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Old Oct 12, 2012, 08:55 AM   #1
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Apple Reportedly Tapping TSMC for 20-nm Quad-Core Chips with Late 2013 Production




China Economic News Service reports on a research note from Citigroup analyst J.T. Hsu claiming that Apple is working with Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC as its sole supplier for future quad-core chips based on more efficient 20-nanometer processes. The timeline shared by Hsu suggests that the quad-core chips could make their way into products such as the iPad in 2014.
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Citigroup Global Markets' market research fellow, J.T. Hsu, pointed out that Apple began verifying TSMC's 20nm process in August this year and may begin risk production in November with the process. Volume production is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2013, raising the possibility that TSMC will hike capital expenditure to US$11-12 billion in 2013 and 2014.

Hsu estimated Apple to design quad-core processors into iPad, iTV and even Macbook. iPhones will be still powered by duo-core processors to highlight its low power consumption merit.
TSMC is in the early stages of developing its 20-nanometer processes, but the company promises significant improvements with the technology.
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TSMC's 20nm process technology can provide 30 percent higher speed, 1.9 times the density, or 25 percent less power than its 28nm technology. TSMC 20nm technology is the manufacturing process behind a wide array of applications that run the gamut from tablets and smartphones to desktops and servers.
Apple currently uses Samsung as the manufacturer of its A-series chips for its iOS devices, testing out a 32-nanometer process with a revised A5 chip launched in the tweaked iPad 2 and the third-generation Apple TV earlier this year. Apple moved full-bore into the 32-nanometer process for the new A6 chip used in the iPhone 5.

Apple had been rumored several times over the past 18 months to be switching its ARM-based chip production to TSMC, but the company has so far stuck with Samsung. A late August report indicated that Apple and Qualcomm had each attempted to purchase exclusive access to TSMC's chip production, but TSMC ultimately rejected both bids. TSMC has, however, indicated that it remains open to dedicating individual factories to single customers, and it appears that Apple may be interested in pursuing that route in order to take advantage of TSMC's technical and manufacturing expertise.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Tapping TSMC for 20-nm Quad-Core Chips with Late 2013 Production
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 08:56 AM   #2
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So long Samsung!
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 08:57 AM   #3
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The better these chips get... The more powerful my apps get. This is always good news to me. I'm loving the A6
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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Late 2013?
Just in time for the 'new' Mac Pro.
With 3 GB of memory and a two year old Nvidia 650GT.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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To me this should put an end to the speculation on wether a revised iPad 3 is going to be released this year: Probably not. I think we will see a revised iPad 3, in March of 2013, with this new 20nm chip, along with the iPad 4th. I don't think they will use Lightning connector, just like they didn't revise the iPhone 4S's connector.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger8 View Post
To me this should put an end to the speculation on wether a revised iPad 3 is going to be released this year: Probably not. I think we will see a revised iPad 3, in March of 2013, with this new 20nm chip, along with the iPad 4th. I don't think they will use Lightning connector, just like they didn't revise the iPhone 4S's connector.
Did you read the part of the article where it said that production of these chips wasn't going to begin until 3Q 2013?
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:19 AM   #7
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Why doesn't apple buy TSMC ?
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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Jumping on a state of the art TSMC node has always worked out well. Their 40 and 28 nodes have had massive production issues long after they were implemented.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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Why doesn't apple buy TSMC ?
Samsung Patented that idea.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:23 AM   #10
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I believe this focus on a non-Samsung supplier is not about shifting commerce so much as shifting access to IP. Apple is increasingly doing custom mods to its chips that provide a competitive advantage, and the longer it takes for Samsung to get one and put it under a few electron microscopes, the longer it will take the clonemaster to clone it.

It is notable just how much of a difference 20nm makes over the prior generation in the one area Apple cares about most. Density. 1.9x as good!

Of course Apple will not focus on speed or power usage so much as thinness and volume. Speed always comes in third in that mix.

SIM-less and Voice-less can't be far away. VoIP only voice here we come.

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cite:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/15/...-relationship/

"Apple is still relying on the Korean firm to manufacture its chips but has made it clear it will no longer use its rival's technology, according to a senior Samsung official. "
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gto55 View Post
Why doesn't apple buy TSMC ?
because they don't have enough cash to.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gto55 View Post
Why doesn't apple buy TSMC ?
Perhaps they don't want to be bought?

TSMC is a very successful business at this point. There's more profit in success than there is in selling out, generally.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by basesloaded190 View Post
Did you read the part of the article where it said that production of these chips wasn't going to begin until 3Q 2013?
Opps, misread as 3Q 2012... my bad
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:31 AM   #14
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It's not often that you get the opportunity to leave one company for their competitor and not only do they lose your payments as their single biggest customer, they have to actually pay YOU $1 Billion as you take your business elsewhere.

Ouch!
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazard View Post
because they don't have enough cash to.
They do, but it still doesn't make it a wise purchase
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
sole supplier for future quad-core chips
Something doesn't quite sound right though. If anything Apple will try to add more suppliers not reducing them. Relying on a single company that's well known to have its share of production problems just doesn't sound like Tim Cook-era Apple.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:44 AM   #17
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So long Samsung!
this will hurt more than the billion dollar patent ruling.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by basesloaded190 View Post
They do, but it still doesn't make it a wise purchase
Apple has an estimated $117B in cash reserves...hardly enough to purchase TSMC.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazard View Post
Apple has an estimated $117B in cash reserves...hardly enough to purchase TSMC.
TSM only has a market cap of $78B
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazard View Post
Apple has an estimated $117B in cash reserves...hardly enough to purchase TSMC.
TSMC's market cap is under $80B. (Financial info)

edit: I should've known Dwight's wanted face would beat me!
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basesloaded190 View Post
TSM only has a market cap of $78B
Quote:
Originally Posted by fertilized-egg View Post
TSMC's market cap is under $80B. (Financial info)

edit: I should've known Dwight's wanted face would beat me!
No. Big no-no.

You don't use market cap as a measure of "price tagging" companies.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:59 AM   #22
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TSM only has a market cap of $78B
you're forgetting about the acquisition premium.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 09:59 AM   #23
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No. Big no-no.

You don't use market cap as a measure of "price tagging" companies.
I realize that, I appraise companies for a living and know that there is so much more than just stock to consider when a purchase is made. I'm not saying Apple should do this, but I'm saying that they could.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 10:00 AM   #24
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No. Big no-no.

You don't use market cap as a measure of "price tagging" companies.
Market cap is the price of a company, with some extra for acquisition premium, but yes, market cap is the reference point.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 10:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basesloaded190 View Post
I realize that, I appraise companies for a living and know that there is so much more than just stock to consider when a purchase is made. I'm not saying Apple should do this, but I'm saying that they could.
Still no. What would Apple do in the chip business? Intel is already wary of Apple as is, doubt they'll play nice knowing Apple will be their competitor.

Apple needs only a chip supplier, not a chip making business. Although I loathe at time TMSC due to their 40nm snafu with nVidia and AMD (ATI at time).

----------

Quote:
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Market cap is the price of a company, with some extra for acquisition premium, but yes, market cap is the reference point.
Reference tag =! Price tag. That is all.
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