Steve Jobs: it's time we design our own iPhone and iPod chips

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  • Reply 41 of 95
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jwdawso View Post


    Apple is probably designing a family of iPhones, and their release dates will correspond to when they are ready, not a anniversary. In the case of the 3G iPhone, the key component appears to be the optimized 3G chips. I think that more was influential on the release data, not the anniversary.



    I don't see anything that suggests that unless you mean not sticking with the exact same day every year. Apple has been releasing most of their major iPod updates on a regular annual schedule for about four years now. It looks to me that Apple will keep a similar heartbeat with the iPhone.



    That the 3G model wasn't released on the exact same date really isn't that significant significant, as Apple's iPod update events varied by plus or minus a month anyway. I see nothing that would suggest that they'll release a significant variant or design change outside that annual schedule.



    I count this spring's capacity increase as a minor variation as that amounts to substituting different memory chips, there was no redesign or other apparent change.
  • Reply 42 of 95
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    This absolutely has to be the greatest leap to conclusions that I have ever seen speculated upon:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Industry heavyweights Samsung Electronics and Intel Corp. were dealt a considerable blow earlier this week when Apple chief executive Steve Jobs revealed that his company will start developing its own chips to power the next-generation of Multi-Touch devices.








    Note what Steve Jobs actually said below. He said a few months ago that they have always been involved in the design and some one else fabs the chip. Since PA Semi is a fabless shop, Apple bought them for engineering prowess. These chips still have to be fabbed by someone like Samsung or TI.



    Steve Jobs did not say that they would no longer collaborate with 3rd parties.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    "PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods,"



    -snip-



    But as Jobs explained to the Wall Street Journal two months ago, Apple has always been integral in the design of chips used in iPhones and iPods even though they were developed by third parties like Samsung.





    Does anyone else see that this is a huge leap to conclusions not supported by the facts? To declare this a considerable blow to Samsung and Intel based on these facts is ludicrous, or in other words sensationalism!
  • Reply 43 of 95
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,321member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    This absolutely has to be the greatest leap to conclusions that I have ever seen speculated upon:



    Note what Steve Jobs actually said below. He said a few months ago that they have always been involved in the design and some one else fabs the chip. Since PA Semi is a fabless shop, Apple bought them for engineering prowess. These chips still have to be fabbed by someone like Samsung or TI.



    Steve Jobs did not say that they would no longer collaborate with 3rd parties.



    Does anyone else see that this is a huge leap to conclusions not supported by the facts? To declare this a considerable blow to Samsung and Intel based on these facts is ludicrous, or in other words sensationalism!



    Yes, it is trash journalism unfortunately. I'm sure it'll generate some click traffic for AppleInsider, but I wish to heck they could reign in deceptive leads and stories.
  • Reply 44 of 95
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fleshman03 View Post


    How about this:



    They build a manufacturing plant in America and allows Americans to finally build the chips?



    Why? Because things are designed in Cupertino?
  • Reply 45 of 95
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,321member
    I find the entire (real) story quite exciting, personally. Glad to see the iron hand of Cap'n Jobs on the wheel to make sure none of the suppliers dictate the tack of the vessel Apple.



    I can imagine the tales that will one day be told of Teh Steve's swashbuckling adventures at Apple.... oh, wait a second... that's Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Reply 46 of 95
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post


    What could Apple possibly do on it's own that the larger chip makers couldn't duplicate? My problem now is that my brain might be too weak to understand what Apple has in mind. Ultra-low power processors is one possibility. Attempting to fit whole iPhone and iPod circuits on a single chip? Apple really seems to be trying to leave the smartphone industry in the dust. RIM keeps saying they have nothing to worry about from the iPhone. RIM's people must have balls of steel.



    And there's also the issue of make powerful but energy efficient graphics processors. If Apple is going to expand the "touch" line to larger tablets/slate handheld computers they are going to need more powerful graphics processsing to run the larger screens. Are the current chips used in the iPhone/iPod touch scalable to a screen 2-3 times larger? A single chip that can handle CPU and graphics (HD quality h.264 decode) and is power efficient will be even more critical since you'll need every milliwatt you can spare to help run the larger screen.
  • Reply 47 of 95
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I can see the logic behind this move. Cram as much proprietary technology as possible into the iPhone so that it doesn't become another Razor.



    Hope they can find someone to fab those chips. Not so sure Intel would be interested. I imagine they're a bit hurt that Atom won't get the chance to power future iPhones.



    Chances are anyone will fab the chip. Don't forget Nvidia "the biggest GPU manufacturer in the world" is a fabless company. They use IBM and Intel for their fabrication depending on what direction the wind is blowing.



    Even though the company "was" in the midst of designing "so called PPC" RISC processors; that isn't why Apple bought them, and does not mean that is what they need them for. Don't forget Apple sold ARM while Apple was still developing prototype hand held devices in house. ARM and PPC technology have very little importance in what Apple is using them for.
  • Reply 48 of 95
    abarafiabarafi Posts: 3member
    What has made it possible for companies to design new products in weeks or months - instead of years - is precisely the availability of ICs designed to meet the needs of an industry rather than one company. I think SJ is going backwards. Remember when Apple had an extreme case of NIH? What differentiates one company from another is not proprietary ICs - it's functions and form. The iPhone had no new wireless modalities - what it had was a different look and feel. You don't need proprietary ICs to achieve that. History shows that companies with vertical organization who were captive markets for their own ICs could not ultimately compete successfully with those who used more commodity-priced, openly available ICs, and made their products distinctive with innovative functional choices and designs.
  • Reply 49 of 95
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Still, there's hope for chip makers like Samsung and Intel in that that Apple will still need to rely on a third party to manufacture the chips it develops on its own, given that PA Semi doesn't own a fabrication facility. It's also possible that the PA Semi team could build onto chip designs initially conceived by one of the semiconductor giants. That's of course assuming Jobs and Co. don't have an even bigger plan brewing to somehow serve as its own SoC manufacturer.



    Was this paragraph always here? If so I blew my reading comprehension test for the day.
  • Reply 50 of 95
    kukitokukito Posts: 113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    Chances are anyone will fab the chip. Don't forget Nvidia "the biggest GPU manufacturer in the world" is a fabless company. They use IBM and Intel for their fabrication depending on what direction the wind is blowing.



    nVidia uses TSMC.
  • Reply 51 of 95
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    Chances are anyone will fab the chip. Don't forget Nvidia "the biggest GPU manufacturer in the world" is a fabless company. They use IBM and Intel for their fabrication depending on what direction the wind is blowing.



    Even though the company "was" in the midst of designing "so called PPC" RISC processors; that isn't why Apple bought them, and does not mean that is what they need them for. Don't forget Apple sold ARM while Apple was still developing prototype hand held devices in house. ARM and PPC technology have very little importance in what Apple is using them for.



    Good points.



    Let me rephrase my thinking here. Apple need to find a good partner to do the fabbing of these chips to power iPods and iPhones. In the case of the iPhone they need a partner willing to keep up with Intel in the smaller fabbing process. They can't afford to partner with someone who stops at 45nm while Intel keep pushing things smaller. This does worry me a little. Not many are able to keep up with Intel in the chip fab business. At this point Apple and Intel are now competitors because Atom chips at 35nm will likely start showing up in competing smart phones.
  • Reply 52 of 95
    iq78iq78 Posts: 256member
    Q. What would Apple lose if they licensed their OS to other PC makers?



    A. Hardware market share.





    However, what if Apple did the following:



    Optimized OSX on Intel based machines such that it beat the crap out of Vista (even more so than it already is.)



    Optimized OSX for Apple proprietary hardware using specialized chipsets designed to accelerate CoreTechnologies (Core Animation, etc) and other heavy tasks. So that OSX ran way fast on Apple specific hardware.



    Could Apple then license their OS to Dell, HP, etc.? Basically, get the OS into a lot more people's hands, and then let it be clear that OSX best hardware platform is Apple's via their proprietary enhanced chip sets that is fully supported in OSX?



    This way they could actually increase hardware share rather than lose it, and increase OS marketshare through the roof.



    Summary:

    The only way Apple could license out OSX to other hardware vendors, is if they can be sure of a *positive* distinction between Mac's and PCs. Could enhanced chip sets for graphics/processing specific to OSX be the answer to this?



    Probably not... but it's a thought.
  • Reply 53 of 95
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by abarafi View Post


    History shows that companies with vertical organization who were captive markets for their own ICs could not ultimately compete successfully with those who used more commodity-priced, openly available ICs, and made their products distinctive with innovative functional choices and designs.



    Please give a few examples.
  • Reply 54 of 95
    I think this is about getting exactly what Apple wants rather than compromising with existing chips. I suspect Apple wants to reduce the power consumption and size of several of the chips needed for their portable products.



    I'll bet that many of the things Apple wants out of its chips are possible with current technology, but that the bigger companies (samsung, intel) don't want to do the design work because it's not cost effective at the small volumes that Apple needs - no one else would need that exact combination of requirements, so it makes sense for them to design more generic chip sets. It's probably cheaper for Apple to do the design in house than pay them.



    Also, doing chip design in-house does not mean they have to start from scratch. They may license several existing complementary designs that do not yet exist in a single form factor.
  • Reply 55 of 95
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by abarafi View Post


    What has made it possible for companies to design new products in weeks or months - instead of years - is precisely the availability of ICs designed to meet the needs of an industry rather than one company. I think SJ is going backwards. Remember when Apple had an extreme case of NIH? What differentiates one company from another is not proprietary ICs - it's functions and form. The iPhone had no new wireless modalities - what it had was a different look and feel. You don't need proprietary ICs to achieve that. History shows that companies with vertical organization who were captive markets for their own ICs could not ultimately compete successfully with those who used more commodity-priced, openly available ICs, and made their products distinctive with innovative functional choices and designs.



    Those are all good points and I'm sure this was a major factor in Apple's decision to make their big switch to Intel X86 CPUs. If PowerPC couldn't create a sustainable advantage then it really became a liability for Apple. That shouldn't mean that any proprietary approach is wrong. Heck, OS X by itself is a proprietary approach toward the computer market. Apple must feel that they are able to create a sustainable advantage in handheld devices by going the route of proprietary chips. Going it alone in handheld hardware is not nearly the gamble that it was in computers since there really isn't any true standard for a chipset in handhelds anyway.
  • Reply 56 of 95
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 452member
    I TOLD YOU SO.



    several posts ago, I told you all this exact thing would happen exactly as it did.



    I want Munster's job.
  • Reply 57 of 95
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,321member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by abarafi View Post


    What has made it possible for companies to design new products in weeks or months - instead of years - is precisely the availability of ICs designed to meet the needs of an industry rather than one company. I think SJ is going backwards. Remember when Apple had an extreme case of NIH? What differentiates one company from another is not proprietary ICs - it's functions and form. The iPhone had no new wireless modalities - what it had was a different look and feel. You don't need proprietary ICs to achieve that. History shows that companies with vertical organization who were captive markets for their own ICs could not ultimately compete successfully with those who used more commodity-priced, openly available ICs, and made their products distinctive with innovative functional choices and designs.



    An Apple SoC would just another facet of engineering, design and hardware ownership. It's smart that Apple do this now, when they have the cash and access to IP, personnell and the resources to get a leg up over every other phone manufacturer. Specialized chips can protect both their software and their hardware positions.
  • Reply 58 of 95
    aura.fmaura.fm Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The market potential for proprietary mobile processor designs from chip makers like Samsung Electronics and Intel Corp. were dealt a considerable blow earlier this week when Apple chief executive Steve Jobs revealed that his company will start designing its own breed of chips to power the next-generation of Multi-Touch devices that won't be available to rivals.



    South Korea-based Samsung has long been central to Apple's handheld efforts (1, 2, 3), supplying the primary SoCs -- or system-on-chips -- for everything from the iPod nano to the iPhone. Meanwhile, Intel has been in the running to assert its Atom processors at heart of a larger iPhone-like Multi-Touch internet tablet that's also under development at the Cupertino-based electronics maker, and was at one time believed to have sealed the deal.



    Unfortunately for the two industry heavyweights, Apple appears to have other plans to further innovation around its Multi-Touch platform that will reduce its reliance on chip designs conceived largely by third parties. In an interview following his keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Jobs told the New York Times' John Markoff that his firm's recent $278 million acquisition of a small fabless semiconductor company called P.A. Semi was an investment in the future of its handheld products.



    "PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods," he said, ending speculation as to the precise motives behind the April buyout. The initial uncertainty stemmed from the fact that PA Semi was best know for chips based on IBM's Power technology, an architecture that Apple abandoned two years ago when it moved its Mac line of personal computers to Intel's architecture.



    But as Jobs explained to the Wall Street Journal two months ago, Apple has always been integral in the design of chips used in iPhones and iPods even though they were developed by third parties like Samsung. It was to this end that the value in PA Semi emerged, not for its existing technologies but for its expertise in designing embedded processors to do almost anything the iPhone maker wants them to do.



    For Apple, the advantages of bringing PA Semi in-house are many. In particular, it will afford the company to innovate in a way going forward that will differentiate its handheld products from a growing array of competitive devices that will be left to rely on technologies available to the broader industry. It will also allow the company, which is synonymous with secrecy, to keep a tighter lid on its intellectual property and future product plans.



    Still, there's hope for chip makers like Samsung and Intel in that that Apple will still need to rely on a third party to manufacture the chips it develops on its own, given that PA Semi doesn't own a fabrication facility. It's also possible that the PA Semi team could build onto chip designs initially conceived by one of the semiconductor giants. That's of course assuming Jobs and Co. don't have an even bigger plan brewing to somehow serve as its own SoC manufacturer.







    I have to admit, I didn?t see the strategy very clearly when Apple, Inc. acquired PASemi?s fabless chip design business. But it?s starting to become crystal clear to me exactly what is going on here. Let?s take a simple chronological look at the news:



    Jan 07 - Apple Computer, Inc. becomes Apple, Inc.

    Jun 07 - iPhone debuts

    Nov 07 - Google announces Android

    Mar 08 - iPhone SDK beta release

    April 08 - Apple acquires PASemi

    Jun 08 - WWDC - Apple has firmed up SDK, App Store, releases iPhone 3G



    Now none of these events by themselves mean much. But the progressive strategy adds up to a big deal. Now we find out Apple wants to design the chips in its mobile devices. My bet is they want to hardware accelerate the graphics for OpenGL ES, and embed OS X as the SoC as the standard embedded OS. If they are able now to offer a HAL to embedded OS X to google?s Android, then they will be able to supply the hardware for all google developers to develop on, whether they develop for iPhone/iPod or Android. Intel doesn?t mind, because it means they sell more chips to Apple to sell more Macs. This is pure speculation, but Apple is going to try to go head to head in the embedded space with MS, Moto and Linux for business that would normally be considered outside their general realm of expertise. But they are sitting on a goldmine in that they will spec out the chips, optimize and embed certain OS X functions for mindmelting speed, and then sell the dev platform to electronics warfare, consumer devices, scientific instruments, and other markets where they are not currently a major factor. What do you think? Am I way off here?



  • Reply 59 of 95
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    Quote:

    The problem has been that in the past Apple would release an iPod and within weeks competitors would start selling iPod knock-offs with 80% of the features and 20% of the polish of Apple's product. Because the iPhones were originally made with off the shelf components, this was easy to do. Apple's iPods and iPhones have increased dramatically in complexity and it isn't quite as easy for competitors to duplicate it's efforts. However, iPhone clones are showing up multi-touch screens already.



    Apple needs to design their products with custom chips that no one else has access to. This will make it harder to duplicate their features.



    Aah, that make sense.



    Well I guess Apple need to use Intel for their notebook and desktop range and not their own custom processor is to make it easier for Windows developer to port their software to Mac rather then having to rebuild their whole application. .



    Anyway to those who thinks Apple should make softwares again or something like that, do read my signature



    Anyway if Apple were to release OS X onto PC, this is how its going to go considering its Apple you are talking about, the manufacturer notebook is required to have a similar spec with Apple notebook and its going to be priced similar and its going to need to pass Apple QC. Remember Apple loves to be in control, if they just let any people install OS X on PC, then majority of the world (even MacBooks or iMacs or MacPros users) will start buying PC and install OSX in it, hence causing Apple problems cause then where do they get the money for R&D?



    In short, the users will be happy cause they save heck a lot of money but it sure do not contribute the the expansion of the company.
  • Reply 60 of 95
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kukito View Post


    nVidia uses TSMC.



    Ok, Maybe this week, but Nvidia was negotiating contracts with IBM when IBM was having trouble manufacturing Cell processors for the PS3, and then they went on to fab for Nvidia.

    I think you may have missed the part where I said Nvidia uses company "A" or "B" depending on which direction the wind is blowing.
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