By Christian Zibreg on Apr 16, 2013
New evidence has surface in the form of several Apple job postings advertising for silicon experts for the Orlando, Florida area, where the iPhone maker is rumored to be setting up a brand new shop for custom chip development. Among the seven positions advertised on the Apple Jobs web site are those specifically related to developing and testing processor and mobile graphics hardware… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2013
Despite the ongoing legal wrangling over mobile technology patents, Samsung to this date remains the only supplier of Apple-designed processors which drive iPhones, iPads and iPods. The South Korean conglomerate has been exclusively building these chips according to Apple’s blueprints at its multi-billion dollar fabrication facility in Austin, Texas.
However, recent chatter increasingly points to rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) possibly stealing the Apple contract from Samsung as Apple looks to further distance itself from its chief rival.
A new report from South Korea alleges Apple has now actually excluded Samsung as a future mobile processor supplier. In turn, TSMC, which is the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, may produce a significant portion, even possibly all of mobile chips for Apple’s next-gen iPhone 6 to be released in 2014… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 7, 2013
A report Wednesday revives the old rumor that the world’s leading chip maker, Intel, is working on a strategic deal to manufacture processors that power Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPods.
What’s different this time around, though, is the timing: Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini is on his way out and with CEO search still underway, the semiconductor giant could be poised to take its relationship with Apple to the next level.
The gist of the report is that Apple could contract Intel as a foundry, meaning the chip giant would tap its world-class manufacturing expertise to produce iPhone and iPad processors, as designed in-house by Apple, rather than persuade Tim Cook & Co. into adopting Intel’s own mobile Atom x86 chip architecture, which hasn’t made much inroads yet… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2013
With about four months left until Apple’s worldwide developers conference, chatter intensifies that Apple is re-aligning its suppliers. With both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 allegedly spotted in the wild and leaked parts cropping up on Chinese forums, new reports indicate that Apple has substantially cut iPhone 5 screen and chip orders.
And because Apple is the world’s top chip buyer second only to Samsung, any material change in its orders immediately reflects on the entire industry. Little wonder that researches are now calling for a slow down in semiconductor equipment manufacturer orders… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jan 23, 2013
South Korea’s Samsung has another reason to crow. After enduring talk that rival Apple would drop its rival for TSMC, demand for Samsung smartphones and tablets made it the largest customer of chips in 2012, replacing the iPhone and iPad maker in the worldwide chip eating challeng, reports said Thursday.
A Gartner report on semiconductor purchases also gives a rare glimpse into how much Apple is spending on chips for its smartphones and tablet devices. According to the researcher, Samsung increased spending on chips nearly double that of the Cupertino firm… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2013
Morris Chang, Chairman and CEO of the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), said in a recent earnings call that his company’s 20 nanometer process technology will outsell the existing 28 nanometer tech in its first two years. “Enough discussions have taken place, with enough customers who have large requirements (on 20nm), to lead us to believe that the volume will be very large”, he said without specifically mentioning Apple.
Of course, TSMC also makes chips for Qualcomm, Nvidia and other tech giants, but recently rumors have swirled that Apple is about to drop Samsung as a chip supplier and turn to TSMC, which will invest $9 billion this year while spending even more in capital expenditure in 2014 as it moves toward the more advanced 20nm and 16nm process technologies… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2013
Following up on talk that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is prepping to manufacture Apple’s A6X processor and whispers of Tim Cook & Co. negotiating a deal with the foundry to make mobile chips for iOS devices on its 20 nanometer process technology, China Times now quotes Chairman and CEO Morris Chang’s words that TSMC is close to achieving a hundred percent market share on its 28nm process technology.
But why have TSCM’s wafer shipments all of a sudden tripled, allowing it to achieve a virtual monopoly on the 28nm silicon? That’s where the Apple link comes into full view…
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2013
Samsung for the time being remains an exclusive maker of the Apple-designed engine that powers iPhones, iPads and iPods. Apple’s chips are being fabbed on Samsung’s High-κ metal gate 32 nanometer process at its $14 billion semiconductor plant in Austin, Texas. But not for any much longer.
We’ve been hearing lots of rumors lately that rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, has entered Apple’s supply chain with trial production of Apple’s A6X processor.
As the iPhone maker is reportedly accelerating plans to make a jump to TSMC for all of its mobile chips, now comes word that the Taiwan foundry will pretty soon start building on its 20 nanometer process technology a next-gen processor for a “breakthrough” Apple device… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2012
Apple has lately been rumored to have been moving some production lines to the United States amid whispers of a $10 billion silicon manufacturing facility being considered in the country. Various reports mention both New York and Oregon for this project, code-named Azalea.
And because of its reported $10 billion construction cost, there are some who suspect Project Azalea is a chip-making plant for Apple’s products aimed at replacing Samsung. Remember, the Galaxy maker semiconductor arm’s $14 billion Austin, Texas facility exclusively churns out Apple-designed mobile chips that serve as the engine for the iPhone and iPad.
The rumor-mill has been adamant that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, will run the upcoming US facility in co-operation with Apple, but now TSMC CEO has issued a somewhat weak denial… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 12, 2012
We’ve suspected for a while now that Apple’s been making moves ultimately aimed at taking its chip contract elsewhere. Clearly Apple ain’t interested (any longer than it needs to) in letting Samsung enjoy an early peek at the technological solutions developed for the engine that drives its iPhones and iPads.
Currently, all of Apple’s in-house designed A-series processors are being built exclusively by Samsung in its $14 billion chip plant in Austin, Texas.
The iPhone maker was also rumored to be contemplating a switch to Intel’s x86 mobile chips for iPads, as outrageous as the very thought of it may seem.
But what if Tim Cook and his newly-minted chief of Technologies and long-time hardware expert Bob Mansfield have a radical solution in mind? A report Wednesday has it that the California firm could be seeking to invest up to ten billion dollars into a dedicated chip fab in New York, presumably in order to take control of its silicon destiny… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2012
Last time we heard, Apple was going to move its mobile chip production from Samsung’s $14 billion Texas facility to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, some time in 2014. But according to Taipei Times, the company could make the jump earlier than expected as it’s now looking to tap TSMC’s fabrication capability to make next-gen processors for iPhones and iPads as soon as the second quarter of 2013, using TSMC’s 28-nanometer process… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 3, 2012
Earlier this year, Texas Instruments announced a major shift in its business strategy: it’s going to be moving its focus away from smartphone and tablet processors, and towards embedded applications like in-car computer systems.
As a result of this new strategy, the company said that it would be laying off a staggering 1,700 employees — one of the biggest RIFs of the year. But don’t feel too bad, the word is that some of them have found new homes at Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2012
Apple’s been distancing itself from Samsung for quite some time, by purchasing components elsewhere. The company recently added new display and battery providers to its supply chain.
This summer, it started increasing spending on Elpida memory chip at Samsung’s expense.
But as Apple increasingly sources major components from other suppliers, it has yet to make a switch to a non-Samsung silicon foundry. According to the latest chatter from Asia, Tim Cook and Co. remain adamant to take Apple’s chip making contract to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) as early as possible.
But though TSMC, the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, has enough capacity to make the 200 million+ processors Apple needs annually for iPhones, iPads and iPods, such a move bears a significant risk of upsetting TSMC’s major buyers such as Nvidia and Qualcomm… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2012
Intel, the world’s #1 chip maker, has been trying and failing for years to replicate its PC leadership status in mobile. Today, the company issued an unexpected update, saying its long-time CEO Paul Otellini will be retiring in May 2013. Though the semiconductor giant insists this is just “an orderly leadership transition”, Otellini’s successor has not been named and Intel said it will consider internal and external candidates for the job. Intel currently supplies processors for Apple’s Macs, but that could change if the rumor-mill is to be trusted… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2012
Apple appears to be resolving its legal woes with other Android backers such as HTC, reportedly seeking arbitration and even mulling a global settlement with Google’s subsidiary Motorola Mobility. On the other hand, the company is to this date entangled in a complicated web of patent disputes with Samsung, from whom it sources components for iOS devices.
And as the frenemies seek to add new gadgets to their respective list of infringing products, one analyst believes Apple’s hostile tactics has forced the Galaxy maker to divert from its original business strategy. As a result, the component arm of the South Korean conglomerate has become “more assertive” in price negotiations with Apple, refusing to invest billions of dollars in plants and manufacturing technology without long-term commitment from Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2012
Monday’s news by South Korean newspaper Chosun alleging Samsung was jacking up prices of Apple mobile chips by as much as twenty percent in order to get even with its largest component buyer for losing more than $1 billion in damages in the massive Apple v. Samsung patent case is untrue, an unnamed Samsung executive reportedly told a Korean newspaper Wednesday. A-series of chips that power iOS devices are designed by Apple and built exclusively by Samsung at its sophisticated facility in Austin, Texas… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2012
Samsung Electronics, which manufactures Apple-designed chips for iPads and iPhones exclusively at its Austin, Texas facility, has reportedly hit the iPhone maker with a material 20 percent price hike. Unsurprisingly, per an unnamed person allegedly familiar with negotiations between the two companies, this price increase is only aimed at Apple and not other Samsung clients. Apple up until recently used to account for as much as 8.8 percent of Samsung’s revenue. It’s been estimated that Apple ordered 130 million iPhone and iPad chips from Samsung Electronics in 2011 and more than 200 million units this year. The two frenemies have allegedly started to reflect the new supply price recently… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2012
Apple, which up until recently was responsible for nearly nine percent of Samsung’s revenue in parts orders, is rumored to be gradually taking its lucrative mobile chip contract away from Samsung, as previously speculated.
A new report out of Asia tells us the South Korean conglomerate is likely to delay construction of a new logic fabrication facility over fear that it will no longer make Apple’s in-house designed processors for iPhones, iPads and iPods on an exclusive basis.
If this is true, then Apple has already contracted another founry to produce the chips, most likely Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2012
Imagination Technologies, a British-based mobile graphics provider, will buy MIPS, a Sunnyvale, California-headquartered semiconductor design company. The transaction, apparently worth a cool $60 million in cash, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. It reportedly includes 82 patents related to the MIPS processor architecture.
This development is interesting knowing that both Apple and Intel have ownership stakes in Imagination, whose PowerVR graphics technology powers Apple’s mobile chips used inside iPhones, iPads and iPods… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2012
When Apple CEO Tim Cook last week fired abrasive iOS chief Scott Forstall, he also appointed the company’s un-retired hardware engineering boss Bob Mansfield as the leader of the new Technologies group, which combines all of Apple’s wireless and semiconductor teams. And in an email to employees announcing the management changes, Cook hinted that Technologies “have some very ambitious plans”. But what could these plans be, apart from designing new processors for iOS devices, which is what Mansfield and his team have been doing for years now?
You’re not thinking big enough. How about a transition away from Intel processors across the Mac lineup? But why on Earth engage in such a risky brain transplant? Aren’t the chip giant’s processors good enough for Macs? If “people familiar with the company’s research” are correct, Apple is secretly (well, not anymore) been seeking ways to one day take the processors it designed in-house for the iOS product family and put them inside Macs… Read More