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

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  • Reply 21 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    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


     


    There's this:


    Quote:


    IBM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Begin First Production At New York's Latest Semiconductor Fab


    Saratoga County, N.Y., Jan. 10, 2012 – GLOBALFOUNDRIES and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement to jointly manufacture advanced computer chips at both companies' semiconductor fabs in New York's "Tech Valley." The new products recently began initial production at IBM's 300mm fab in East Fishkill and GLOBALFOUNDRIES' Fab 8 in Saratoga County, and are planned to ramp to volume production in the second half of 2012. The chips are the first silicon produced at GLOBALFOUNDRIES' newest and most advanced manufacturing facility.


    "Today's announcement is a natural extension of our longstanding partnership with IBM that includes production of 65nm and 45nm chips at our fabs in Singapore and Germany," said GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Ajit Manocha. "With the addition of our newest factory in New York, we will now be jointly producing chips with IBM at four fabs on three continents."


    New York's"homegrown" HKMG technology offers cost-savings, better performance


    GLOBALFOUNDRIES' new Fab 8 campus, located in the Luther Forest Technology Campus about 100 miles north of the IBM campus in East Fishkill, stands as one of the most technologically advanced wafer fabs in the world and the largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States. When fully ramped, the total clean-room space will be approximately 300,000 square feet and will be capable of a total output of approximately 60,000 wafers per month. Fab 8 will focus on leading-edge manufacturing at 32/28nm and below.




     


    http://www.globalfoundries.com/newsroom/2012/20120109.aspx


     


     


    So, it appears that Apple may be working with IBM and Global Foundries???

  • Reply 22 of 40
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,582member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    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.

     


    How does a "state" have a poor work ethic?   (Some) people have poor work ethics.   Perhaps the corporate culture at a given company is a poor work ethic.   States don't have poor work ethics.    There are people all over this country who are incredibly dedicated and work incredibly hard and there are people who are just at work to collect a pay check, do the minimum they can to not get fired and couldn't care less whether their company is successful or not.  


     


    And most states, especially the states with large populations, are so diverse that you can't place all of the people of a state into any one category of any type.    As just one example, even in Texas there are (gasp!) liberal Democrats and people who don't own guns.   In every state, there are highly educated people as well as illiterate people.  

  • Reply 23 of 40
    It's not about the weather. It's about land, water (lot's of water) and skilled workers coming out of academic institutions and related industries.

    http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/chips/282633-globalfoundries-will-upstate-new-york-be-the-next-silicon-valley
  • Reply 24 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


     


    There's this:


     


    http://www.globalfoundries.com/newsroom/2012/20120109.aspx


     


     


    So, it appears that Apple may be working with IBM and Global Foundries???



     


    This might also explain the huge increase in Apple's CapEx in recent quarters (first time outspending Intel, but not Samsung). 


     


     

  • Reply 25 of 40

    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.)


     


    Corning also made these Steuben Apples:


     



     


     


    They are crystal.  AIR, they cost about $100 in the 1980s.   


    Also, there was this jigsaw puzzle:


     



     


     


     


    When we had the computer stores, we gave the Steuben Apple (along with a bonus) as an award to outstanding employees. Someone from Apple headquarters saw the Steuben Apple in our Sunnyvale store -- and soon after, Apple started giving them as awards too.


     


    I still have 1 left -- it has survived 3 moves (equivalent to a fire) and 2 earthquakes.


     


     


    P.S.   IBM has a long history of high-tech plans in upstate New York -- for years they manufactured maimframe computers in various plants in the upstate area.

  • Reply 26 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by call-151 View Post



    It's not about the weather. It's about land, water (lot's of water) and skilled workers coming out of academic institutions and related industries.



    http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/chips/282633-globalfoundries-will-upstate-new-york-be-the-next-silicon-valley


     


    Exactly!  For years IBM was very successful locating research and manufacturing plants near top academic institutions...  San Jose,  Raleigh,  Palo Alto...


     


    ...San Jose developed the first HDD (IBM 305 RAMAC),  Raleigh developed SNA and various other Communication Architectures...  Palo Alto gave the world -- ME :}

  • Reply 27 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


     


    There's this:


     


    http://www.globalfoundries.com/newsroom/2012/20120109.aspx


     


     


    So, it appears that Apple may be working with IBM and Global Foundries???



     


    You get much newer information from GF about FinFET down to 14nm and FinFET already stamping out at 28nm.


     


    http://www.globalfoundries.com/technology/14XM.aspx

  • Reply 28 of 40


    The trick is that they don't care about the existing foundries, they want employees with experience in chip making.  Whomever is building the new foundry will be installing the latest technology to produce new chips.  Even if they bought an existing foundry they would probably replace most of the equipment inside.  And that area of the country does have chip foundries and the employee talent pool that would be need - and investment in new foundries would attract more talent.  

  • Reply 29 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


     


    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.



     


    You forgot that a lot Apple's technology came from Roswell, NM.

  • Reply 30 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


     


    There's this:


     


    http://www.globalfoundries.com/newsroom/2012/20120109.aspx


     


     


    So, it appears that Apple may be working with IBM and Global Foundries???



     


    You get much newer information from GF about FinFET down to 14nm and FinFET already stamping out at 28nm.


     


    http://www.globalfoundries.com/technology/14XM.aspx



     


    Thanks for that link!  It certainly looks like GF/IBM/Apple would be a good fit -- and I can see lots of opportunity for joint investments.  I don't know about GF's long term goals, but it appears that IBM and Apple may have complementary objectives -- IBM on the big iron/server side and Apple on the consumer appliance side.


     


    I did a quick search of the App store for "ibm ipad" and got 99 hits... 


     


    P.S.  I can't tell if IBM is still involved, or if GF bought IBM's semiconductor businesses.

  • Reply 31 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by msimpson View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


     


    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.



     


    You forgot that a lot Apple's technology came from Roswell, NM.



     


    Ha!   You reminded me of something from my IBM days in Las Vegas in the mid 1960s.   The Atomic Energy Commission was conducting underground Atomic bomb tests in Mercury, Nevada (Northwest of Las Vegas).  They'd bury the bomb underground along with various measurement instruments with communications cables running to the surface where the data was captured on analog and scientific maimframe computers.


     


    The blast would destroy the instruments and the cables -- but they were able to capture a few seconds of data -- enough to evaluate the tests.  Usually, the tests went without any problems, but sometimes there were slight radiation leaks.  


     


    To test the effect of the radiation on the environment, they would send people in to examine lizards in the area (the largest living things in that remote, arid desert).  The examiner would capture a lizard and put it on his clipboard, face up -- so he could probe the organs and fill out the form on the clipboard, While being probed, the lizard would get excited and urinate, defecate and ejaculate on the form and clipboard...


     


    It was a real problem!


     


    My co-worker, Marv, was responsible for IBM activities at the test site.  He was presented with the problem:  How to collect the data without fouling the report and clipboard.


     


    Problem solved:  Marv's solution was to use an IBM Port-A-Punch -- a kind of portable keypunch where the card was held in a container under a clear plastic shield which contained holes for 40 columns of punched card data.  The holes were small and round and centered on a perforated row/column rectangle representing a punch in the card.  You would insert a stylus through a hole, and "punch" out the rectangle beneath to enter data.


     


     


    The holes were small enough to prevent any extraneous [lizard] material from getting through to the card beneath.


     



     


     


     


    Ta-Dah!  IBM to the Rescue!  Marv got special recognition and an award for solving "The Excited Lizard" problem.


     


    True story!


     


    P.S.  We've all heard of pissy jobs and shitty data... but ejaculate?


     


    P.P.S.  Marv didn't get a Seuben Apple, though...


     


    P.P.P.S.  I think I've found a use for the MS Surface Tablet -- no kb required.


     


    P.P.P.P.S.  These 40-column perforated IBM punch cards -- are the same that gave the "hanging chad" problem in the Florida vote count -- if they only knew how bad it could have been...

  • Reply 32 of 40

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post



    It doesn't sound like it's that much of a secret if they are writing an article about it.


     


    Especially not a "top secret".


     


    I recommend Apple locate their facilities in Colorado instead. Beautiful landscape, great hiking and camping and they get an "all you can smoke" weed bar for Apple employees.

  • Reply 33 of 40
    If it involves Samsung, you can be somewhat sure that this thing is for real. Further, it syncs in line with all those Assembled in USA talk. Would be interesting to continue on the discussion happening here and draw up a list of areas where Apple is already getting stuff made within the US.
  • Reply 34 of 40
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member


    Locally here Global Foundries, Nano Tech in Albany, and the tech park in Utica were floated with Utica being the favorite....

     

  • Reply 35 of 40
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    zoetmb wrote: »
    How does a "state" have a poor work ethic?   (Some) people have poor work ethics. 
    Have you not watched the news lately? Michigan, the state is awash with people with poor work ethic. It is pretty obvious by the size of the protests against legislation that protects the individual worker.
      Perhaps the corporate culture at a given company is a poor work ethic.   States don't have poor work ethics.   
    I disagree, states have character just like people do. Of course not everyone shares those characteristics but let's face it there is a huge mindset difference between the idiots in say California and the people in Kansas.
    There are people all over this country who are incredibly dedicated and work incredibly hard and there are people who are just at work to collect a pay check, do the minimum they can to not get fired and couldn't care less whether their company is successful or not.  
    No doubt there at all. The difference is some states have built up a strong culture with that sort of mentality.
    .
    And most states, especially the states with large populations, are so diverse that you can't place all of the people of a state into any one category of any type.   
    It doesn't matter, just look at the diversity of the people protesting in Michigan. Again we are talking about the general mind set of the people in a specific state.
    As just one example, even in Texas there are (gasp!) liberal Democrats and people who don't own guns.   In every state, there are highly educated people as well as illiterate people.  

    Many of those people protesting in Michgan where teachers. Education has nothing to do with work ethic, illiterate people can work just as hard as people with doctorates. In fact I'm not sure why you even briing this up in a discussion about work ethic.
  • Reply 36 of 40
    cnyusercnyuser Posts: 1member


    Utica is a terrific location.  This was the site of Univac computers, GE Aerospace, and Bendix for many, many years.   Weather?   We do not have tornados, hurricanes, or any other life threatening weather here.  Yes - in the winter there is snow - and it melts every spring.    The central NY area is a wonderful place to raise a family and is much friendlier, economically than, say,  the Bay Area in San Francisco.  I certainly hope a chip fab facility moves into town!


     


    Given the tech jobs in town with the Air Force lab presence in Rome, NY, there is still an abundance of technical and trained labor ready to be put to work.   Many of us former General Electric engineers, many with the MMIC program experience,  are still in town and working in small companies supporting the AFRL lab, but could easily be applied at a larger facility.


     


    Check it out - New York has everything - Adirondacks, lakes, streams, parks, plus easy access to urban centers.   The upstate chip factory is a great opportunity whether it involves Apple or any other company.

  • Reply 37 of 40
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I can't rationally recommend New York State for any sort of large facility. I live here and frankly the business and political climate gets worst by the day.
    cnyuser wrote: »
    Utica is a terrific location.  This was the site of Univac computers, GE Aerospace, and Bendix for many, many years.   Weather?   We do not have tornados, hurricanes, or any other life threatening weather here.
    Actually we get a few tornados every year.

    In any even note that many of those business you mentioned have shrunk NY operations considerably and if they have stayed here it is often due to high margin business where they can afford the taxes.
     Yes - in the winter there is snow - and it melts every spring.    The central NY area is a wonderful place to raise a family and is much friendlier, economically than, say,  the Bay Area in San Francisco.  I certainly hope a chip fab facility moves into town!
    This I agree with, grew up right between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. A really beautiful area but pretty dead economically.
    Given the tech jobs in town with the Air Force lab presence in Rome, NY, there is still an abundance of technical and trained labor ready to be put to work.   Many of us former General Electric engineers, many with the MMIC program experience,  are still in town and working in small companies supporting the AFRL lab, but could easily be applied at a larger facility.
    Many of those skilled workers have also left the state for good. Often actually doing better for themselves in the southern states.
    Check it out - New York has everything - Adirondacks, lakes, streams, parks, plus easy access to urban centers.   The upstate chip factory is a great opportunity whether it involves Apple or any other company.

    There is no doubt that there are beautiful areas in NY. Many people don't even grasp that there is a substantial wild area in NY. However the nice is offset buy the ugly. Many upstate cities are in decay and in some cases shrinking in size. Down state you have the horrors of the NY City area and the welfare establishment there. All of this negativity is supported by massively excessive taxes that are wasted more than they are used positively.

    In summation NY is no place to start up a new manufacturing operation.
  • Reply 38 of 40
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,582member
    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?

    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.

    Disagree about the simplicity factor. Making it non-repairable makes it harder to manufacture because components have to be glued, etc.

    Isn't it easier to just plug in a drive, battery or memory rather than making it permanent and hard to access
  • Reply 39 of 40
    mbmcavoymbmcavoy Posts: 157member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post





    Disagree about the simplicity factor. Making it non-repairable makes it harder to manufacture because components have to be glued, etc.



    Isn't it easier to just plug in a drive, battery or memory rather than making it permanent and hard to access


     


    It depends on how manufacturing processes are factored into the design. Apple products can be difficut to repair because they are generally designed for ease of assembly. Other products can be difficut to build because they are designed to ensure disposability. These are very different things!


     


    For example, having non-replaceable RAM means that the memory is installed via automated pick-and-place machines at the same time as all of the other surface-mount components of the main board. This eliminates the SIMM connector part which is not likely compatible with a pick-and-place installation and requires a separate labor step, and installation of the SIMM module, which is a separate labor step, and the chip no longer needs to be separately installed onto the SIMM board. Much simpler to build, nearly impossible to fix.


     


    From a manufacturing standoing, glue is also extremely simple. An automated robot can quickly and accurately apply a few dabs of glue to a chassis before a worker or another robot drops a battery into an approximate position; glue will dry as the build process continues. Using screws requires threaded holes in parts, take a lot more time and precision to install, and the screws themselves cost more than glue.


     


    Another viable approach is a snap-together fit. Parts can be assembled quickly and easily, but taking them apart may require special tools, patience, and may break one or more parts!


     


    I would guess that replacing just a few screws with glue or snap fit could easily shave 30 seconds off an assembly task. That may seem trivial, but it adds up. if you build millions of units, this directly will eliminate multiple person/years of labor!

  • Reply 40 of 40
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    You raise some interesting points but I think you missed a few when it comes to glue. Glue leads to a more robust, unitized and durable product. I suspect that this is Apples primary reason for the use of glue on many of its products. Beyond that screws have issues in automated assembly, they are harder to handle, strip or break on installation and require features in a structure to screw into. Further the use of screws leads to stress concentration. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of Apples products in the future go to fully potted designs that end up being one solid mass of electronics, glue ( potting compound ) and support hardware.
    mbmcavoy wrote: »
    It depends on how manufacturing processes are factored into the design. Apple products can be difficut to repair because they are generally designed for ease of assembly. Other products can be difficut to build because they are designed to ensure disposability. These are very different things!
    Having both isn't impossible. For example would it really have hurt Apple to provide an access door for the HD/SSD on the iMac. It is something that can be designed in.
    For example, having non-replaceable RAM means that the memory is installed via automated pick-and-place machines at the same time as all of the other surface-mount components of the main board. This eliminates the SIMM connector part which is not likely compatible with a pick-and-place installation and requires a separate labor step, and installation of the SIMM module, which is a separate labor step, and the chip no longer needs to be separately installed onto the SIMM board. Much simpler to build, nearly impossible to fix.
    That is one aspect but future systems will move to soldered in components because it will be required for the fast high performance circuits that will arrive in the future. One spec for high speed RAM already requires soldered in components.
    From a manufacturing standoing, glue is also extremely simple. An automated robot can quickly and accurately apply a few dabs of glue to a chassis before a worker or another robot drops a battery into an approximate position; glue will dry as the build process continues. Using screws requires threaded holes in parts, take a lot more time and precision to install, and the screws themselves cost more than glue.
    Also this isn't like walking down to your local hardware store to get a tube of glue. There is an extremely wide array of industrial glues and solvents out there. Some set very quickly and others have an uncared strength to hold the components together for the duration of the assembly. People need to realize that this isn't Elmer's School Glue.
    Another viable approach is a snap-together fit. Parts can be assembled quickly and easily, but taking them apart may require special tools, patience, and may break one or more parts!

    I would guess that replacing just a few screws with glue or snap fit could easily shave 30 seconds off an assembly task. That may seem trivial, but it adds up. if you build millions of units, this directly will eliminate multiple person/years of labor!

    It is likely much more than 30 seconds. Think about it on many Apple products the case is CNC machined and as such the bosses for those screws have to be formed, drill and possibly tapped. Getting rid of those could easily add up to far more than 30 seconds, cut tooling costs and deliver speed ups down the line. While doing this Apple ends up with a more robust product. That is pretty hard to beat really.
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