TSMC rumored to be exclusive manufacturer for Apple 'A10' CPU in 2016

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  • Reply 21 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    That's right. People forget that Samsung's Texas plant has been in operation for some time, producing mainly Apple's chips. But Apple's chip needs have grown dramatically. Since it's unlikely that Samsung built a much bigger factory than they thought they would use for several years, it's very possible that it simply can't handle the order size that Apple needs these days.



    In addition, it's also possible that Samsung did some of this to themselves. When Apple moved a lot of new chip production to TSMC, it's unlikely that Samsung would have wanted to see the plant idle for a part of the time. As we all should know, their new 6series use their own Exnos chips instead of Qualcomm's due to the infamous overheat problems of their 810 chip. So where would Samsung make those unexpected larger numbers of Exnos chips? Possibly in their Texas plant. Given that that the Exnos chip seems to be a pretty good chip, I imagine that Samsung is encouraged to use them again. So that leaves Apple with a problem. A solution would be to go back to TSMC.



    The one thing that the report is confusing about is why TSMC would be on a 16nm process in mid to late 2016.

     

    COnsidering how badly the Samsung phones have sold, maybe there is capacity for Apple ;-).

  • Reply 22 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    With the coming developer tools hopefully we will be able to verify exactly what is in the new Apple TV????



    The physical size increase to the Apple TV would suggest though that they have upped the clock rate and thus the power disapation. The only other reason I could see for a size increase would be storage on some sort of plug in module.

     

    Some people have speculated that it could be to hide the WIFI antennas.

  • Reply 23 of 42

    We do not know who has the A9 for sure, we know Samsung has everything A7 and below and A8 is with TSMC, can anyone show a teardown of A* which came from a Samsung fab. The rumor or claims of Samsung still has Apple SOC business come from the older SOC which Apple still uses and, no evidences that Samsung made a single A8. The same is true for A9 no evidence of who really got the business. Recently because the performance numbers Apple put out everyone assume it had to be Samsung new technology. I am think it is TSMC since we know the Samsung SOC they made for themselves suck compared to the A8. I guess we will have to wait and see what the first teardown show.

  • Reply 24 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    With the coming developer tools hopefully we will be able to verify exactly what is in the new Apple TV????

    The physical size increase to the Apple TV would suggest though that they have upped the clock rate and thus the power disapation. The only other reason I could see for a size increase would be storage on some sort of plug in module.

    It would be interesting if the storage was on plugs modules, but not likely, due to cost restraints. It's believed for now that much of that space is being used for the new WiFi antennas. With the "large" amount of storage, we may not need more storage. I really don't use Game Center, so I don't know how that works, exactly, but if Apple does the smart thing, they will allow you to delete a game, but allow the retention of the game info. That would be really great. You wouldn't need to retain too many large games in storage, because you could just download it later, if you wanted to play it again, with your old characters, levels, tools, maps, etc.
  • Reply 25 of 42
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,341member

    It's a bit odd the the next generation of Samsung S will be using both Qualcomm 820 and Exynos. Might it be that Samsung cut a deal with Qualcomm to fab it's 820 with the proviso that Samsung gets a deal on it?

  • Reply 26 of 42
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member

    My favorite conspiracy theory for why the new ATV has an A8 is that it was planned to be released at this year's WWDC. Thus the obvious ATV shape in the conference logo:

     

     

    Why that didn't come to be is anyone's guess- probably hit a snag with one of the networks/content producers requiring them to hold off at the last minute, and by then the ATV design was baked and it didn't make sense to try to shoehorn an A9 into a unit designed for and based on an A8 just 4 months later.

     

    I think a lower component cost and "we don't need that much power" are post-hoc justifications.

     

    But that's just my 0.02. I'm still gonna get one.

  • Reply 27 of 42
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    It's a bit odd the the next generation of Samsung S will be using both Qualcomm 820 and Exynos. Might it be that Samsung cut a deal with Qualcomm to fab it's 820 with the proviso that Samsung gets a deal on it?


     

    @tmay : that's how it'd always been done before : Samsung's used Qualcomm SOCs for the US, and their own Exynos for everyone else.  Of course, Qualcomm's SD 810 was an exception to that.

     

    It most likely has little to do with cutting any deal with Qualcomm.  Samsung really didn't have any foundry business until 2006 and Apple was pretty much the only only major customer until last year.  TSMC is still much larger and was ahead of Samsung both in sales and technology.  This is no longer the case with Samsung's 14nm nodes.

  • Reply 28 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    wood1208 wrote: »
    The most interesting Ax processor will be at 10nm node fabrication in 2017. All chip fabrication giants like Intel, Samsung Austin, Global foundries, TSMC and UMC rushing to produce efficient 10nm process and other than Intel they all trying for one customer, Apple. AND apple want to distance from Samsung because Apple don't want Samsung to learn through design production of future Ax processor and apply that knowledge to it's own Exnos processor later competing with Apple in smartphone business.

    Due to reduced size with 10nm process, it will allow Apple to integrate Wifi,cellular modem, etc on same chip as A11 making it more efficient, less heat and reduced foot print permitting larger longer battery life..

    Integration of some of these things might be possible, but others might not. For example, cell radios are generally produced on process nodes that are one, or even two, nodes behind. And Apple doesn't produce their own radios. They buy them from Qualcomm, and rumors have them buying from intel as well, possibly next year.

    Intel is also after Apple. Why they haven't gotten together yet is something else.
  • Reply 29 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    tmay wrote: »
    It's a bit odd the the next generation of Samsung S will be using both Qualcomm 820 and Exynos. Might it be that Samsung cut a deal with Qualcomm to fab it's 820 with the proviso that Samsung gets a deal on it?

    The word is already out that Samsung will be manufacturing the 820. True or not, I don't know.
  • Reply 30 of 42
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,913member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    The word is already out that Samsung will be manufacturing the 820. True or not, I don't know.

    Doesn't matter on this forum who manufactures  Snapdragon 820 but you ask so the logic is if Qualcomm wants Samsung smartphone business than it has to give in business for 820 manufacturing. In Asia, that is how it works.It's 810 was manufacturer by TSMc so samsung dropped Qualcomm from Galaxy S6.

  • Reply 31 of 42
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,913member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Integration of some of these things might be possible, but others might not. For example, cell radios are generally produced on process nodes that are one, or even two, nodes behind. And Apple doesn't produce their own radios. They buy them from Qualcomm, and rumors have them buying from intel as well, possibly next year.



    Intel is also after Apple. Why they haven't gotten together yet is something else.



    Past Intel CEO confess that it was foolish to let Apple business of Ax manufacturing to go to someone when initially Apple approach intel to manufacture. Now intel wants to get with Apple offering Cellular modem chip including integrated with Ax on SOC. As far as manufacturing Ax by intel, intel can not afford to provide fabrication foundry space(schedule) to large demand from Apple for it's Ax processor and still churn out it's own hundreds of broadwell/skylake processor configuration. Putting extra fab line is billions of dollars.

  • Reply 32 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    wood1208 wrote: »
    Doesn't matter on this forum who manufactures  Snapdragon 820 but you ask so the logic is if Qualcomm wants Samsung smartphone business than it has to give in business for 820 manufacturing. In Asia, that is how it works.It's 810 was manufacturer by TSMc so samsung dropped Qualcomm from Galaxy S6.

    No, it doesn't work like that in Asia. Until the ill fated 810, with its major overheating problems, whose chips do you think Samsung used in many of its high end phones? If you said Qualcomm, you'd be right. Samsung always varied their chips. In the USA, most of the EU, Japan, and other places, they'd use the better Qualcomm chips. In other markets, the same phones would get their Exnos chips.
  • Reply 33 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    wood1208 wrote: »

    Past Intel CEO confess that it was foolish to let Apple business of Ax manufacturing to go to someone when initially Apple approach intel to manufacture. Now intel wants to get with Apple offering Cellular modem chip including integrated with Ax on SOC. As far as manufacturing Ax by intel, intel can not afford to provide fabrication foundry space(schedule) to large demand from Apple for it's Ax processor and still churn out it's own hundreds of broadwell/skylake processor configuration. Putting extra fab line is billions of dollars.

    Where are you getting the information you posted in these two posts?

    This is wrong too. Intel has about 14 fabs around the world, and they are in the process of building one right now, with plans for another. In fact, because of the Windows computer sales slowdown, they are now doing foundry work for some other companies. I believe they're talking about this. Whether it happens is a business case, but not because Intel can't supply the chips
  • Reply 34 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post

     

    Doesn't matter on this forum who manufactures  Snapdragon 820 but you ask so the logic is if Qualcomm wants Samsung smartphone business than it has to give in business for 820 manufacturing. In Asia, that is how it works.It's 810 was manufacturer by TSMc so samsung dropped Qualcomm from Galaxy S6.


     

    @wood1208 : Sure, and what part of Asia are you referring to? TSMC has been manufacturing Qualcomm chips as long as I remember -- even before Samsung started their foundry business. 

  • Reply 35 of 42
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,913member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Where are you getting the information you posted in these two posts?



    This is wrong too. Intel has about 14 fabs around the world, and they are in the process of building one right now, with plans for another. In fact, because of the Windows computer sales slowdown, they are now doing foundry work for some other companies. I believe they're talking about this. Whether it happens is a business case, but not because Intel can't supply the chips

    If intel can supply quantity that Apple needs than why they both don't do business together unless intel's cost per chip is issue ? If not than fab capacity is only issue for not manufacturing. Intel makes chips for other companies but at way lower volume than Apple needs. 

  • Reply 36 of 42
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,341member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post

     

    If intel can supply quantity that Apple needs than why they both don't do business together unless intel's cost per chip is issue ? If not than fab capacity is only issue for not manufacturing. Intel makes chips for other companies but at way lower volume than Apple needs. 


    I think Intel wants to retain high margins; ARM processors aren't known to provide those kind of margins. Intel needs to develop a successful mobile business but so far, they aren't getting that many wins. I'm thinking Apple would benefit from Intel as one of their ARM fabs, but at the same time, they have TMSC and and the partnership of IBM, Global Foundries and Samsung that seems capable of meeting both node and capacity requirements for the next few years. 

     

    Intel really has to rely on Windows 10 to drive a replacement cycle, but so far, it doesn't look like it isn't going well, and Surface Pro, and 2 in 1's in general, aren't picking up the slack.

     

    I'm looking forward to the next Mac Pro cycle, with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0, but those systems, and PC Workstations in general, aren't going to make up for a diminishing consumer PC market.

  • Reply 37 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by schlack View Post



    And the A10X will just be called the AXX.

    I think this is very possible. There's a big marketing opportunity in having Mac OS X + iOS X + AX in their branding. I also expect for Mac to move to OS 11 with iOS 11.

  • Reply 38 of 42
    ksecksec Posts: 1,569member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

     

    Why do analysts keep trying to predict Apple will split orders for the same Ax chip to two foundries? TSMC and Samsung use different fab technologies which will give slightly different performance and electrical characteristics. You don't want that in your main processor because you need might two different tests to qualify them. It is not going to happen. 


     

    This is true many years ago and for many company still stand. You cant, simultaneously design your AMD ZEN CPU, Radeon or Nvidia GPU or FPGA, or other Baseband over two very different Node Tech.

     

    But we are talking about Apple. And we are talking about iPhone.

     

    For people who dont realize the Gigantic number of iOS devices sold using the latest Fab tech. Apple with iPhone 6 and iPad are reaching ( likely to be more ) 150M devices this year. And 6S + iPad Pro will likely break this record. For Reference 2015 will have est 300M PC sold, if we discount AMD, and most of the Intel selling CPU are lower end Pentium, Celeron, Atom on older Node tech, whereas Apple sell most of their Product with latest tech, we are talking about Apple with similar volume as Intel. 

     

    The Story, I think there are properly lots of leverage, Samsung Fab without Apple will simply bring down its whole Fab business. Samsung could afford properly lose a dollar on every SoC produce for Apple then to not have Apple's order. And how can TSMC complete with a competitors who lose money to make business? 

     

    Coming soon we will have Samsung's own custom ARMv8 CPU out. IF that design have any thing resembles Apple's Custom CPU i guess that will be the final straw.

  • Reply 39 of 42

    Apple typically does not like to depend on any single manufacturer for any critical component since yield issues can be a problem for such a high selling device. But since Samsung was caught conducting Corporate Espionage with TSMC to gain business from Apple it may be Apple's attempt to punish Samsung.

  • Reply 40 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    wood1208 wrote: »
    If intel can supply quantity that Apple needs than why they both don't do business together unless intel's cost per chip is issue ? If not than fab capacity is only issue for not manufacturing. Intel makes chips for other companies but at way lower volume than Apple needs. 

    It's obviously not that Intel can't produce them. Intel has the most advanced technology, and as I mentioned, by far, the most chip plants, and are building more. If they are talking, then it's not about production. If Intel said that they couldn't produce as many chips as Apple needs, then they would be at a dead end. But that seems ridiculous. They can produce many more "A" series chips on a wafer than most of their other chips, so calacity isn't a problem. If they wanted to, they could devote an entire plant to Apple chips, as Samsung has done in Texas. I really don't know where you get this idea from.
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