tht

About

Username
tht
Joined
Visits
128
Last Active
Roles
member
Points
4,369
Badges
1
Posts
4,492
  • New MacBook Pro expected before end of 2022 with 5nm chips

    JP234 said:
    tht said:
    JP234 said:
    Do we have an alternate source for these chips? Looks like our congressmen have decided to provoke China over Taiwan. Does Apple (or any US manufacturer) really want to rely solely on China to supply critical semis? And trust them not to engineer some "special sauce" into them?
    Don’t know where to start with your train of questions. 

    Your questions seem to understand that Taiwan is not China, yet you still conflate TSMC as being Chinese. TSMC is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It’s Taiwanese with most of its fabs in Taiwan. TSMC has satellite fabs in both China and the USA. You should not conflate the two. 

    Semiconductor manufacturing is a global enterprise. One of the key components is actually a Dutch company who makes the photolithography machines that go into the fabs. Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, also multinationals, make the modules that the chips are put in. Then, the materials and sub-components come from all over the world too. 

    These are global multi-national companies. They are diversified and continually diversifying. They don’t do it as fast as the speed of politics perhaps, but they will do what they need to do to stay in business. 

    TSMC’s fabs are the most advanced fabs in the world. There isn’t a competitor. The nearest “competitor” is Samsung, and if Apple used their fabs, they would have slower and hotter chips. Apple has had a decadal and symbiotic relationship with them. It’s basically because of Apple that TSMC, and their own discipline and decision making, has the most advanced fabs. If Apple is to have TSMC diversify, it will be to get them to have more fabs elsewhere in the world, not primarily in Taiwan.

    Lastly, there isn’t any special sauce. It’s plain old boring physics and economics. They take silicon and etch CMOS circuits onto them. Every stage from the silicon itself to the software that runs on them is validated at every stage. You don’t do anything by surprise as it could result in business destroying consequences. Apple, and every TSMC customer, knows precisely what happens to their chips. 
    I'm in agreement that Taiwan is not China. Yet. And I agree that TMSC there isn't a competitor at their level. Which would remain the same after a Chinese takeover. I also agree with your last statement that there is independent oversight of TMSC chips. For now. Where we disagree is what happens after China does the same thing they've done in Tibet, Macau and Hong Kong. China invading and taking over Taiwan is not a matter of "if." It's a matter of "when." Take it to the bank.
    If China invades Taiwan, Apple's supply of SoC chips and reliance on Hon Hai for assembly are going to be the last thing we are going to worry about. As long as Taiwan as a nation does not want to be part of China, and if China can't blockade Taiwan, all they have is a meat grinder for young men and millions of people without jobs from sanctions.

    TSMC and Hon Hai will want to stay in business. They and Apple will move major parts of their supply chain elsewhere for customers with sanctions/restrictions. 
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • New MacBook Pro expected before end of 2022 with 5nm chips

    blastdoor said:
    The reason I say it's 'weird' is that from a marketing perspective, the reason you increment a version number is to communicate that an important improvement has been made. For some products, Apple doesn't have version numbers -- the iMac is always just the iMac, for example. For others, they do (like the iPhone and Watch). For the ones where they have a number, incrementing the number means something, and they don't make meaningful changes without incrementing the number. 

    Moving from 5nm to 3nm is a really important improvement -- certainly bigger than the improvements made moving from M1 to M2. I would think Apple would want to make it as clear as possible that they have substantially improved the product.  
    I don't think Apple would brand it in such a specific fashion. They'll say it will have so and so performance improvements, like a big increase of 30 to 40%, but the branding will be the boring sequential numbering. Even during the heyday of Apple Silicon performance improvements on iPhones, from about 2009 to 2016 when CPU and GPU performance was improving 40%, 50%, 100% year over year, Apple was just branding their A series SoCs in sequential fashion. Today, the performance gains are a lot smaller because all the mid-hanging fruit have been picked, let alone the low hanging fruit.

    The M2 Pro will like have 10% to 15% single CPU core perf improvements, 20% multi-core CPU, and 30% GPU improvements, plus dedicated hardware for media and ML. Whether that is with N5P or N3, the name will be the same. The perf/Watt may be a little bit better on TSMC N3, but I think it will be within the product-to-product performance variation there typically is. And, I think Apple wants it this way. Just simple branding names with mostly consistent performance improvements model-to-model.

    You say buyer confusing is not what you are talking about, but how am I supposed to interpret what you mean when you say "weird". That word implies to me that the branding name will cause troubles.


    watto_cobra
  • New MacBook Pro expected before end of 2022 with 5nm chips

    I am disappointed that 3nm is running about 6 months late. The A16 in iPhone 14 Pro really should be fabbed on TSMC 3nm. 

    Hopefully, these rumors are really from TSMC “merchant” arm, while Apple’s production is being kept ultra-secret and they have the first 6 to 12 months of capacity. So, no one really knows about it and they really started production of A16 chips in June. 
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • New MacBook Pro expected before end of 2022 with 5nm chips

    blastdoor said:
    It would have been really weird to market both 5nm and 3nm chips under the same M2 label. The move from 5nm to 3nm warrants a new marketing label (M3). 

    Of course, apple can do whatever they want and they know more about marketing than me. But still — it would be pretty weird.
    It’s perfectly fine. People put too much power into the name of something. The Apple media and some people has this strange fixation on how the name of the processor could confuse people. It’s crazy town thinking. 

    Apple tunes the performance per dollar and features per dollar at every single price tier, so that it encourages upsell and the buyer always gets more features and performance for their dollar. 

    M2 versus M1 Pro or 3nm M2 versus 5nm M2 is irrelevant. Apple will price in every performance improvement and feature. It seems more that Apple media don’t like the work of explaining stuff because of the names rather than just discussing things in terms of performance. 

    Nobody will be confused. Nobody will be “ripped” off. The more money someone spends, the less important the name of this or that feature becomes, and the more performance and features they buy. 
    watto_cobra
  • New MacBook Pro expected before end of 2022 with 5nm chips

    JP234 said:
    Do we have an alternate source for these chips? Looks like our congressmen have decided to provoke China over Taiwan. Does Apple (or any US manufacturer) really want to rely solely on China to supply critical semis? And trust them not to engineer some "special sauce" into them?
    Don’t know where to start with your train of questions. 

    Your questions seem to understand that Taiwan is not China, yet you still conflate TSMC as being Chinese. TSMC is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It’s Taiwanese with most of its fabs in Taiwan. TSMC has satellite fabs in both China and the USA. You should not conflate the two. 

    Semiconductor manufacturing is a global enterprise. One of the key components is actually a Dutch company who makes the photolithography machines that go into the fabs. Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, also multinationals, make the modules that the chips are put in. Then, the materials and sub-components come from all over the world too. 

    These are global multi-national companies. They are diversified and continually diversifying. They don’t do it as fast as the speed of politics perhaps, but they will do what they need to do to stay in business. 

    TSMC’s fabs are the most advanced fabs in the world. There isn’t a competitor. The nearest “competitor” is Samsung, and if Apple used their fabs, they would have slower and hotter chips. Apple has had a decadal and symbiotic relationship with them. It’s basically because of Apple that TSMC, and their own discipline and decision making, has the most advanced fabs. If Apple is to have TSMC diversify, it will be to get them to have more fabs elsewhere in the world, not primarily in Taiwan.

    Lastly, there isn’t any special sauce. It’s plain old boring physics and economics. They take silicon and etch CMOS circuits onto them. Every stage from the silicon itself to the software that runs on them is validated at every stage. You don’t do anything by surprise as it could result in business destroying consequences. Apple, and every TSMC customer, knows precisely what happens to their chips. 
    tmaytenthousandthingsFileMakerFellerJP234danoxfastasleepbageljoeywatto_cobra