Apple shift to TMSC for iPhone may force Samsung to split chip design, fabrication businesses

Posted:
in iPhone
Samsung is reportedly looking at splitting off its chip fabrication business from the design aspects, to try and gain traction for the division after Apple abandoned it in the iPhone 7, and possible the future, in favor of TSMC.




According to a report from Business Korea, the four-segment Samsung LSI is being examined for a re-organization. The "system-on-a-chip" segment, and the design team will combine to form one entity, with the foundry business being spun-off into its own entity.

The evaluation allegedly came after Apple migrated all of its business for the A-series processor to TSMC.

Not immediately clear are the benefits to Samsung as a corporate entity for doing so, other than potential tax benefits. Samsung's chip foundry has recently signed a large contract with Qualcomm for future production, offsetting the losses from Apple's shift somewhat.

Overall, Samsung's chip manufacturing profits have suffered somewhat under the strain of Apple's departure for TSMC. Samsung's chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun warned the company of a low-growth 2016 partially as a result of the contract shift, as well as from a challenging smartphone marketplace.

Apple manufacturing partner TSMC has been rumored to be the sole provider of the A10 Fusion processor as found in the iPhone 7 family, as well as the future "A11" processor.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,956member
    Oh oh, here we go.
    JanNL
  • Reply 2 of 13
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 259member
    lkrupp said:
    Oh oh, here we go.
    That's how it feels, isn't it?!
  • Reply 3 of 13
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,078member
    If you're going to flat out copy everything Apple does year after year, Apple at some point will just give you the finger and not work with you anymore.
    SpamSandwichcalimacxpresswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Given Apple's penchant to have multiple vendors on critical parts, this is surprising (e.g., screens and modems). One argument might be technical and cost, but the SAMSUNG response to create organizational "firewall" between foundry and design suggest the inherent conflict of interest between SAMSUNG mobile and foundry business. Apple may have been concerned or had evidence that reflects SAMSUNG's rep to steal Proprietary design data as well as tempation that the increasing performance gap between SAMSUNG and Apple CPU chips may also have played a part. This is entirely speculative conspiracy theory, but is interesting none the less. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,939member
    Tell me why there was a rumor/news about Samsung Galaxy loosing 3.5mm jack, Home button and screen covering front of phone.Because Apple was working with Samsung's display division and besides confidentially agreement, sure they pass Apple's design direction to their phone division. In past, this exactly has happened with their chip division to pass Apple's non-copy confidential information within Samsung divisions. Even with split, Samsung internal corporate culture won't change because at the end, these employees will indirectly talk to other divisions to get information. It is better to work with TSMC who is not player in making phones or tablet..
    edited December 2016 calilolliverstarwarswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,563member
    wood1208 said:
    Tell me why there was a rumor/news about Samsung Galaxy loosing 3.5mm jack, Home button and screen covering front of phone.Because Apple was working with Samsung's display division and besides confidentially agreement, sure they pass Apple's design direction to their phone division. In past, this exactly has happened with their chip division to pass Apple's non-copy confidential information within Samsung divisions. Even with split, Samsung internal corporate culture won't change because at the end, these employees will indirectly talk to other divisions to get information. It is better to work with TSMC who is not player in making phones or tablet..
    No matter what this company says, they will not maintain any sort of firewall. 
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,613member
    Samsung had no qualms having a convicted felon for a CEO and is mired knee deep in the corruption scandal engulfing the current president of South Korea.

    If you are willing to take on pure faith alone that the chip foundry business isn't passing on proprietary information to the chip design business, there's someone out there who can sell you a bridge somewhere.
    calilolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Now the android idiots can stop screaming "Samsung makes Apples the chips!!"

    these morons will have one less irrational argument and their false idol will have less money.
    lolliverwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 13
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,828member
    jbdragon said:
    If you're going to flat out copy everything Apple does year after year, Apple at some point will just give you the finger and not work with you anymore.
    Yes, this is one place Apple can really hurt Samsung. They may not be able to win lawsuits, but they can hurt them in other ways such as just simply using someone else for their parts suppliers. Maybe Samsung should think about this before mocking everything little thing Apple does thinking they're funny. Its not so funny when you release exploding phones you have to totally recall, and start losing parts contracts from major companies such as Apple. 
    edited December 2016 lolliverwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 13
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,909member
    If this happens, the key will be to assess whether it's truly a separate entity. 

    I *might* believe it if their fab business were sold to a non-Korean company. The only candidate I can think of (though I don't know if they have the money for it) is GloFo. If GloFo doesn't have the money, maybe they could raise it from potential customers like Apple, Qualcomm, and Microsoft. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 13

    Mmm...

    Maybe Sammy is going to spin off its fab business and move it to the US.

    pscooter63SpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 13
    This one's too late for Samsung. Apple has moved to TSMC. If Apple makes another move to a new fab, it will be to Intel. 

    Qualcom has serious issues of their own with Apple moving to Intel for the cellular modem. With Mediatek producing low cost SoCs and LG also looking to produce their own SOC, QCOM's CPU sales are going to tank. 

    QCOM is planning on entering the server market, but competing with Intel on pure performance where price sensitivity is not much of an issue is an effort in futility. 

    Samsung will not be saved by QCOM. And when all is said and done, QCOM will also be moving to TSMC as that company has a fierce tailwind driving it in the form of Apple. They will offer greater performance at lower cost than Samsung as a result of the investments they can make because of the profits enabled by Apple. 

    It would be amusing to see Samsung's chip designers move to TSMC fabs because Samsung's fabs aren't as capable. 

    That being said, I still believe that Intel will be manufacturing Apple's SoCs one day in the not too distant future and TSMC themselves may find the loss of Apple's business quite crippling also. Intel can integrate the modem into the SOC and have that incredible memory product, 3D XPoint. Things that TSMC cannot provide. 
    adamc
  • Reply 13 of 13
    adamcadamc Posts: 569member
    This one's too late for Samsung. Apple has moved to TSMC. If Apple makes another move to a new fab, it will be to Intel. 

    Qualcom has serious issues of their own with Apple moving to Intel for the cellular modem. With Mediatek producing low cost SoCs and LG also looking to produce their own SOC, QCOM's CPU sales are going to tank. 

    QCOM is planning on entering the server market, but competing with Intel on pure performance where price sensitivity is not much of an issue is an effort in futility. 

    Samsung will not be saved by QCOM. And when all is said and done, QCOM will also be moving to TSMC as that company has a fierce tailwind driving it in the form of Apple. They will offer greater performance at lower cost than Samsung as a result of the investments they can make because of the profits enabled by Apple. 

    It would be amusing to see Samsung's chip designers move to TSMC fabs because Samsung's fabs aren't as capable. 

    That being said, I still believe that Intel will be manufacturing Apple's SoCs one day in the not too distant future and TSMC themselves may find the loss of Apple's business quite crippling also. Intel can integrate the modem into the SOC and have that incredible memory product, 3D XPoint. Things that TSMC cannot provide. 
    Apple will never move to Intel for their SoC chip and you can quote me in this. 

    Asking Intel to make their chips is as good as committing suicide. 

    Figure it it out yourself. 
    SpamSandwich
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