Items tagged with TSMC

We learned earlier this month that Intel had purchased its very own ARM license and will soon be manufacturing ARM-based processors for third-parties. Intel, which has remarkable chip fabrication capabilities, however, won’t be producing ARM chips of its own design. This newest development already has analysts stirring the pot when it comes to the next wave of iPhone rumors. With the iPhone 7 less than a month away, analysts are already looking further into the future towards the hypothetical iPhone 8. Analysts speaking with the Nikkei Asian Review indicate that Intel has already approached Apple... Read more...
ARM has been working closely with TSMC – the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – for a number of years now. Over the last six years or so especially, ARM and TSMC have collaborated to ensure that the latter’s cutting-edge process technologies work well with the former’s processor IP. So, with every generation since 2010, the companies have built ARM’s most advanced processor cores on TSMC’s most advanced emerging process nodes.The collaboration successfully began with a test chip produced at 28nm, but today ARM is announcing the successful tape-out of a test chip featuring next-generation,... Read more...
The A9X processor used in Apple’s new iPad Pro is a beast. When the professional-grade tablet was announced back in early September, Apple claimed that it was faster than 80 percent of the PCs that have shipped in the past year. Apple also bragged that the SoC is 1.5 times faster than typical x86 processors, while offering up to two times the graphics performance of the A8X SoC found in the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2. Now, thanks to Chipworks, we’re learning a bit more about what makes the A9X tick. For starters, the A9X forgoes the tri-core architecture of the A8X in favor of a more conventional — for... Read more...
It recently came to light that the custom A9 processor Apple is using in its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus handsets is being dual sourced from Samsung and TSMC. If that's the case, does it matter which one you get? There's evidence to suggest that it does, both in terms of raw performance and battery life.Before we get into that, let's back up a moment and look at each chip. According to the folks at Chipworks, Samsung is likely using a 14nm manufacturing process resulting in a die size that's about 10 percent smaller than the one being produced by TSMC, which is believed to be using a 16nm FinFET... Read more...
As we've seen (and shared), Apple's custom A9 processor found in its recently launched iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones offers killer performance, especially considering it's a dual-core part. Interestingly, it appears that Apple is relying on two different chip manufacturers to build the A9 part.The folks at Chipworks claim to have found two different A9 chips, one belonging to Samsung (APL0898) and one belonging to TSMC (APL1022). That's a bit unusual for Apple, which typically prefers to source production of its application processors from a single manufacturer. What this suggests is... Read more...
Earlier today, Barron's published an article speculating that GlobalFoundries would delay its 14nm product ramp by several quarters as it struggled with unspecified production problems. GlobalFoundries has denied any such issues in a statement to Hot Hardware, and has specifically told us that its 14nm ramp plans remain on-track. The state of GlobalFoundries 14nm ramp is important for multiple reasons. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would drop its own plans for a hybrid 14nm/20nm hybrid node (14nm XM) and would instead adopt Samsung's 14nm process technology. At least some of... Read more...
Apple isn't letting its personal feelings interfere with its business decisions, hence why Samsung will continue to supply the bulk of application processors for the company's iPhone and iPad devices. The two sides reportedly came to an agreement that will have Samsung producing 80 percent of the custom chips Apple uses in its mobile products. Samsung rival TMSC will supply the remaining 20 percent, The Korea Times reports. That will push TMSC back into second place, effective in 2016. Samsung will continue to build the bulk of Apple's custom application processors. "Apple has designated Samsung... Read more...
Today, Apple unveiled the upcoming iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, ending months of speculation over whether or not the company would ever move to larger screens or higher PPI. The answer, it turns out, is yes -- the iPhone 6 will pack a 4.7-inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. Resolution on the iPhone 6 is 1134x750 (326 PPI) while the iPhone 6 Plus hits 1920x1080 and 401 PPI. These figures aren't as high as some Android phones, but we've already hit the point of diminishing marginal returns since the original iPhone 4 launched the concept of a Retina Display. Unless you have better... Read more...
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...
Perhaps the breakup between Apple and Samsung on the manufacturing side won't last all that long, after all. It was recently reported that Apple was reducing its reliance on Samsung by giving coveted chip orders to TSMC for its upcoming iPhone 6 and other mobile devices, but now there are mumblings in the media that TSMC is losing orders. In a note to clients, KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu said it's likely that both Apple and Qualcomm will buy a bigger portion of 14nm smartphone chips from Samsung than TSMC beginning in the second half of 2015, Reuters reports. Liu didn't say where he was... Read more...
Don't read too much into Apple's working relationship with rival Samsung over the past several years, it's just business. Though these two companies are about as friendly with each other as the Montague and Capulet clans, it benefited both parties to have Samsung supply the custom processors used in Apple's highly popular iPhone line, but that working relationship might be coming to an end now that TSMC is getting more involved. Citing "people familiar with the matter," The Wall Street Journal says TSMC started shipping its first batch of microprocessors to Apple in the second quarter of this year.... Read more...
AMD's next-generation Radeon is set to debut later this fall and rumors about the upcoming chip have begun to leak out into the wild. While unconfirmed, the specs are in line with our expectations and what AMD has previously said about the chip. Hawaii won't be a fundamentally new architecture, but a refined approach to the technology already baked into Graphics Core Next (GCN). Specifically, the new chip is supposedly built to GCN 2.0 standards with support for DX 11.2 (this may already be present in current Radeon hardware), four raster engines (up from two), a maximum of 2,816 shader cores,... 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...
Late last month, the Wall Street Journal leaked news of a partnership with TSMC, in an agreement that put a formal signature on what sources have previously implied was years of behind-the-scenes collaboration. Apple has explored its options with foundry partners that aren't Samsung for several years as its relationship with that company has grown sour. Last year, Apple reportedly attempted to buy a significant stake in a particular fab for a billion dollars, but CEO Morris Chang rebuffed the idea (or at least, the price tag), saying that TSMC preferred to retain flexibility and control of its... Read more...
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