TSMC could spend $16+ billion on US chip plant, final decision in the first half of 2018

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 20, 2017

iPhone and iPad silicon maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) won’t make the decision whether or not it would build a foundry fab in the United States until sometime in 2018, Reuters reported Monday. The firm hinted it might start building some of the chips in America.

TSMC, which exclusively churns out Apple-designed mobile processors for latest iPhone and iPads, won’t make a definite decision on building a US plant this year because it would lose its “flexibility” if it made the move this year. Read More

 

Foxconn and TSMC joining together to bid for Toshiba’s flash memory business

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 7, 2017

Aside from other firms, companies like storage maker Western Digital, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and Apple mobile chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have all been named as potential bidders seeking a stake in Toshiba’s memory business.

According to a new report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times, quoted by DigiTimes, Foxconn and TSMC are joining forces in an attempt to acquire a majority stake in Toshiba’s NAND flash business. A successful bid by the two Apple suppliers may pose a great challenge to Samsung Electronics’ leadership in the flash memory market. Read More

 

iPhone chip maker TSMC also eyeing Toshiba’s flash memory business

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2017

According to DigiTimes, Apple chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is also interested in acquiring a stake in Japanese giant Toshiba’s memory business. The semiconductor foundry has been looking to expand into the lucrative 3D NAND memory sector.

Apple’s top supplier of memory chips, Toshiba is looking to spin off its flash unit into a separate company after reporting a massive $6.3 billion loss, with the split to become effective on April 1, 2017.

Firms like storage maker Western Digital and iPhone manufacturer Foxconn are among the potential bidders seeking a stake in Toshiba’s memory business, too. Read More

 

Foxconn serious about bidding for Toshiba’s memory chip business

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 1, 2017

Contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple’s iPhones and other companies’ products, is “very serious” about bidding for Toshiba’s memory chip business. Toshiba is currently Apple’s top supplier of flash memory chips. Foxconn’s founder and chairman Terry Gou said the firm cannot afford not having this technology.

Toshiba recently moved to sell some or all of its memory chip business after reporting a massive $6.3 billion loss. According to Bloomberg, Gou was present at an event in southern China to open a new $9 billion display plant. Read More

 

TSMC kicking off commercial shipments of 10-nanometer chips next month

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2017

Semiconductor foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is kicking off commercial shipments of chips built on its new ten-nanometer process technology, ahead of iPhone 8, sources told Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. TSMC is building iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip and is said to have landed an exclusive contract to manufacture processors for 2017 iPhone and iPad models. Read More

 

References to next-generation MacBook Pros with Kaby Lake chips found in Sierra code

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 7, 2017

A developer-only preview of what would become the macOS Sierra 10.12.4 software update references a total of eight next-generation MacBook Pro models with the latest Kaby Lake processors from Intel. First discovered by the Apple-centric blog named Pike’s Universum, the code strings in question point to unused IDs for three motherboard identifiers. Aside from other improvements, the Kaby Lake platform enables lower power consumption while possibly bringing support for 32GB RAM. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple working on ARM-based Mac chip to handle low power features

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 1, 2017

According to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Ian King, Apple is developing a new ARM-based chip for Macs that would take on more of the low power mode functionality that’s currently being handled by Intel processors.

This upcoming piece of silicon may first become available in a next-generation MacBook Pro planned for later this year. Among other things, it would help improve battery life. Read More

 

Apple sues Qualcomm over withholding $1B as ransom in Korean legal investigation

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2017

Apple on Friday announced it’s suing iPhone modem supplier Qualcomm, which owns many wireless patents, “after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty”. The suit argues Qualcomm withheld nearly $1 billion in payments it owes to Apple as retaliation because Apple cooperated with the Korea Fair Trade Commission. Last month, Korean regulators slapped Qualcomm with a $850 million fine over its patent-licensing practices.

Apple’s suit, filed in federal district court in the Southern District of California, accuses Qualcomm of charging royalties for technologies “they have nothing to do with.” Responding to the complaint, Qualcomm called Apple’s claims groundless and said they “misrepresented facts”.

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iPhone 7 flash memory maker Toshiba could sell its NAND flash unit to Western Digital

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 20, 2017

DigiTimes estimated this week that flash memory chips for smartphones will remain in high demand throughout 2017 because supply shortages are reportedly “worse than expected” as chip makers are currently transitioning from older 2D NAND to newer 3D NAND technology.

According to a report Friday in The Korea Herald newspaper, citing Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities analysts, Toshiba may spin off of its lucrative NAND flash unit and sell the stake to Western Digital, narrowing the technology and market share gap with its bigger rival Samsung Electronics. Read More

 

Qualcomm denies FTC’s claims it bribed Apple into using its modem chips

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2017

Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Qualcomm with monopolizing baseband modems used in smartphones, basically saying the company bribed Apple into not making a WiMAX iPhone in exchange for better royalties. The chip maker in a subsequent press release denied any wrongdoing, saying the FTC doesn’t really understand how the mobile industry works. Read More

 
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