Items tagged with TSMC

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...
So long, Samsung, and thanks for the chips. That's the message Apple effectively sent its rival in the mobile space after inking a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to build and supply the complex processors found in its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The impending breakup with Samsung has been a long time coming, though even with the TSMC deal in place, Samsung will stick around at least through 2014. According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung will stay on as the primary supplier through next. For one reason or another, TSMC isn't able to reliably supply Apple... Read more...
The big news of the day, based on a leaked Intel roadmap, is that Broadwell won't launch in 2014. Instead, we'll see a Haswell refresh with unknown performance characteristics (slightly higher clocks are the best bet) and, late in the year, a "Haswell-E" server part on the X99 chipset. Ivy Bridge-E, the six-core LGA2011 CPU, is still set for later this year, on the X79 chipset. The big assumption coming out of this is that Intel has delayed 14nm production and that Broadwell wont' ship at all in 2014. Based on sources we've spoken to, this isn't accurate. The flaw in the current story is that it... Read more...
It's been obvious for weeks that Intel's earnings call this afternoon wasn't going to have much good news in it. With total PC shipments falling 13% quarter-on-quarter -- the worst decline in nearly 20 years -- there was no way Intel would escape being hit by that drop. Today, Santa Clara reported that its Q1 profits fell 25%, to $2B, down from $2.7B in the first quarter of 2012. Gross margins took a hammering, as well, falling to 56.2% from 64% in Q1 2012. Despite these problems, Otellini was upbeat. "“Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I’m excited... Read more...
The divorce between Apple and Samsung was written on the wall when the former first attacked the latter with a lawsuit, but the actual split has been gradual. Apple has relied heavily on Samsung components for its displays and mobile processors, but as we’ve heard a few times before, Samsung is not participating in the development of Apple’s upcoming A6X and A7 chips. The latest news on that front is that Apple has tapped TSMC to replace Samsung in developing the A7 chip (images leaked here), reports the Korea Times. The outlet quoted a Samsung partner executive as saying, “TSMC... Read more...
Eager for a bit of microprocessor news from someone other than AMD and Intel? Get ready, because ARM and TSMC are today announcing the first tape-out of an ARM Cortex-A57 processor on FinFET process technology. The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM's highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing, including compute intensive applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products. This is the first milestone in the collaboration between ARM and TSMC to jointly optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 processor series on TSMC FinFET process... Read more...
The last thing Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) needs right now is to have to deal with continued supplier issues as the year reboots. It's been a tumultuous year for the Sunnyvale chip designer, and to ensure things on the supply side run smoothly, AMD has reportedly tapped Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to build its upcoming 28nm Temash and Kabini APUs that were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this week. It's another big win for TSMC, which reportedly scored a contract to build A6X chips for Apple just last week. AMD will still lean on Globalfoundries as... Read more...
The rift between Apple and Samsung continues to widen with reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will take over A6X chip production, at least on a trial basis. Samsung had been producing the A6X parts found in fourth generation iPad devices, but with ongoing legal disputes over patents, Apple is eager to sever ties with its South Korean rival. TSMC will begin trial production of the A6X processor in the first quarter of this year, French news agency AFP reports. Assuming the trial goes well, it's likely Samsung will be removed from the equation altogether. Quite frankly,... 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...
It's been proven time and time again that Apple and Samsung are not on the best of terms, but despite that, Apple has still relied on Samsung for certain production up to this point. That Apple A6 under the hood of the latest iPhone (which we reviewed here)? It's built by Samsung, using its High-K Metal Gate process. As switching fabs isn't something that happens overnight, no one expected the shift to be quick, but it did seem to be inevitable. Hot on the heels of the news that Apple has snagged one of Samsung's prized designers comes a rumor initiated by the Chinese Economic News Service... Read more...
AMD is launching its first tablet-optimized APU today, in a bid to challenge Intel's de facto dominance of the Windows 8 tablet market. Dubbed Hondo, the new Z-60 draws less power than any Brazos-based part AMD has launched before. Some of you may remember that AMD launched a tablet processor last year, but the Z-01 -- codenamed Desna -- was an ordinary Brazos core that binned well enough to run within a lower power envelope. It was more a proof-of-concept chip, meant to demonstrate that AMD could, and would, compete in the tablet market. Hondo, in contrast, is a new spin on the original Brazos... 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...
ARM and GlobalFoundries have been working together ever since AMD spun GlobalFoundries off as an independent business, but the two companies are taking steps to further expand their joint development efforts. As part of the deal, ARM has committed to creating a "full platform of ARM Artisan® Physical IP, including standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP™ IP solutions." We typically discuss ARM as selling licenses to various companies like Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia, but licenses aren't the company's only product. When ARM talks about physical IP, it's referring to... Read more...
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