in Big Flats, Horseheads or Elmira. The people down there are a special kind of kooky. I dated a girl from Elmira. Bunny boiler-type.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    All this story needs is the DigiTimes seal of approval.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    macvertigo wrote: »
    Central Florida. There is plenty of land in the middle of nowhere that apple could buy for cheap. They'd be a couple of hours outside of Miami.

    LOL. Apple doesn't want to be in the news every day over a story about some klan dude who got his penis bitten off by an angry chimp while baking meth in his lab. And the only reason to mention Apple? It happened adjacent to Apple's shiny new plant in Central Florida.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by metfuel View Post



    This is interesting to me because a couple of months ago someone posted a link to an MSNBC clip of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand talking about Big Flats, NY being the next silicon valley. I called complete bullshit on this because she made it sound like there were a bunch of tech companies in the area already, but now seeing this story I am wondering if she is actually right about there being a boom around my area.

    Big Flats, NY for those interested is in between Elmira, NY (Home of Mark Twain amongst other things) and Corning, NY (yes Corning, the company that makes Gorilla Glass.)


     


    The Gorilla Glass is supposedly made in the US. 

Sign In or Register to comment.