Samsung Said to Supply Apple with NAND Flash Memory in 2017 After Five-Year Hiatus

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Samsung is once again set to begin supplying Apple with NAND flash memory chips in 2017, ending a five-year hiatus dating back to the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012, according to ETNews. The reason for the dissolution of the original supplier relationship is given as Samsung's unwillingness to comply with Apple's electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements via packaging changes or special coatings on the memory packages themselves.

This new claim comes on the heels of an report earlier report, also by ETNews, suggesting Apple was looking to individually shield more parts inside its devices for performance and EMI compliance reasons.

The earlier article claimed the impetus for this change was the use of multiple diverse systems such as 3D Touch along with the presence of various high-speed interfaces, all of which can contribute to and be affected by EMI. Individual shielding would also allow Apple to dispense with discrete metal shielding components, which could ultimately save on logic board space and allow more room for other components inside the devices.

The new report notes that Samsung's use of ball grid array (BGA) packaging places it at a disadvantage to competing products that use land grid array (LGA) package contacts, which allow the package to sit flush with the printed circuit board.

LGA type lead (left) compared to BGA type lead (right)

It appears Samsung's existing sputter coat EMI shielding technologies were insufficient for Apple's performance requirements, given the shielding gaps created by the raised BGA contacts. The emergence of new, cheaper spray techniques for ultra-thin coats of metal shielding seems to be one development that has changed the dynamic of this relationship, as have Samsung's concerns about a weakening flash memory market.

Samsung remains a leader in NAND type memory solutions, with its 3D V-NAND memories offering up to 256 Gb densities on the market currently. While this development seems most likely to affect the memories used in Apple's iPhone and iPad products, there would also be an opportunity for Samsung to show up in the entire line of Mac computers, which have become heavily reliant on flash storage. Along with the recent news that Samsung will supply Apple with OLED panels for future iPhones, it appears Samsung very much remains in play as a supplier for Apple devices.

Article Link: Samsung Said to Supply Apple with NAND Flash Memory in 2017 After Five-Year Hiatus
 

Pbrutto

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2015
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While I don't always enjoy the compromises that result from the quest for thinness, I do love the actual science behind how they get there....next week on macrumors Jony Ive rearranges the molecules of air to achieve an even thinner sealed iPhone that somehow still isn't waterproof!
 

Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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First Apple and Samsung were suing each other, now Samsung is helping Apple a out :rolleyes: It's all about $!
They are a business and would be very stupid to turn down millions of $ from Apple and Apple would be stupid to turn down the parts if they are best they can get, for their best selling and most popular device, I.e the iPhone.
 

redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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While this development seems most likely to affect the memories used in Apple's iPhone and iPad products, there would also be an opportunity for Samsung to show up in the entire line of Mac computers, which have become heavily reliant on flash storage.
Samsung has been supplying many of the SSDs used in Macs for years...
 

mountain

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2007
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Well, samsung is in the business selling those chips so why not. Have to admit that Samsung is one of the best out there.
 

Jimrod

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
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While I don't always enjoy the compromises that result from the quest for thinness, I do love the actual science behind how they get there....next week on macrumors Jony Ive rearranges the molecules of air to achieve an even thinner sealed iPhone that somehow still isn't waterproof!
That's the problem with Jony Ive really - he's obsessed but it's just with "thinness" above all else which makes for a worse product in many areas, Steve Jobs was obsessed too but it was making the best product, didn't always get it right but it was a healthier obsession!
 

igorsky

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2457282

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This can't be real. Did you see those drawings? It's way to think for Jony.
/s

More seriously, in addition to shielding it would be good to do some additional waterproofing.
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
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That's the problem with Jony Ive really - he's obsessed but it's just with "thinness" above all else which makes for a worse product in many areas, Steve Jobs was obsessed too but it was making the best product, didn't always get it right but it was a healthier obsession!
I'd love a list of Ive products that thinness has made them worse, or at least a list of the many areas where they are worse. This is a serious request. I supported Jobs's push towards simplicity and thinness and I support Ive's so I'd love to see where the products would be better if they weren't so thin. How many things on that list are fact and how many are opinion? Again, that's a serious question.
 

webbuzz

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2010
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People often don't realize that Samsung Semiconductor and Samsung Mobile are different. From what I've read, there are executives at the former who hate the way the latter operates, as they should.
Motorola had a similar issue known as the warring tribes. External customers were often prioritized over internal customers.
 

chucksav

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2010
11
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Apparently making parts for Apple is the only way Samsung can make a profit in the phone business.
 
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