Samsung wins contract to build 14-nanometer Apple 'A9' chips - report

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 98
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,381member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mubaili View Post



    Keep your friend close but keep your enemy closer.

     

    And give them billions worth of business? I don't think that was the intent of that quote. 

  • Reply 62 of 98

    You are free to chose your allegiance, but Apple's allegiance is quite simple: whichever manufacturer produces the parts that make the best iPhone.

     

    While Apple would probably move away from Samsung if its parts were on par with competitors, and the competitors had the capacity, and they could still maintain multiple vendors to keep prices and supply risk down, that is an unlikely event for the foreseeable future.  Samsung is not a phone company, they make a lot of things, and one thing they do really well is make chips.

     

    Who cares if Samsung chip making division makes money, while Apple squeezes Samsung phone maker anyway?  Frenemies are a part of life, they are a given.  Google and Apple, Intel and Apple, Samsung and Apple, Microsoft and Apple, all frenemies.  Consumers and all those companies win wherever they find common ground.  Consumers win where they don't.  Its actually surprising that a business as huge, vertical and voracious as Apple actually has a couple big friends, i.e. IBM and Facebook!

  • Reply 63 of 98
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nevermark View Post

     

    You are free to chose your allegiance, but Apple's allegiance is quite simple: whichever manufacturer produces the parts that make the best iPhone.

     

    While Apple would probably move away from Samsung if its parts were on par with competitors, and the competitors had the capacity, and they could still maintain multiple vendors to keep prices and supply risk down, that is an unlikely event for the foreseeable future.  Samsung is not a phone company, they make a lot of things, and one thing they do really well is make chips.

     

    Who cares if Samsung chip making division makes money, while Apple squeezes Samsung phone maker anyway?  Frenemies are a part of life, they are a given.  Google and Apple, Intel and Apple, Samsung and Apple, Microsoft and Apple, all frenemies.  Consumers and all those companies win wherever they find common ground.  Consumers win where they don't.  Its actually surprising that a business as huge, vertical and voracious as Apple actually has a couple big friends, i.e. IBM and Facebook!


    Great post.  My thoughts exactly.  Apples priority is to make the best products possible, and if that means parts from Samsung, then that is what they will do.  They would not "cut off their nose to spite their face", if you will.  

     

    We should assume that Apple has taken great strides in securing their intellectual property when dealing with the Samsung "components side", given the issues of the past.  It isn't perfect, but as you note, that is how business works.  Many companies have different businesses which compete with others, but in order to do business, in many cases they have to work together.  Co-opetition it is called.

     

    Having TMSC as a new partner is great to diversify supply chain, and if they can outperform Samsung, then they will get more business.

  • Reply 64 of 98
    smalmsmalm Posts: 677member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post



    I still do not believe Samsung has any of the A8 business, too complicated to maintain two different fab processes. I think Samsung has 40% of Apple total processor business which include the A7 and A6 in the older phones and Apple is expecting the A8 to be 60% of their business going forward. Not one has turned up any A8 Chips from Samsung



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

     

    The iPhone is not the only device that will have an A8. Samsung could be producing A8s for the iPad.


    If the 2014 iPads get the same A8 as the iPhones then in doesn't make any sense to let Samsung produce A8s.

    If they get an A8X model with a different die layout (e.g. with a GX6650) then it could be produced by Samsung. 

    Seeing it is believing it...

  • Reply 65 of 98
    v900v900 Posts: 101member
    zoffdino wrote: »
    I always wonder how these guys can shrink a process node every year when Intel have so much trouble doing the same. Intel is not a newbie to this game. They have been playing it for 40 years. Is there something that fundamentally makes shrinking an Intel CPU much harder than an ARM one?

    Why would you think Intel is behind?!? They're not. Still have a huge lead in fabs.

    Intel demonstrated a 14nm part and a laptop powered by it something like six months ago. AND they're shipping 14nm parts right now to selected partners. The new under-20nm-parts that TSMC and GF are coming out with now won't be shipping in voloume for a year.

    Keep in mind that Haswell: Intels last 22nm full node was introduced only a year ago. (But was demonstrated around three years ago.) so Intel is also introducing new nodes pretty much every year.

    Intels lead is smaller than it has been, but keep in mind that the smaller the nodes, the harder it gets. Going from 22nm to 14nm as Intel has done, is much, much harder than going from 32 to 28 or 28 to 22.

    Also: The CPUs that Intel is making (high power) are harder to make than the 20nm parts that are used in tablets and cellphones, and which are aiming at low power, lower wattage.

    TSMC, Samsung and Global Foundries have seen their fair share of delays on the way to 14-20nm too. That's why neither AMD not Nvidia have shipped their sub-28nm GPU. And may not for a year or more.
  • Reply 66 of 98
    Besides being tiny, what other thing do people think are in A9?
  • Reply 67 of 98
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,053member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

     

    sog has a habit of insulting people. I'm sure he has been warned repeatedly.

     

    pazuzu skirts the rules by not insulting people. Trolling, apparently, is okay... but, even then, I'm sure there are guidelines.


     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Why was @sog35 banned?

    LOL,

  • Reply 68 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

     

    LOL,


     

    ??????

     

    Is that the comment that you think got him banned?

  • Reply 69 of 98
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

     


     

    That’s an odd font. Do you use custom CSS?

  • Reply 70 of 98
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    pazuzu skirts the rules by not insulting people.

    His constant lies insult me.
    ??????

    Is that the comment that you think got him banned?

    I assume he was joking, but it would be even more funny, in a very sad way, if it was.
  • Reply 71 of 98
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I assume he was joking, but it would be even more funny, in a very sad way, if it was.

     

    I think that fallenjt might have just been using that post as an example to show that sog35 was banned.

  • Reply 72 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    tipoo wrote: »
    Wait what? A8 just jumped a fab process, are you sure A9 will be 14nm? A10 is where I would expect that. 

    The ability to do a process shrink depends upon how fast they can push the foundries along. Rumor has it that TSMC is very far along with 14 mm and then you have the Global Foundries and Samsung tie up. Much of the demand is driven by Apple and the mobile crowd. All three of these players expects to have 14 nam running in early 2015. If this pans out they gave effectively caught up with Intel.

    As for A9 even Apple can't be sure that they will hit 14nm. As such they most likely have contingency plans. It just isn't unreasonable for them to target 14 nam. The payoff is so huge for iPhone that they most likely pay big bucks to be on the bleeding edge. Remember Apple has effectively lapped the entire industry and they can stay ahead if they are aggressive. If you don't think there is a benefit to being on the bleeding edge consider the massive power saving Apple has been able to leverage.

    The other way to look at this is that I can carry around in my pocket a computer more powerful than most I've owned over the years. Apple will not let this advantage disappear.
  • Reply 73 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    foggyhill wrote: »
    Shipping to whom, and what year? 2015. If it is the end of next year, it would be hard for Apple to put in their phones. If they're shipped to Apple, they're still not in the phone and then in the hands of customers.

    I heard early 2015 which I suppose could be the end of 2014. I would imagine Apple would be getting samples soon after. Beyond that shipping can mean many things, it could mean engineering samples or full production.

    The other way to look at this is that TSMC has had 20 nm going for some time now. There is generally a considerable delay between a process being production ready and customers having a stable product.
  • Reply 74 of 98
    Whoever has the better process technology and can deliver sooner is who Apple should be dealing with. I don't care if it's TSMC or Samsung Semiconductor, all I care about is how awesome the A9 processor will be.

    Must feel strange for Samsung Mobile, though. Samsung Semi making processors for Apple that are superior to the ones they make for themselves.

    Actually, Samsung may go to the 14-nanometer architecture for themselves too, but until Android is written for 64-bit, they can't do squat about that aspect. The 14-nanometer architect may help Sammy with their thermal issues because right now they have to back off on full performance quickly because their device begins to overheat in a matter of minutes... and Apple (with their better software design) does not have to throttle performance currently. Of course, 14-nanometer will give Apple even more headroom (along with Metal) to push the envelope further out of reach of Android/ Samsung.

    It amuses me that Apple continues to work in secret to be able to drop software bombs like Metal and Swift onto their competition while keeping their hardware leading edge. (Hardware including their own chip design and battery improvements)

    It's too early to see what may come of Apple Watch refinements flowing back to iDevice improvements. Think of the Apple Watch as a refinement platform for the most far-reaching applied science in design before it's practical for phones and tablets. The same way technology in military once preceded commercial usage. (avionics, GPS, night vision etc.)
  • Reply 75 of 98
    tipoo wrote: »
    Wait what? A8 just jumped a fab process, are you sure A9 will be 14nm? A10 is where I would expect that. 

    Maybe Apple's next chip will be called A10 ... not to let MS get ahead of them in the numbering process. 8-)
  • Reply 76 of 98
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Actually, Samsung may go to the 14-nanometer architecture for themselves too, but until Android is written for 64-bit, they can't do squat about that aspect.

    It's already written for 64 bit. The first Android devices running it with Android L may come as early as this month. IMO no surprise if thy hold off till next month tho.
    http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/phones-tablets/1401595/android-l-5-release-date-preview-features-rumours

    Edit:
    Forgot to mention that there are already entry to mid-level Android phones using 64-bit chipsets. Tho currently running 32-bit versions of Android, owners of those devices can enable 64-bit processing with Android L. Those smartphones, using Qualcomm's 410, 610 and 615 chipsets, include the HTC Desire 510, Lenovo Vibe Z2, Huawei G7, Huawei G621, Lenovo A805e, and Samsung Galaxy Mega 2.

    Premium handsets/tablets using the Denver K1 should be introduced with the official OS update.
  • Reply 77 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    josha wrote: »
    I'm sure Samsung would love to produce a leading edge iPhone CPU for Apple, but why would Apple go back to the company which has been so abusive to Apple?
    Because they haven't been abusive. Remember different divisions here. On top of that the semiconductor relationship with Apple has been a very very successful one. They have literally kept Apple at the forefront tif ARM technology since the arrival of the first iPhone.

    Then again Samsung may be playing nice guy to Apple, just to get back into the iPhone info links.

    Whatever I'm sure Apple will keep enough info from Samsung to limit their copying until at least a few months after a new iPhone model is available.

    Since when has Sansung copied an Apple SoC. They never have. In fact Apple and Samsung teamed up for the first few designs.
  • Reply 78 of 98
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post



    Hard to know where my allegiance should be--Made in America (by Samsung) or Made by TSMC (in Taiwan).



    TSMC just bought a chip foundry in upstate new york.  If that helps your allegiance.

  • Reply 79 of 98
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,140member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    The ability to do a process shrink depends upon how fast they can push the foundries along. Rumor has it that TSMC is very far along with 14 mm and then you have the Global Foundries and Samsung tie up. Much of the demand is driven by Apple and the mobile crowd. All three of these players expects to have 14 nam running in early 2015. If this pans out they gave effectively caught up with Intel.



    As for A9 even Apple can't be sure that they will hit 14nm. As such they most likely have contingency plans. It just isn't unreasonable for them to target 14 nam. The payoff is so huge for iPhone that they most likely pay big bucks to be on the bleeding edge. Remember Apple has effectively lapped the entire industry and they can stay ahead if they are aggressive. If you don't think there is a benefit to being on the bleeding edge consider the massive power saving Apple has been able to leverage.



    The other way to look at this is that I can carry around in my pocket a computer more powerful than most I've owned over the years. Apple will not let this advantage disappear.

     

     

    Hm. Even Intel was having so many problems with 14nm they delayed Broadwell way past its due. If TSMC or Samsung launches it when this says, Intels fabrication process lead may be shrinking. 

  • Reply 80 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    tipoo wrote: »

    Hm. Even Intel was having so many problems with 14nm they delayed Broadwell way past its due. If TSMC or Samsung launches it when this says, Intels fabrication process lead may be shrinking. 

    Shocking if it comes to pass. I don't thnk most people understand how badly Intel fumbled 14 nm.

    A little edit here. The other big thing is that Apple has some very high transistor density in A8 so they may already be close to competitive with Intel.
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