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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:43 AM   #1
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Apple's A8 Chip Production for iPhone 6 Underway at TSMC




Apple's new chip partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun production on the next-generation A8 chip destined for the iPhone 6 later this year, according to a report [Google Translate] from Taiwan's Commercial Times picked up by AFP.
Quote:
The world's leading contract microchip maker last month started producing the A8 chip, which is tipped to power the expected iPhone 6, the Commercial Times reported.

The report, which cited supply chain sources, said TSMC had won most of the manufacturing orders for logic and power management integrated chips for the new handset.
The report claims that the new 20-nanometer A8 will include a quad-core 64-bit processor and quad-core graphics, and that an earlier start to chip production compared to the previous years could give Apple the flexibility to comfortably launch the new iPhone in the third quarter of this year.

Samsung has been Apple's exclusive manufacturing partner for A-series chips, but Apple has long been reported to be trying to shift orders to TSMC. After years of rumors, Apple and TSMC reportedly struck a deal in mid-2013 to begin chip production in early 2014. TSMC and Samsung were initially reported to be splitting the production load for the A8, but Samsung is now said to have dropped out due to low yields.

Article Link: Apple's A8 Chip Production for iPhone 6 Underway at TSMC
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:44 AM   #2
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This will leak soon.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:44 AM   #3
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Let's see how TSMC delivers! Should be interesting.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:45 AM   #4
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Just in time to replace my slow 5s
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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Insert comment about logo
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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I doubt quad core. They made the A7 very wide in terms of execution paths to ostensibly avoid quad core.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:46 AM   #7
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As tired as we get of rationed, incremental and somewhat predictable change I've still got to say bring it on.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:46 AM   #8
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TSMC could ask anyone on Reddit to create a better logo. Or a 2nd grader with photoshop
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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Ya because we need 64-bit said nobody.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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Ya because we need 64-bit said nobody.
It makes sense to be there for the future. If mobile is to replace laptops with x86_64, 64-bit is a good place to start.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Here's to a someday Samsung-free iPhone.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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I am suspicious because usually it is TSMC that gets dropped due to low yields in the rumour mill...although who knows if they were dropped or if these reports are coming out strictly to manipulate stock prices
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 10:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by fins831 View Post
TSMC could ask anyone on Reddit to create a better logo. Or a 2nd grader with photoshop
And while that 2nd grader is at it, here's a little side project:

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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:01 AM   #14
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Normally I'd be really excited to hear this. But then I realize that the only games I play on my iPhone are the ones that require you to wait 45 minutes to get more energy.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fins831 View Post
TSMC could ask anyone on Reddit to create a better logo. Or a 2nd grader with photoshop
Yes, because a company logo effects how well they build a product. Some people have too much time on their hands worrying about such trival matters.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:08 AM   #16
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Can't wait to see if the performance curve Apple highlighted at the September's iPhone 5s and 5c event continues to increase at an almost geometric pace. Or will we start to see a gradual plateauing of year over year improvements like we see with desktop chips.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by giraffle View Post
As tired as we get of rationed, incremental and somewhat predictable change I've still got to say bring it on.
I agree (and I'm a techie). The issue I have with the iPhone (I have the 4S) is that from a customer point of view, there's not a lot of apps that require a new/newly architected CPU every 12 months. Not to mention that iOS/iPhone is still missing a lot of basic functionality that has nothing to do with CPU speed. Granted there *may* be something coming in the next iPhone 6 that might require a better CPU/performance than what the 5S has now, but that's a lot of architecture for 1 item.

Some of the basics that I was talking about that are missing after almost a decade of iPhone are:

-better/more parental/security areas...such as allowing me to view my pictures but disable the Trash button...or include some kind of black list for dirty websites (since Apple already bans all sorts of stuff in the App store)...or offer the ability to force the email system to ask me for the password every ______ hours/days/weeks/power cycles/whatever.

-better history/caching control of Safari...it's really weak that it can't remember what website I was at 10 days ago

-better/longer record of phone calls...I believe the max is 50 received calls and 50 dialed calls. Seriously? 16-64GB of storage and this is the best Apple can do?

-better Airplay integration...such as DIRECTLY to the other Airplay device and NOT over a network/router

-the ability to EASILY get my 1080 videos off the iPhone AND at 1080...ludicrous that I record at 1080 but when I push to Youtube it's 720 or worse...and that I must jump through all kinds of hoops to get the video off my iPhone and onto computer...it should be a simple feature in iTunes.

-the ability to send longer/better quality videos by email....Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, and others provide a 25MB attachment size limit while Apple is still holding onto its 5MB-is-the-largest-we-can-possibly-send-because-it's-1993 motto.

-the ability to store, locally, in some kind of folder my email attachments....PDFs, music, etc.

-I love the All Inboxes but why isn't there an All Sent box so I can easily see all the emails I've sent from my various email accounts?

-An editing feature of photos...so that if the iPhone accidentally mixes up the orientation of a photo (which it ALWAYS does when you take a photo looking straight down at the floor), you can just flip the orientation.



There are a lot of other small things that would make the iPhone/iOS so more awesome...most of these items would be quite trivial to add.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:12 AM   #18
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The board is set, the pieces are in motion... Theres a lot riding on this deal with TSMC. I am not ringing the alarm, but John Gruber pointed out/linked to the idea that the CFO is in the best position to know a companies financial health and he just gave notice. It's really apparent now how investors are waiting with baited breath for Apples next move. Here's to hoping Apple is on solid ground.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:16 AM   #19
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"Samsung is now said to have dropped out due to low yields"

Do you really believe that Apple designed another chip for Samsung to manufacture? Ordered test wafers and then Samsung said: Nope. We cant do. To low yield.

Why would Samsung care about yield? Customers pays per wafers not per working chip.

I still just dont get how reporters believe you can take a chip design from one foundry and just start to manufacture on another foundry. Nope. You have to do a new design and tapeout. Its up to the customer to follow the specs of the foundry. Its the customer that is responsible for yield. TSMC/Samsung dont have magic wafer bakers that make some chip work and other dont work.

Just look at Intel. They have almost 100% yield rate on their chips. Thats why there is no binning today. Before you got something extra when you payed more for a chip: a chip that was binned for that speed. Today all chips can reach top official speed.

An educated guess is that Samsung will produce some A series chips. Maybe just A7 but I hope for A8 and A8X. It does not make any sense to design 2 different A8 just to have Samsung do a trial run.

A8x=Samsung
A8=TSMC + Low voltage A7/20nm
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
The report claims...that an earlier start to chip production compared to the previous years could give Apple the flexibility to comfortably launch the new iPhone in the third quarter of this year.
Or it could lend to rumors of an earlier release.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:18 AM   #21
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if production is underway does this mean that the rumored June release is correct? or would they start production extra early for a September/October release?
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:19 AM   #22
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When did production start on the A7? How many months before the release of the iPhone 5s?
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:19 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by LagunaSol View Post
Here's to a someday Samsung-free iPhone.
I prefer better quality.

Have doubts TSMC can pull it off. What happened with A7?
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by chrmjenkins View Post
I doubt quad core. They made the A7 very wide in terms of execution paths to ostensibly avoid quad core.
Maybe Apple is going to implement the cores so they adjust to the amount of power they use dependent on what they are doing. In some cases the unused cores would shut down and power consumption would be lowered. Or maybe Apple has figured out a way to have the quad core use the amount of power as the dual core A7. I suspect that you are correct though.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by irDigital0l View Post
I prefer better quality.

Have doubts TSMC can pull it off. What happened with A7?
What exactly are you asking in regard to the A7?
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 11:24 AM   #25
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Core is an ambiguous term but the current G6430 in the A7 could be considered a quad core GPU. Unless Apple's planning on significantly increasing the clock speed, which is unlikely given it's power inefficient, you'd think they'd be moving to a hexacore solution like the G6630 or GX6650 in the A8.
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