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Hardware Apple

Report: Apple To Switch From Samsung to TSMC For ARM CPU Production 178

Posted by timothy
from the but-samsung-is-easier-to-pronounce dept.
another random user writes "Apple is planning to shift production of its ARM-based microprocessors from Samsung to the Taiwanese chip-baking giant TSMC as early as next year, according to a report by the China Economic News Service (CENS). The report cites CitiGroup Global Markets analyst J.T. Hsu as saying that TSMC will be Apple's sole supplier of 20nm quad-core processors, with volume production to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013. He also noted that Apple began its 20nm chip-verfication process at TSMC in August of this year. Hsu told CENS that the future quad-core chips were intended for Apple's 'iPad, iTV and even Macbook,' turning up the heat on two rumors that have been simmering for months: that Apple is planning a move into the television market, and that an ARM-based MacBook is in the works."
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Report: Apple To Switch From Samsung to TSMC For ARM CPU Production

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  • If it was Microsoft that could have been feasible. But I really don't see Apple making ARM laptops. They don't want confusion and x86 MacBooks and ARM iPads seams to have good distinction.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If it was Microsoft that could have been feasible. But I really don't see Apple making ARM laptops. They don't want confusion and x86 MacBooks and ARM iPads seams to have good distinction.

      I'm not saying Apple is doing it, it's honestly something I've never thought about Apple doing before, but they could easily avoid confusion by just calling it an iBook. Er, wait...

    • If you like Apple or not, you have to admit they are good at making an OS that works cross different hardware platforms, and maintain their compatability.

      Microsoft couldn't even make a clean transition between 32 and 64 bit.

      If you had any experience with Linux in Sparc or PowerPC you in essence needed to recompile near everything, and you are out of luck if you have the few closed source apps.

      • Re:No ARM MacBook (Score:4, Insightful)

        by JimCanuck (2474366) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:06AM (#41641163)

        Microsoft couldn't even make a clean transition between 32 and 64 bit.

        Difference is Apple could release 64-bit on their terms, Microsoft is at the whims of the hardware manufacturers.

        Apple could put out the G5 series as they saw fit. Microsoft is expected to throw something together the moment the hardware becomes available.

        Plus having used XP 64-bit since it was available. Most of the issues were with incompatible drivers. With Apple that is not a problem, their is only one or two of each piece of hardware that is your entire "options" so producing a dozen drivers verses having to produce hundreds by all the hardware manufacturers.

        • by superwiz (655733)
          XP 64 has bigger issues. There is a reason it had such a shortage of drivers. Visual Studio doesn't support 64 bit operations for XP (only starting with Vista). Worse, it doesn't support memory barriers for XP. So rolling your own 64 bit operations on XP essentially means a good deal of getting dirty with assembler. Since in the presence of pipelining the execution path is fairly unpredictable, writing your own concurrency code in assembler is a black art.
    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      If it was Microsoft that could have been feasible. But I really don't see Apple making ARM laptops. They don't want confusion and x86 MacBooks and ARM iPads seams to have good distinction.

      Apple has a better record of handling a CPU architecture change than any other company I know of. For years, they were shipping OS X as hybrid PPC-x86 code (fat binaries, or "Universal Binaries" in Apple parlance) and Xcode would automatically compile for both architectures and bundle them in the same executable file. Even outside of universal binaries, Apple's Intel-based computers could run PPC-only code just fine, thanks to Rosetta (removed last year with Lion). I don't think confusion over which arch

      • Gotta love how they handled those changes (either hardware or software architecture) so the transition would be almost transparent to users...

        6502 to 68k via an add-on board (basically a 6502 on an expansion card to give full 2e compatibility), that one was both a hardware and software transition so a Mac could run Apple 2 apps.

        When they switched from 68k to PPC during 7.x or 8 they used emulation again so apps would run on the new architecture, then Classic mode (emulation) when they switched from OS9 to O

    • Apple does not heavily promote the CPUs it uses. They are mere details and the user shouldn't have to care or know about that.

  • by lord_rob the only on (859100) <shiva3003@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:59AM (#41640417)

    Well if they want to be independent from Samsung, that's the way to go of course.
    This thing is a new reaction to this trial which bothers both of us, normal people vs Apple fanboys ...
     

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:44AM (#41640555)
      This is not a new reaction. It was confirmed last year that TSMC would be making Apple A5 chips in addition to Samsung. From a logistical standpoint does it make sense for Apple to have only one supplier of a critical component? Also 20nm is another reason to use TSMC. Samsung won't move to this size until later from what I remember.
    • by MrDoh! (71235)
      All this from something that probably started as a negotiation to bring the price of the chips down. Now it's full out war, and Apple are planning on leaving now (though that became obvious some time ago), time for Samsung to just dump them fully, re-use that capacity for cheaper/faster Android phones.
  • by IYagami (136831) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:05AM (#41640437)

    According to Anandtech, Intel Core 2013 ULV processors will start from 10W

    See http://www.anandtech.com/show/6355/intels-haswell-architecture/4 [anandtech.com]

    " Finally, at IDF Intel showed a demo of Haswell running the Unigen Heaven benchmark at under 8W.
    The chain of events tells us two things: 1) Intel likes to play its cards close to its chest, and 2) the sub-10W space won't be serviced by Atom exclusively.
    Intel said Haswell can scale below 10W, but it didn't provide a lower bound. It's too much to assume Haswell would go into a phone, but once you get to the 8W point and look south you open yourself up to fitting into things the size of a third generation iPad. Move to 14nm, 10nm and beyond then it becomes more feasible that you could fit this class of architecture into something even more portable."

    • by gsnedders (928327) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:30AM (#41640707) Homepage

      That's not really relevant, to be honest: it's still at least double the power consumption compared with Cortex-A15 SoCs (and you can be sure as hell the Intel figure is processor only, not memory, chipset, interfaces, etc.), and they idle at an order magnitude less, which is important for mobile devices.

      • by asliarun (636603)

        That's not really relevant, to be honest: it's still at least double the power consumption compared with Cortex-A15 SoCs (and you can be sure as hell the Intel figure is processor only, not memory, chipset, interfaces, etc.), and they idle at an order magnitude less, which is important for mobile devices.

        Dont' be so quick to dismiss Intel from the race. Intel is already shipping Medfield at 2GHz which has the same peak and idle power consumption as other ARM chips. It still lags the very high end ARM chips in performance but is very competitive when compared to mid range ARM phones and chips - in terms of performance, price, power - everything.

        You will soon see Clovertrail based Windows 8 tablets by the end of this month. Again, Clovertrail is able to hold its own against the top end ARM tablets, which is w

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:02AM (#41640829)

      8W is way too much for an iPad... The current iPad uses 1.5W for the processor and 2W for the screen... 8W on the processor is not gonna happen.

    • by jittles (1613415)
      Please. I have an i3 Sandy Bridge that uses les than 10W for the entire system. When its doing work, it might jump up to 23W. I had to get a smaller DC power supply to run the thing because the bigger supply would turn off for undervolt protection when I tried to power the machine on. The CPU's TDP is 35W but most of the time its barely using any power.
  • by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:15AM (#41640467)
    There is no money in TV market, most companies in the market lose money only a hand full make money. Apple knowing them would sell their tv's at 50-100% markup compared to next closest set. Only apple fanboy idiots would buy them, everyone else will say screw that and get cheaper ones that are proven to be good quality tv.
    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      I think you're right.
      But, that's what people said about Apple making phones.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      That exact argument would have made exactly as much sense when it looked like Apple were rumored to be entering the Phone market.

      All apple needs to do is find something their TV can do that none of the competitors do well (for the iPhone it was browse the web, well), and make that the killer app.

    • apple should make a TV box to bad the cable co's have to much control and the satellite market is just as locked in.

      Cable card is nice when it's working right but the cables co's seem to do a lot to make it hard to work so you rent there box and in some systems you need the add on SDV tuner as well.

      also no VOD and must order ppv events by phone. And the lack of VOD sucks on comcast as they have cut down on the HBO HD, STARZs HD, SHOW HD and MAX HD channels and they say most of that is on VOD.

      Tru2way does

    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      Welcome to the world of cell phones. Only three companies are making any money selling phones - Apple, Samsung, and HTC with Apple making 2/3rds of the profit, HTC making 1%, and Samsung making the rest.

      • by tuppe666 (904118)

        Welcome to the world of cell phones. Only three companies are making any money selling phones - Apple, Samsung, and HTC with Apple making 2/3rds of the profit, HTC making 1%, and Samsung making the rest.

        No they are not that is complete nonsense. Please don't continue that lie. Google make money from their Nexus range, Sony phone division is the only profitable part of the company, as for ZTE and Huawei also doing really really well. I suspect there are others but of the big ones they seem to be doing awfully well.

        • by Karlt1 (231423)

          http://www.mobiledia.com/news/159036.html [mobiledia.com]

          Says that Sony's mobile division continues to lose money.

          Google's mobile division includes Motorola Mobility and it hasn't seen a profit in years and Google is having to spend more money on layoffs.

          RIM is losing money.

          Nokia is losing money

          LG is losing money.

          Do you have a link for ZTE and Huawei's financials?

          Even Google said that 2/3rds of their mobile profit comes from ios and they pay Apple $100 million a year to be the default search engine on all of their devices.

          • by tuppe666 (904118)

            I don't think your comment really justifies that much white space, its still a tiny list of companies that can't evolve from their feature phones. The reality is Android companies with a compelling product are doing well. Apple is doing really well selling shit as gold, but its market share is dropping everywhere. As for Google making money from Android this is only the beginning. In countries like china Where it has 12x the market share of Apple...and Apple is dropping. I think you need to stop having an A

            • by Karlt1 (231423)

              So which Android companies are doing well besides Samsung? Companies are in business to make a profit - not increase market share. As far as Android doing well on China, that may very well be the case, but it does Google no good when a company uses its own fork of Android and uses no Google services like most of the Chinese companies do.

  • by dohzer (867770) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:15AM (#41640469) Homepage

    I can't wait for the prices of non-Apple TVs to crash, just like the MP3 player market.
    This can only be good for the discerning consumer.

    • by tsa (15680)

      You want them even cheaper than they are now? That's hardly possible.

    • by fa2k (881632) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [datsnrojbmp]> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:59AM (#41640621)

      Don't hold your breath.. The TV business already has thin margins, and the display manufacturers partly make it up on smaller screens.

    • by ikaruga (2725453) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:05AM (#41640641)
      Doubt it. The first reason AppleTVs are not popular is because home consoles even though they cost way more. The PS3 and Xbox360 can do everything the AppleTV do and much more(Bluray and DVD, real games, more digital content etc, better media streaming tools, better control interfaces and recording capabilities). The only thing I know more complete than a PS3 to hook up to a home theater setup is a custom made HTPC.
      The other reason is the bad marketing. Apple success is marketing and when they find a way to distort the reality around the appleTV, it will fly off the shelves.
      • As you say, consoles cost way more than the Apple TV ($99). They also tend to be a lot bigger and have fan noise. Now say you want streaming media to four TVs in a household. That cost difference becomes a problem. The solution is a very small, very silent puck for under $100. Welcome to Roku. $50 to $99, same form factor (almost exactly) as Apple TV. The advantage of Roku is they push their SDK for third party apps as whoring hard as possible to everyone possible. Apple is mired in their desire to have tig

      • Doubt it. The first reason AppleTVs are not popular is because home consoles even though they cost way more. The PS3 and Xbox360 can do everything the AppleTV do and much more(Bluray and DVD, real games, more digital content etc, better media streaming tools, better control interfaces and recording capabilities). The only thing I know more complete than a PS3 to hook up to a home theater setup is a custom made HTPC.

        Actually, Apple TV sold more units in the last quarter than XBox 360. Admittedly, this is more because XBox 360 sales are dropping, and not so much because Apple TV is selling so well.

  • Mac Pro (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jerry Smith (806480) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:21AM (#41640485) Homepage Journal

    Dammit Apple, how about doing something on your other lines?? Mobility is nice but desktop needs improvement! Big improvement!

    • by tsa (15680)

      New iMacs would be good too.

    • Re:Mac Pro (Score:5, Informative)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:20AM (#41640669) Homepage Journal

      Dammit Apple, how about doing something on your other lines?? Mobility is nice but desktop needs improvement! Big improvement!

      Apple doesn't want you to use desktop computers any more because you're likely to do something besides shop.

    • Apple's getting out of the desktop business. They may keep the iMac line for a while longer, but everyone I know in video production for 3D and major post production are off Apple and have either gone to windows 7 or Linux depending on their particular software preference.

      Now, ironically, most of the videographers I know in small shops are all still Apple or gone to Apple, but not on the desktop. They are all using 15" or 17" Mac Book Pros and some do have 27" iMacs. Mostly, though, that's because with a

  • ARM laptop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanneM (7445) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:25AM (#41640687) Homepage

    Actually, I could imagine having a 64-bit ARM Ubuntu laptop. Something fairly light-weight and long battery life, but with a number of cores (most CPU intensive stuff I actually do on my laptop is very parallelisable), plenty of memory and a largish SSD.

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:38AM (#41640997)
    My wife just swapped her phone for a Samsung Galaxy S3. In a long time (probably since the iPhone1) I'm jealous and want one, too. The S3 looks fantastic and works great. The interface is awesome, there's no need to root it like with older Android phones.

    The patent trolling from Apple also made Google/Samsung to invent. One example is screen unlock. On the S3 you can swipe the screen anywhere and even launch apps (like email or camera) directly from the unlock screen. Better user experience with more functionality.

    In the meantime Apple had to do some catching up and they made the screen larger on the iPhone5. But instead of making the screen larger in both directions, they opted to change the aspect ratio, so now ios developers have to support yet another screen layout (at least pre-iphone5, iphone5 and ipad for a universal app). On the other hand, Android was designed from the beginning to support multiple aspect ratios, so one layout can handle it all (and no, this is not a cause of fragmentation, it's a solution to it).

    Then Apple tried to stick it to Google with dropping maps. We all know how that turned out.

    The solution is simple: Apple should stop with the patent trolling. It is biting them in the rear. Android is here to stay. They should go back to inventing and competing, otherwise they will be out-invented and out-competed. I know they are making money hand over fist, but just take a look at their stock price since iphone5 release.
    • by mbourgon (186257)

      Yes to skip the trolling, but "multiple aspect ratios" only really came with ICS.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I am not sure what you think happened with maps. Apple sold only 5 million phones instead of 10 in a saturated market. Dreadful, but iPhone 5 traffic is reported to exceed the Samsung galaxy 3, which means guess who is actually using their pohone? OTOH google lost huge amounts of data overnight and is soon going lose a large chunk of the money that funds adroid development. Goolge live and dies othe ability to mine user data? do you really think collecting personal data on the mapping cars was an acciddn
      • by csumpi (2258986)
        """I am not sure what you think happened with maps."""

        You are not serious, right? This was so big, Tim Cook even had to come out to apologize. [engadget.com] And you are saying that users are better off when they have to buy something that they had yesterday? Superior? Show me one map alternative that tells me the hours of the local violin repair shop, how long it will take me to get there with current traffic conditions and also gives me user reviews?

        """Apple sold only 5 million phones instead of 10 in a saturated ma
    • just take a look at their stock price since iphone5 release

      LOL! You either don't understand than a climb up Mt Everest involves going downhill occasionally, or you can't read graphs. Share price hit an all-time high of 700 just before the iPhone5 release. A peak before release is to be expected these days. It has since dropped to ~630 or something, which is still higher than *any time in Apple's entire history* - except when it was building up to 700 of course.

      Apple's peak after the original iPhone was "only" 200. That was *after* release, because people didn't rea

      • by csumpi (2258986)
        Sure, I got that. But I have two questions:

        Shouldn't we be climbing again in the anticipation of the ipad mini release? Or shouldn't the ipad mini release, a month from iphone 5 release at least hold the value?

        The stock value was around $660 for about a month before the iphone5 release. The $700+ craziness started after the release, then retracted to $630. So I thought the hype was 700, not 660.
  • TSMC sued for unreasonable pricing.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."

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