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

 

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

 

Qualcomm under fire from FTC over allegedly forcing Apple to use its baseband modem chips

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 17, 2017

Now we know why Apple has made the controversial decision to dual-source baseband modem chips for iPhone 7 from both Intel and Qualcomm. Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Qualcomm with monopolizing baseband modems used in smartphones, saying the firm’s leveraged its position to force Apple to use its baseband chips in exchange for lower patent royalties. Read More

 

iPhone processor supplier TSMC hints it might build chips in America

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2017

As we reported this morning, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp are considering setting up an $8 billion LCD panel production plant in the United States. According to another report, semiconductor maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) has also expressed interest in taking advantage of business-friendly incentives proposed by incoming U.S. President Trump.

As a reminder, TSMC currently churns out Apple-designed silicon for latest iOS devices and is also said to have landed a lucrative contract to build next-generation A11 chips for future Phones and iPads. Read More

 

Poor yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process could disrupt next iPad launch

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 23, 2016

Trade publication DigiTimes said Friday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has received orders to kick off volume production of Apple-designed A10X Fusion chips for the next iPad. However, unsatisfactory yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process technology could disrupt planned March 2017 launch of the next iPad series.

The proportion of semiconductor devices on the silicon wafer found to perform properly is referred to as the yield. Yield rates in semiconductor fabrication can be as low as thirty percent due to process variation and many other reasons. Read More

 

TSMC posts record profits as iPhone 7 demand fuels orders for A10 Fusion chip

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

Chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) today posted record profits and its shares have climbed to their highest level on record as strong demand for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus fuels orders for the handsets’ in-housed designed A10 Fusion processor. That TSMC is the sole supplier of the A10 has no doubt helped it capture record profits amid a global slowdown in the smartphone market. Read More

 

Apple’s new T1 chip that drives MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar runs “eOS”, a variant of watchOS

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2016

If early impressions are an indication, the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro is definitely not a gimmick. The time-saving feature lets you accomplish common tasks faster without needing to memorize a bunch of app-specific keyboard shortcuts.

Instead or remembering a shortcut or wasting time finding it in the menus, you just touch one of the system-wide or app-specific icons that are displayed on the Touch Bar.

For the hardware geeks among us, the more interesting aspect of the Touch Bar is the Apple-designed silicon behind it, dubbed the T1. As developer Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered, the Touch Bar is actually a mini Apple Watch. Read More

 
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