Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Iphone Apple

TSMC Preparing To Manufacturer A6X Chip As Apple Looks to Ditch Samsung 172

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the about-that-lawsuit dept.
An anonymous reader writes with reports that TSMC is preparing to do a first test run of Apple's A6X chipset currently manufactured by Samsung. The TSMC manufactured chips will feature a process shrink from 32nm to 28nm, and there's a good chance Apple will grant them the contract for the next generation A7 chip. From SlashGear: "The test will kick off in Q1 2013, The China Times reports, with TSMC producing a new, 28nm version of the existing 32nm A6X that Samsung has been producing for the full-sized iPad 4th-gen; the smaller chip, which will likely be more power efficient as well, will debut in a new iPad 5th-gen and iPad mini 2."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

TSMC Preparing To Manufacturer A6X Chip As Apple Looks to Ditch Samsung

Comments Filter:
  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @10:53AM (#42450581)

    This is slightly different. The same chip is being produced (it's Apple's design), it's just a different manufacturer. No doubt Apple will be paying per chip and not per wafer, so if anything does fuck up it'll be on TSMC's head. Plus it's not like TSMC doesn't know a thing or two about producing chips.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @11:04AM (#42450673)

    This is slightly different. The same chip is being produced (it's Apple's design), it's just a different manufacturer. No doubt Apple will be paying per chip and not per wafer, so if anything does fuck up it'll be on TSMC's head. Plus it's not like TSMC doesn't know a thing or two about producing chips.

    TSMC is the world's largest dedicated foundry but pales in comparison to the chipmaking operation at Samsung. They can produce good chips no doubt, but I would put money on higher than normal failure rates (like iPhones going bad) and lower than normal yields (like iPhone 6 or "New iPad Mini" stocking fuck-ups) for at least a generation or two until they have the details nailed down. This kind of thing doesn't get turned on overnight, or even in a year or two.

  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @11:25AM (#42450857)

    I don't think this move is just to screw over Samsung (although that's no doubt a happy coincidence for apple). I think someone at Apple has realised that Samsung could decide not to renew the contract and just as easily screw over Apple. As someone else has already pointed out, Apple is still keeping Samsung as a manufacturer in the meantime so even if TSMC does fuck up horribly, Apple won't be in too much trouble.

    There's nothing wrong with ensuring you have more than one supplier for a critical component, especially one that only a handful of companies can produce.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @11:46AM (#42451103)

    HI! I found an update [xbitlabs.com] to your 7-month-old news that you might find interesting. From this link:

    “28nm yield and 28nm supply situation have both improved substantially. And so we feel pretty good about the balance of supply and demand at the moment,” said Jen Hsun-Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia.

    Qualcomm seems to be satisfied with TSMC’s output, but clearly points to progression that could have been made.

    “We are above the high end of our previous revenue and earnings guidance as demand in 28nm supply improved as the quarter progressed. This gives us a strong base to build off of. We are looking forward to next year, we expect double-digit revenue and non-GAAP earnings growth again in fiscal 2013, said Paul Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer at Qualcomm.

    But I can see what you mean about TSMC not being able to get it right. After all, in June they had some problems, and by November, the people they were having problems supplying both indicated that they were pleased with the improvements and the results TSMC had achieved in the intervening 6 months.

    This is clearly the mark of a company that is doomed to fail at producing any chip, at any volume, for any customer! I can't wait to hear more interesting prognostication from you, based on 6 month old data that has since been revised to show that the problem is largely resolved!

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:18PM (#42451463) Homepage

    They could have done it differently, and coexisted with Apple. Now, they reap their reward. I don't really understand why this is so hard for the Android fanbois to understand.

    I don't think you understand Apple's business model. They've got a loooong list of bullshit patents ready to unleash on anybody who dares to compete with them. Samsung is the most successful Android phone maker, that's why they're being picked on. When Samsung defeats the 'rounded corners' lawsuit Apple will just pick another one from their list. So it goes...

  • by mk1004 (2488060) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:26PM (#42452393)

    Company A sells a product.
    Company B makes a better product, using parts purchased from company A.
    Company A closely copies company B's product, as companies have done since the beginning of time.
    Company B files suit against Company A for infringement.
    Company B divorces all business from company A, as companies have done since the beginning of time.

    Company A's parts business is just fine, since company B isn't that much of their business.

    Nobody is saying Samsung is a victim of anything, except perhaps bad patents and jury foremen. And no, I use Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Android. It's not just Android fanbois who think Samsung got a bad deal in the US lawsuit. Apple's move to TSMC isn't a big deal for them, however.

  • by alvieboy (61292) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @02:29PM (#42453073) Homepage

    I recall reading that, despite being the "same chip", actual layout is Samsung, so switching to another HW process will require them to at least redo the placement of all the core components (read, transistors and so on), and rewrite some others.

    Note that not only the ARM core needs replacement (I think ARM does not sell the full implementation design, but only the high-level design), but all other components that are inside the SoC are probably Samsung IP or licensed to it (both design and implementation, although some might come from other IP vendors, like Synopsys), so they need to replace those as well.

    This will require a lot of QA effort, and is very risky.

The difficult we do today; the impossible takes a little longer.

Working...