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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:11 AM   #1
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TSMC Now Shipping A-Series Processors to Apple for Future iOS Devices




Chip manufacturing company TSMC started shipping processors to Apple in Q2 2014, reports the Wall Street Journal. After exclusively sourcing its processors from Samsung, Apple last year struck a deal with TSMC that would see the manufacturer begin*supplying A-series chips for Apple's iOS devices.

Apple's deal with TSMC is a win-win situation for both companies with Apple reducing its reliance on Samsung for iOS device components and TSMC receiving a boost financially from Apple's hardware*orders.
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The development means Apple doesn't have to rely solely on Samsung for microprocessors, a critical component that controls applications running in smartphones and tablets. By securing an additional supplier, Apple will have more leverage when it comes to price negotiations with its chip suppliers in the future. Through the deal, TSMC adds a high-profile customer that could help support expensive research investments the manufacturer needs to move to advanced technology and will likely boost its overall revenue this year, analysts said.
In line with previous reports, TSMC allegedly began mass producing chips for Apple using its 20-nanometer process earlier this year and is working with the company on future 16-nanometer designs. Apple also is rumored to be working with Samsung on next year's A9 processor which could use a 14-nanometer design.

Article Link: TSMC Now Shipping A-Series Processors to Apple for Future iOS Devices
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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At least Apple will be selling IOS devices this year.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:14 AM   #3
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Awesome news, but not because of that Samsung BS related with trials.

It is awesome news because samsung is getting behind (still in 28?), Intel is having lots of trouble with going 14 nm.

So TSMC is by far the best option, 20 nm is going to be the most viable option for a long time. Of course, Samsung electronics seeing a 30 % YoY profit decline, 3rd quarter in a row of decline in profits, and blaming most of it on Samsung Mobile (smartphones, tablets, computers) is good, but it's time to take a dig at those manufacturing plants too.

God, a big screen iPhone (2 models) and suddenly looks like Samsung Mobile, maybe even Samsung Eletronics in itself will feel a lot of pain in the next 2 years. "How to go from 9 billion $ in a quarter to 2 billion $ in a year."

Great. Less stupid Galaxy ads.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:16 AM   #4
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Just a month ago reports said TSMC isnt going to be a supplier for the A8 chip?
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:20 AM   #5
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I'm really really excited about this. I'm excited about what the A8 brings to the table. Will the competition be further steamrolled? I'm also exited about bringing in a new fab. Apple's been using Samsung for a decade and it's ben great, so this can either be business as usual or end in catastrophic failure. Either way, its exciting!
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:24 AM   #6
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Just a month ago reports said TSMC isnt going to be a supplier for the A8 chip?
That's the thing about rumours. Mostly they're wrong
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:24 AM   #7
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Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromcm.pm View Post
Awesome news, but not because of that Samsung BS related with trials.

It is awesome news because samsung is getting behind (still in 28?), Intel is having lots of trouble with going 14 nm.

So TSMC is by far the best option, 20 nm is going to be the most viable option for a long time. Of course, Samsung electronics seeing a 30 % YoY profit decline, 3rd quarter in a row of decline in profits, and blaming most of it on Samsung Mobile (smartphones, tablets, computers) is good, but it's time to take a dig at those manufacturing plants too.

God, a big screen iPhone (2 models) and suddenly looks like Samsung Mobile, maybe even Samsung Eletronics in itself will feel a lot of pain in the next 2 years. "How to go from 9 billion $ in a quarter to 2 billion $ in a year."

Great. Less stupid Galaxy ads.
Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:41 AM   #9
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28 nanometers now, 20 for the A8, maybey 16 or 14 for the A9. I think we are running out of nanometers... I am wondering what the next technology will be since clearly you cannot go much lower on the nanometer scale. I would imagine that they are already having a hard time keeping electrons from jumping. When are those quantum chips going to come out?
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:43 AM   #10
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I wonder how much Apple wants to distance itself from Samsung? Or is TSMC giving Apple a better deal maybe?
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:44 AM   #11
fertilized-egg
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Originally Posted by SilianRail View Post
Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
Having engineers to design the process and the chips doesn't mean production has to happen in America.

Either way it's been reported many times that Apple is ordering the A9 generation chips from Globalfoundries, which is a company in America.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SilianRail View Post
Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
It's just a matter of investing a few billion dollars. And probably some more to do a major amount of catching up. And the problem is, in that kind of business you have to be the best or close to the best, or you don't make any money at all.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:51 AM   #13
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I wonder how much Apple wants to distance itself from Samsung? Or is TSMC giving Apple a better deal maybe?
The rumor has been that Apple is trying hard to move away from Samsung but TSMC is not giving them a particularly good deal. It's allegedly because TSMC has many clients lined up for their business unlike Samsung who only has Apple as a big client other than themselves, and even Samsung's own mobile division has been buying more Qualcomm chips manufactured by TSMC.

So it makes sense that the next stop for Apple is rumored to be Globalfoundries, who now offers identical process as Samsung to Apple.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:53 AM   #14
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So, we'll soon have some iDevices with microprocessors from TSMC and Samsung. Will there be tons of posts in various returns threads thereafter with people "hoping I get the Samsung one" (in their replacement)?
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SilianRail View Post
Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
Ask the Obama administration.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SilianRail View Post
Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
I am not aware of CPUs that aren't designed by a US company. Apple (an American company) designs the A series SOCs that are based on ARM (technically a European company, but the designs are all done here) designs. Many of the A-Series SOCs makes for Apple are actually made in US foundries.

Intel, NVIDIA, QualComm are all based in California.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:55 AM   #17
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Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.
Unfortunately, for companies that I admire (for various reasons), Samsung must fail in order for them to succeed. I agree that it shouldn't be a reason in Apple's case, but it is what it is.

Then, there's the whole corruption thing, bad products and lack of support. For that, I want Samsung to be knocked down nicely.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:55 AM   #18
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Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.
call me a child then

it would be worth it only to see these spectacularly inane ads be halted
maybe this will stop people from calling me stupid because i have an iphone and their samsung is so much better, after all who knows how much such marketing actually alienates people in the end
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 08:56 AM   #19
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Ask the Obama administration.

They would tell you the truth. Most if not all mobile processors are designed in the US...
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 09:00 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SilianRail View Post
Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
Define "making". Apple designs the most advanced ARM chip there is. Intel signs and manufactures mobile viable processors.

I don't get it. Then again, explain rationally why does it matter the nationality of the company in question. Apple is a global company and that's it. Thankfully, they think globally.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
It's just a matter of investing a few billion dollars. And probably some more to do a major amount of catching up. And the problem is, in that kind of business you have to be the best or close to the best, or you don't make any money at all.
What? Almost every chip used is designed in the US.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 09:00 AM   #21
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Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.
I guess I'm childish then. Samsung is a garbage scummy company for a number of reasons. I hope they crash and burn and someone like HTC takes their place as top android manufacturer.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 09:01 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
So, we'll soon have some iDevices with microprocessors from TSMC and Samsung. Will there be tons of posts in various returns threads thereafter with people "hoping I get the Samsung one" (in their replacement)?
It's highly unlikely we'll have two different chips in one device. I would guess it'll be more like the iPhones having a certain chip and the iPad have the other, or could be differentiated by the size.

Also the process matters. If TSMC supplies 20nm and Samsung does 28nm, TSMC is definitely far more desirable and vice-versa.

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Originally Posted by wovel View Post
Many of the A-Series SOCs makes for Apple are actually made in US foundries.
Good point. I forgot about Samsung's Texas Foundry.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 09:04 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by pedromcm.pm View Post
Unfortunately, for companies that I admire (for various reasons), Samsung must fail in order for them to succeed. I agree that it shouldn't be a reason in Apple's case, but it is what it is. Then, there's the whole corruption thing, bad products and lack of support. For that, I want Samsung to be knocked down nicely.
If Samsung was shut down today, Apple product delivery would soon halt. Try to open anything with a screen from Apple and not find something made by Samsung inside. Even this next iPhone will have most of it's most crucial part made by Samsung. If you could wave a wand and close Samsung today, there is either barely or no iPhone launch in a few months.


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Originally Posted by rmbpuser View Post
it would be worth it only to see these spectacularly inane ads be halted maybe this will stop people from calling me stupid because i have an iphone and their samsung is so much better, after all who knows how much such marketing actually alienates people in the end
Hello I'm a Mac…
...and I'm a PC.

Let me guess though, that's totally different as Apple people would never call PC people stupid due to what they pick up from "inane ads"

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Originally Posted by fertilized-egg View Post
It's highly unlikely we'll have two different chips in one device. I would guess it'll be more like the iPhones having a certain chip and the iPad have the other, or could be differentiated by the size.
Maybe. Then again, see lots of "yellow screen" and defective SSD threads with people "hoping I get the Samsung one". None of those are hoping to get a wholly different device but just the variant of the same device with the Samsung screen or SSD.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 09:05 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
If Samsung was shut down today, Apple product delivery would soon halt. Try to open anything with a screen from Apple and not find something made by Samsung inside. Even this next iPhone will have most of it's most crucial part made by Samsung.
Actually iPhones have a relatively little amount of parts made by Samsung. If TSMC supplies the processor for iPhones, Apple can make a phone without a single Samsung part.

I don't know why the myth has perpetuated but Samsung doesn't make iPhone displays and I don't recall them making one in recent years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
Maybe. Then again, see lots of "yellow screen" and defective SSD threads with people "hoping I get the Samsung one". None of those are hoping to get a wholly different device but just the variant of the same device with the Samsung screen or SSD.
Believe it or not, Samsung use TSMC chips rather than their own chips for many Galaxy phones. I don't recall Samsung users crying out because TSMC chips have issues.

And Samsung displays have had their share of issues, such as gradients steps and even yellow tint. They aren't really exclusive to the LG parts after the earlier batch.

SSD on the other hand is where Samsung definitely has a leg up over others. However it's very possible Apple will do their own controller in the future.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 09:05 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by SilianRail View Post
Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...
The technology behind the processor is an American design (if I'm not mistaken). TSMC is a foundry, they manufacture chips, it doesn't matter what the chips are, be them memory chips, processors, video codecs, DC/DC converters, etc...

These foundries are extremely expensive to run and operate; and thus every cost has to be carefully accounted for. Personal to run the foundry is significant, the resources needed are huge, the environmental cleanup, and many other things are necessary. For decades Intel, TI, Motorola and more did have foundries in the US; but being able to keep up with Technology and the ever shrinking transistor became too expensive for most companies to keep them running.

Foundries that are not operating at 90% capacity or more is losing money! Thus there was a market for stand alone foundries that supported all different companies. Since labor was cheaper over seas, and many regulations were more lax; it made sense for these new foundries to be built there. The companies that used to own their own foundries now don't have the expense of researching new technology and making it a viable production line; that is a billion dollar investment. There are several large foundries around the world, but the number is actually quite small; less than 10? These manufacture MOST chips in every electronics device.

I think only Intel is left with their own foundry; and it is closed. This means that no one else can use it. They are often cutting edge and really a generation or two ahead of everyone else. TSMC is, in my humble opinion, the best non-private foundry out there. They aren't as cutting edge as Intel, but their process is damn good.
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