Items tagged with TSMC

If you thought today's mobile devices were fast, wait until you see what ARM has up its sleeve for next year. Chip makers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and GlobalFoundries have both let it be known that they're planning to build 3GHz ARM processor sometime in 2014, which will inevitably end up in System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms for smartphones and tablets. The fastest ARM chip currently available is 2.3GHz, though the majority of high-end parts are in the neighborhood of 1.6GHz, such as what's found in Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 handset. By bumping the clockspeed to 3GHz, ARM is sending a clear message to rivals Intel and AMD that it doesn't plan on conceding the mobile market,... 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 company has admitted that its fab utilization is as low as 50%, which may be a record. With PC demand... 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, ARM licenses a wide range of technologies in a vast number of markets. The majority of... 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 with processors at the pace it needs, forcing the Cupertino company to continue to rely on Samsung... 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 implicitly assumes that desktop is the focus of Intel's business and that the company would naturally... 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 about what lies ahead for the company,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “We... 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 has begun ordering its contractors to supply equipment to produce Apple’s next processors using... 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 technologies. The two companies cooperated in the implementation from RTL to tape-out in six months... 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 well, but will no longer put all its chips in one bag, so to speak. According to Fudzilla, Globalfoundries... 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, it's a bit surprising that it's taken this long for Apple to squeeze Samsung out, given their contentious... 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 PC industry is weakest in Q1, somewhat stronger in Q2, and significantly better in Q3 thanks to 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 which claims Apple will soon be making the move to TSMC for its fab needs. Although Apple has worked... 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 design. AMD took its first-generation APU and removed all the I/O blocks that a tablet wouldn't need,... Read more...
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