Samsung still reportedly supplying 40% of Apple A8 chips for iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

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  • Reply 21 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

    ...two foundries at the same time for the same chip.... This means that Apple has the foundries competing for its business in a way that no other chip designer does.

    It also makes Apple somewhat more resilient to natural disasters. Remember the great hard drive shortage of a few years ago?  Eggs and baskets, etc.

  • Reply 22 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     

    It also makes Apple somewhat more resilient to natural disasters. Remember the great hard drive shortage of a few years ago?  Eggs and baskets, etc.


    Good point about natural disasters. I don't know where TSMC is manufacturing the A8. Most of their foundries are located in Taiwan which experiences a lot of  typhoons.

  • Reply 23 of 50

    Do not believe it, unless Samsung's and TSMC processes are the same and they are using the same lithography the A8 chips will not perform the same way and would require extra work to make both chip designs work the same way in the phones. Many companies use two or mor fabs to make chips but they usually the same companies fabs and all the processes are exactly the same. I seen issue where a company builds a part in one fab moves it to another only to have the second fab part not work the same as the first.

     

    Unless they can show conclusive evidence that Apple using both part in the iphone I call it BS. At most they may put one chip from one fab in one product and different one in the another product like i6 on TSMC and i6+ has Samsung. I highly doubt Apple would risk using both in the same product. This is not normal engineering practices and SOC are far too complicated to fully test two different fabs at the same time.

  • Reply 24 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shompa View Post



    No other company designs 2 different designs of the same chip.

    Apple cant take the A8 designs from TSMC and just have Samsung start to manufacture them. No: Apple needs to do a different design/tapeout/validation and so on.



    So its hightly unlikley that this will happen.



    More likely is this:

    Samsung get to manufacture A8X for iPad continue to manufacture A7. Maybe even a 20nm A7 for AppleTV take4.



    A bit of topic: Apple should have bought a foundry instead of burning 50 billions on buying its own shares and burn them. IBM sold its plant recently.

    With an own foundry Apple could control its destiny totally.





    Apple should also buy Nvidia since Apple cant buy PowerVR/Img. Nvidias ARM GPU is almost twice as fast as A8 6core PowerVR. Nvidia also have the best workstation GPUs (for macPro), fastest desktop GPUs (for iMacs) and fast laptop GPUs. Would fit Apple perfect beside that Nvidias CEO would demand a role at Apple.



    your last points basically undermined any logic you had in the first part.

     

    Samsung is already rumored on a future chip... it was discussed as the A9, but the 8x could be it.  However, given the enormity of the iPhone 6 


    • Every release is larger and larger, dual sources of the same/similar die is critical for risk reduction.

    • This is a serious "hard to predict" release.  with the increased screen size, and getting back 'switchers' from Android who bought only due to screen size, and the retirement of the 3.5" form factor, it will be hard to guess which size (the 5/6/6p) they choose.... It could be 40 Million or 60 Million.  Having a 2nd vendor who is purely 'overflow' for initial release volumes and then migrate to the 8x/9,having dual sources covers initial and comet's tail builds, and has both vendors ready for the next and the next-next release of technologies (which will continue to get larger, and more time critical for that Sep-January sales period).

    • as stated in my prior note.  unit pricing/quality/proof-of-viable-competion will drive unit million pricing way down. Every Dollar Apple saves on driving the A8/M8/S8 chip costs is $100Million in earnings.  Bottom Line savings = Profits.  This is Tim Cook's wheelhouse. 

     

    As for buying a foundry, That's like investing in a Aircraft Carrier.  Huge up front costs, multi-year planning, high manpower costs, and you need to retrofit or scrap every few years.  Better to hire someone else to take on that risk with planning, skills and other uses.  I mean, 20nm technology will be great for years to come, but for Apple, it's only useful for 4 years.  And apple isn't going to sublet, or sell to other companies....   It's defocusing noise for Apple to do that.  And in about 10 years, the entire industry will need to start the move off of CMOS anyway.  hardly a long term play.

     

    Nvidia.  nope.  Tell me where Apple's graphics are 'slow'  Not in bench marks, but in real world use.   You're trying to solve a spec problem.   Apple is trying to solve a packaging problem.   Yes, Nvidia's chips are fast, but at what cost?   If apple needs that speed for workstations (10s of millions of sales a year) they can buy it from Nvidia.  At an order of magnitude higher order, it doesn't need that speed as much as it needs the power envelope, and is using Metal to improve that problem (every hardware problem is really a software problem, anyway).   Avoid paying a premium (over $10Billon?) for Nvidia?  They spent $5M on 3.6% on Imagination Technologies 6 years ago... That seems to have worked out pretty well...

  • Reply 25 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     

    It also makes Apple somewhat more resilient to natural disasters. Remember the great hard drive shortage of a few years ago?  Eggs and baskets, etc.


     

    The issue with the HDD industry was not the fact WD factory was under water is was the fact that all their suppliers including Seagate and Hitachi Supplier was all located in Thailand. It was lesson in not having all your sub supplier located around your factory, the failure of lean manufacturing and kanban, today the HDD industry has spread out is supplier so it does not happen again.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

     

    Good point about natural disasters. I don't know where TSMC is manufacturing the A8. Most of their foundries are located in Taiwan which experiences a lot of  typhoons.


    Actually TSMC has Fab is various locations, and most companies deal this issue by have to physically different locations build parts, one in Taiwan and somewhere else in the world.

  • Reply 26 of 50
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,381member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bitemymac View Post

     

    Either way, I am glad to own an iphone 6 right now.  Perhaps we should thank Samsung for making this possible along with apple now supporting larger screen iphones.  I would've skipped the upgrade if it weren't for the larger screen.  This is a great example and study case of corporate competitions benefiting the consumers, where both companies are challenging each other for the technical excellence.

     

    BTW, I've only own iphones & ipads.  Only thing Sammy in my house is a large screen TV.


     

    Sorry, I call bullshit. I think it's extremely unreasonable to believe Apple would have stuck with the same screen size forever if Samsung did not exist, especially since EVERY other OEM also sells larger phones. It has nothing to do with competition. Samsung didn't make anything "possible", nor have they really contributed anything to the smartphone space, at least that Apple has incorporated into its own products. Expanding the iPhone lineup as it matured was inevitable. People were bitching about size way back since the iPhone 4, so if Apple was doing this as a reaction, we would have had larger phones years ago. No, Apple made this move now because the technology was at the level where it needed to be, and because they were ready to do so from a software, developer, and ecosystem point of view. It's extremely superficial, and lazy, to conclude that Apple did this as a reaction to anything Samsung has done, who has been selling larger phones than Apple since the iPhone 3G. Apple is sticking to its own roadmap, not that of anyone else. 

  • Reply 27 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post



    Fascinating… I wonder if any other chip designer uses two foundries at the same time for the same chip. I kind of doubt it given the large investment of time and money to tailor a design to a particular foundry's process.



    This means that Apple has the foundries competing for its business in a way that no other chip designer does. Everyone else has to deal with a certain amount of lock in with their foundry partner.

    It's not that common, but it happens.

     

    Chartered Fab 7 was the primary fab for XBox 360 processors, but a bunch were made in IBM East Fishkill as well.

  • Reply 28 of 50
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member

    I've often wondered what a "lion's share" was - never having gotten a look at the lions' contract -

    So now we've nailed it down at 60%?   Sneaky lions...

     

    Apple often does this though, and you really can't often expect them to be able to use just one supplier,

    especially at a major release...

     

    I think I recall a big to-do about the MBAir a few years ago, and Samsung vs. Toshiba components?

    Funnily enough, I think it was still early enough that folks were clamoring for the Sammy parts that time :wow:.

  • Reply 29 of 50
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

     

    I like the idea. Samsung A8 is made in the USA. They pay US taxes, Texas taxes, support American jobs, and keep chipmaker expertise here in the USA. They also must comply with US environmental regulations. I don't care who owns the factory, it is better for the USA that they are made here. I wish more parts could be made here.


     

    TSMC has a 8" wafer fab in Camas Washington with 1100 workers.  They are producing the A8 with one of their primary 12" fabs in Taiwan (Fab 14).

     

    It could be they are nosing around NY to open a new 12" advanced fab but so far it's rumors of a job fair.

  • Reply 30 of 50

    Samsung is going to be supplying memory and flash chips in the apple watches as well aren't they?

  • Reply 31 of 50

    Apple just does not have skills of making the chips themselves.

  • Reply 32 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    Sorry, I call bullshit. I think it's extremely unreasonable to believe Apple would have stuck with the same screen size forever if Samsung did not exist, especially since EVERY other OEM also sells larger phones. It has nothing to do with competition. Samsung didn't make anything "possible", nor have they really contributed anything to the smartphone space, at least that Apple has incorporated into its own products. Expanding the iPhone lineup as it matured was inevitable. People were bitching about size way back since the iPhone 4, so if Apple was doing this as a reaction, we would have had larger phones years ago. No, Apple made this move now because the technology was at the level where it needed to be, and because they were ready to do so from a software, developer, and ecosystem point of view. It's extremely superficial, and lazy, to conclude that Apple did this as a reaction to anything Samsung has done, who has been selling larger phones than Apple since the iPhone 3G. Apple is sticking to its own roadmap, not that of anyone else. 


    You don't work in the field of economics, business, & management, correct?

     

    Most companies modify/alter strategies to be competitive everyday, even Apple.  And competitions speed up progress.  

     

    But you may be right about Apple?

  • Reply 33 of 50
    Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

    Apple just does not have skills of making the chips themselves.

     

    If by ‘skills’ you mean ‘established infrastructure, manpower, and access to raw materials’, I’ll agree with you. If you mean anything else, what are you smoking?

  • Reply 34 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    If by ‘skills’ you mean ‘established infrastructure, manpower, and access to raw materials’, I’ll agree with you. If you mean anything else, what are you smoking?


    Are Apple familiar with how to actually manufacture CPUs? I know they've got a lot of chip design people, but do they have expert lithographic engineers too?

  • Reply 35 of 50
    The bright side Samsung lost 60% of the build process
  • Reply 36 of 50
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    I hope Apple sticks it to Sammy on the supply chain side. We all know it can't be done cold turkey. C'mon Sammy competitors, step up your collective game.
  • Reply 37 of 50

    I'd rather wait a couple of more months than have an iPhone with a Samsung component in it.

  • Reply 38 of 50

    I agree I would rather support Apple's effort to generate jobs in US.

  • Reply 39 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    If by ‘skills’ you mean ‘established infrastructure, manpower, and access to raw materials’, I’ll agree with you. If you mean anything else, what are you smoking?


     

    Apple designs the chips but does not possess the technical skills of making them.

  • Reply 40 of 50
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    If by ‘skills’ you mean ‘established infrastructure, manpower, and access to raw materials’, I’ll agree with you. If you mean anything else, what are you smoking?


    Pretty obvious he meant the former, so why the outrage of the unknown latter?

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