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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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'Project Azalea' - A TSMC Chip Factory Dedicated to Building Processors for iDevices?




According to The Oregonian, Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, and officials in New York may both be competing to attract a massive chip manufacturing company, which uses the code name "Azalea."
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Business Oregon -- the state's economic development agency -- confirms that it's recruiting a company that goes by the codename "Azalea." The department declined to discuss details of the effort, citing a nondisclosure agreement with the unnamed company.

However, officials in New York have been actively pursuing what's known there as "Project Azalea." Documents obtained by The Business Review, an Albany, N.Y., weekly, describe that project as a 3.2-million-square-foot semiconductor factory that would employ at least 1,000 people.

The cost of building and equipping a new semiconductor factory -- a fab, in the chip industry's parlance -- runs in the billions of dollars. That's attracted great interest to the chatter around Azalea, which at this point is largely speculative.

Within the chip industry, the theory is that the fab would be a contract facility to build microprocessors for Apple's mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad.
The*EETimes believes that this mysterious "Azalea" chip factory is none other than the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which appears to be waffling between creating a new factory in New York or Oregon.

There have been several rumors over the last two years linking Apple to TSMC, pegging the semiconductor company as Apple's likely partner as Apple moves away from Samsung because of the ongoing dispute between the two companies.

Samsung currently builds all of the custom A-series processors that Apple uses in its iOS devices in an Austin, Texas plant, including the newest 32-nanometer process A6 chip used in the iPhone 5 and the A6X chip used in the fourth generation iPad. Rumors have, however, suggested that Apple is interested in making a deal with TSMC instead, both to cut ties with Samsung and to take advantage of TSMC's 20-nanometer process for use in late 2013.

Earlier this year, TSMC turned down both Apple and Qualcomm, who placed bids for exclusive access to TSMC's chip production, but the company did indicate that it might possibly devote a factory to a single customer. This suggests that if TSMC is indeed behind "Project Azalea," then the upcoming U.S.-based chip factory could potentially be used to create chips for Apple's iDevices.

Article Link: 'Project Azalea' - A TSMC Chip Factory Dedicated to Building Processors for iDevices?
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:49 PM   #2
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If this is true, I wouldn't mind seeing some production diverted from Samsung. Though I doubt it'll have the capacity to replace Samsung, nor is that the intention.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:54 PM   #3
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Message to Samsung from Apple...Arm-ageddon outa here. Apple declares nucular war.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Bye bye Samsung!
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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Oh, they grow flowers?
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:52 PM   #6
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Flowers with the scent of a freshly-unboxed Mac
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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Apple declares nucular war.
Thanks for this afternoon's laugh.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:06 AM   #8
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Replacement of Samsung would be wise.

There is no good reason to do buiness with a company that steals from you.

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Originally Posted by clibinarius View Post
If this is true, I wouldn't mind seeing some production diverted from Samsung. Though I doubt it'll have the capacity to replace Samsung, nor is that the intention.
I have to believe that would be the intention. It is really a question of ethics. As to one plant doing it all, who knows. The reality is it is bad business to have too much reliance on a single plant. So I'd rather see Apple split production across plants and vendors.

As for Samsung people seem to have this perception that they have some magical capability to produce chips. This really isn't the case and frankly Samsung has suffered from the same issue the rest of the industry has.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clibinarius View Post
If this is true, I wouldn't mind seeing some production diverted from Samsung. Though I doubt it'll have the capacity to replace Samsung, nor is that the intention.
We are talking about TSMC here. They have no problem building capacity to replace Samsung twice. Their problem would be that this is a huge investment, and they would want guarantees from Apple to make sure the investment pays. On the other hand, Apple has the cash to make those guarantees.

----------

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Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
And cutting ties with Samsung isn't just sour grapes. By ordering specific components from Samsung, Apple is tipping off Samsung with future iDevice specs (and possible new products).
That is always claimed, but I wouldn't think so. So Apple builds a new, faster ARM processor - well, who would have thought that? Of course they do. Samsung knows Apple will do that, whether Apple places an order with Samsung or keeps the thing top secret, because it is just common sense they will. Apple is looking for better batteries - well, who would have thought that?

Most things are just ordinary improvements that you would expect Apple to make anyway. Designs are legally protected, some technology is protected by patents, and both don't take long to copy - it's just risky because you can and will get sued for it. If Samsung wanted to make a phone that looks exactly like iPhone 5, buying a dozen on the first day it's released would give them enough time.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
We are talking about TSMC here. They have no problem building capacity to replace Samsung twice. Their problem would be that this is a huge investment, and they would want guarantees from Apple to make sure the investment pays. On the other hand, Apple has the cash to make those guarantees.

----------



That is always claimed, but I wouldn't think so. So Apple builds a new, faster ARM processor - well, who would have thought that? Of course they do. Samsung knows Apple will do that, whether Apple places an order with Samsung or keeps the thing top secret, because it is just common sense they will. Apple is looking for better batteries - well, who would have thought that?

Most things are just ordinary improvements that you would expect Apple to make anyway. Designs are legally protected, some technology is protected by patents, and both don't take long to copy - it's just risky because you can and will get sued for it. If Samsung wanted to make a phone that looks exactly like iPhone 5, buying a dozen on the first day it's released would give them enough time.
The idea that being sued prevents somebody from copying/doing something is a pipe dream.

It takes years for a suit to be finished and usually people settle as the costs become outrageous and the copier wins. Samsung is actually the perfect example of copying and then paying for the lawsuits as cost of doing business.

Must be enough profit in copying to pay for this.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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Go Oregon! I live about an hour away from Azalea.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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Azalea -> Tower -> flash.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:16 PM   #13
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Go Oregon!
As a New Yorker, I second this! The New York Times recently published articles about how companies that get concessions from state and local governments rarely deliver on their promises.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:11 AM   #14
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As a New Yorker, I second this! The New York Times recently published articles about how companies that get concessions from state and local governments rarely deliver on their promises.

not only that but making CPU's creates pollution. let someone else have these problems
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by duneriderltr450 View Post
Go Oregon! I live about an hour away from Azalea.
Do you really want to have a semiconductor fab in your home town? Please read this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2298294.html

Go find out the chemical used in semiconductor manufacturing. I bet you won't put those chemical in your garage.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:10 PM   #16
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Oh Apple! The decrepit, buckle of the Rust Belt city Buffalo is yearning for your jobs! Help revive a true American city like no other company can!
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by apple-win View Post
Do you really want to have a semiconductor fab in your home town? Please read this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2298294.html

Go find out the chemical used in semiconductor manufacturing. I bet you won't put those chemical in your garage.
In that case, GO Oregon!!
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by apple-win View Post
Do you really want to have a semiconductor fab in your home town? Please read this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2298294.html

Go find out the chemical used in semiconductor manufacturing. I bet you won't put those chemical in your garage.
Intel has several fabs in Hillsbro Oregon. So yeah, go Oregon!
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:19 PM   #19
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In the Arab world, stealing gets your hands cut off.

In this case Samsung just lost a lot of business.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:59 AM   #20
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In the Arab world, stealing gets your hands cut off.

In this case Samsung just lost a lot of business.
Samsung has not lost anything. Right at this moment Apple CPUs are manufactured by Samsung in Texas. And the way Samsung is gaining market share in smart phones (which is now 50% higher than that of Apple) they will need this Texas FAB for their own chips. Apple's share in smart phones in 2012 was reported at 20%. They are not really that big of a player.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:54 AM   #21
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In the Arab world, stealing gets your hands cut off.

In this case Samsung just lost a lot of business.
My dad always says "The best way to hurt someone is in the pocket book."
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:25 PM   #22
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Intel has several fabs in Hillsbro Oregon. So yeah, go Oregon!
Many Californians like to move out to Oregon, so does semiconductor fab More chemical to you! (I meant Oregon)

If I could choose which industry stays and which goes, I prefer software to stay, hardware to go. I don't like polution.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:40 PM   #23
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That explanation was more convoluted than it needed to be. I had to read it twice to get the idea that nothing particularly complicated was happening.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by apple-win View Post
Do you really want to have a semiconductor fab in your home town? Please read this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2298294.html

Go find out the chemical used in semiconductor manufacturing. I bet you won't put those chemical in your garage.
I hope, in this case, that you therefore think twice about what you buy based on the conditions people have to suffer through in the backyards where they are made....?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:15 AM   #25
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I hope, in this case, that you therefore think twice about what you buy based on the conditions people have to suffer through in the backyards where they are made....?
I was a blue-collar worker in electronic industry. I know the work place conditions. It's even more nasty in old days.
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