Items tagged with Foundry

If Intel's recent 14nm Broadwell Y unveil has made anything clear, it's that the company is now determined to go toe-to-toe with every foundry manufacturer at the 14nm node. It wasn't initially clear if this would be the case. While Intel made a big splash with its first 14nm announcements, news of the delays and a robust rebuttal from TSMC concerning the health and capability of its own 20nm and 16nm offerings made it seem as though Intel might have been rocked back on its heels and fighting a defensive front. Where other semiconductor manufacturers have openly acknowledged the end of Moore's... Read more...
One of the greatest obstacles standing between chip manufacturers and the pursuit of smaller, faster, processors is the lack of a proper light source. Current chips are etched using a deep ultraviolet wavelength of 193nm, but at a 28nm semiconductor process geometry, we've reached the limits of what a 193nm wavelength is small enough to etch, even when using immersion lithography (in which the chip is immersed in water). Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) has been pegged as the most likely replacement for current 193nm technology, but repeated problems with ramping EUV have left it stalled on... Read more...
When news broke earlier this week that Apple had finally inked a deal with TSMC to produce processors with the company beginning in 2014, the first round of chatter was on what this might mean for Samsung. Apple, after all, has been by far Samsung's single largest customer. With that topic out of the way, talk has turned to Intel. Once again, the tired rumor that Intel walked away from the manufacturing equivalent of Cibola is being floated across the Internet. At first glance, it makes sense. Intel currently enjoys a hefty lead over every other country in terms of its processor technology. The... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve alongside it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel... ARMs Race: Licensing vs. Manufacturing In Mobile... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve along side it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel.   ARM's Licensing and Design Model Most readers are aware that ARM has a very different business model than Intel. Specifically,... Read more...
Intel and Apple each have a problem that the other could solve. Although Intel is the king of PC processors, the mobile chip market is a much different story--there, the company has barely made a dent in what has become a very competitive environment. At the same time, Intel has invested billions in world-class fabrication facilities that operate at less than full capacity. Apple uses Samsung chips in its mobile devices, but the two companies have come to hate each other and have gone nuclear in court. (Remember that billion dollars Samsung now owes Apple? No love lost there.) One obvious solution... Read more...
Normally, we cover conference and earnings calls from major companies by hewing pretty strictly to the number and discussing factors that directly relate to them. Today, we're going to break with that format a bit, and examine what Intel's Q3 earnings tell us about the larger PC market, what to expect from AMD when its own conference call happens tomorrow, and what consumers should expect over the next six months. Intel reported $13.6B in revenue for Q3 2012, slightly above its revised expectations. What's troubling analysts and investors is that the entire PC market is sluggish. Normally, the... Read more...
Last month, TSMC's CEO Morris Chang made waves when he suggested that it could make sense for the company to dedicate fabs to particular customers. Fresh reports today, however, suggest that both Apple and TSMC made major bids for exclusivity on future TSMC production facilities, and both were rejected. Does this mean Chang's earlier comments were misinterpreted? No -- but it does demonstrate the difference between what Chang/TSMC is willing to contemplate and what companies like Qualcomm and Apple want. TSMC may be willing to commit full fabs to customer-specific production, but the company isn't... Read more...
Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to 20nm... Read more...
Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to... Read more...
Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's CEO, is a canny and intelligent leader who has capably helmed the company through both rough patches and successes, not least of which is the recently launched GTX 680. He's known for strong opinions, but not crazy, off-the-wall statements, which is why his recent remarks regarding Intel are so surprising. Speaking to a group of analysts last week, Jen-Hsun casually suggested that Intel, one of Nvidia's chief rivals and competitors, ought to open up its foundries and manufacture hardware for the ARM SoC ecosystem. "Why not be a foundry for all the mobile companies?" Huang... Read more...
Up until now, Samsung has handled all of Apple's CPU manufacturing needs, including the A4 and A5 processor. New rumors, however, suggest that TSMC has been tapped for the company's next-generation A6. Apple hasn't committed to actually purchasing chips at this point, but has handed the Taiwanese foundry what it needs to test product yields. Reuters quotes an unidentified source as saying: "TSMC has got all the authorisation and details ready. Whether Apple puts in a formal order will depend on the yield rate."   TSMC has refused to formally comment on the issue but the number of semiconductor... Read more...
AMD Closes “Asset Smart” Transaction – Fulfills Vision to Create Two Leadership Companies Capable of Delivering Transformative Innovation and Impact to the Global Technology Industry            — AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company form well-resourced U.S. based global semiconductor manufacturing services company —                    — Strategic partner Mubadala Development Company increases stake in AMD —SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Mar. 2, 2009... Read more...
AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company Secure Final Approval Necessary to Create New Leading-Edge Semiconductor Manufacturing Company - AMD stockholders approve additional stock, warrants to Mubadala Development Company - - Parties committed to transaction close, expected by March 2, 2009 - AUSTIN, Texas - Feb. 18, 2009 - AMD [NYSE: AMD]today announced that its stockholders approved a proposal to issue common stock and warrants to an affiliate of Mubadala Development Company PJSC, paving the way for AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company of Abu Dhabi to create... Read more...
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