Breaking News
Blog

Apple should build a fab

Mark LaPedus
8/26/2010 09:29 PM EDT

 83 comments   post a comment
NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 7   >   >>
anon0967864
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
anon0967864   2/16/2011 10:16:20 PM
NO RATINGS
"Logic fabs can cost $4 billion to maybe $10 billion to build out, depending on the tool sets, but Apple could swing the funding." Perhaps so, given how much silicon volume Apple generates. But consider this: * A fab would only handle one type of fabrication, for example the ARM SoC chips in CMOS. Apple has significant costs in FLASH and the displays as well, so all that capital would go to solving only one part of the total BoM. * And all of that capital would be sunk into a single node, likely 28 or 22nm for a fab targeted to open in a year or two. It would take an even larger investment to convert to the next node. By using foundry partners, Apple can purchase latest node devices at market rates, without the capital outlay. Apple has made some adept moves in this area, like switching from to Intel processors for Macintosh. This allows them to ride Intel's cost and performance curves without capital investment. It is unlikely they will suddenly decide their best use of capital is to build a fab!

MrPWM
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
MrPWM   10/20/2010 6:02:42 PM
NO RATINGS
Apple should design their own IC's but, not necessarily own the fab house. I am most familiar with power converters bought from the far east which where huge, bulky, noisy modules no better than hobby junk from the 80's. How many millions of dollars due to lost sales on the mac7 because of these cheap things blasting noise? Apple could have it's own dedicated IC's designed into compact circuits with the technology of 2010.

Silicon_Smith
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
Silicon_Smith   10/1/2010 6:45:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Apple seems like a popular subject on here. All it takes to get people talking is mention Apple in the headline!

Sheetal.Pandey
User Rank
Manager
re: Apple should build a fab
Sheetal.Pandey   10/1/2010 3:53:15 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes ofcourse. They can easily acquire some fab firm. But do they want to enter that business?

p_g
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
p_g   10/1/2010 1:46:08 AM
NO RATINGS
Global Foundries will be alternate choice. Usually Apple chose companies which are not very busy so they can push them to change stuff for them as well as leverage on cost.

MrBEE
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
MrBEE   9/30/2010 7:52:45 PM
NO RATINGS
Apple would benefit more from staying away from the Foundry business and negotiate with the current ones. There are some foundries to talk too and Samsung is not the only one .... But Apple has already looked at second sources or else they would not be Apple ...... The negotiations are probably already at the end phase and pretty soon you would see the announcement.

asimecs
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
asimecs   9/9/2010 6:21:24 PM
NO RATINGS
Do you know how much it costs to have a fab? Try 1 Billion. Plus the headache of filling it to capacity. Real men go fabless because they are good in math... If you are taping out a digital chip, there is no need to own a fab. TSMC, UMC or any other fab will do. Unless they have analog chips that need secret recipes to make it work... Apple doesn't even have its own manufacturing. It all done in China by Foxconn. That's why it's so profitable. Adam Smith in his 'Wealth of Nations' described precisely why this 'division of labor' can create wealth. Asking Apple to have a fab will definitely cause both their profit, gross margin & stock to tank..

mark.lapedus
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
mark.lapedus   9/6/2010 5:49:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi Steve (Jobs)! I'm sure you've noticed this: Your chip/foundry partner, Samsung, has rolled out its tablet PC. It's an Android-based system. Samsung plans to sell 1 million units this year and 10 million next year, according to HSBC. Vodaphone will sell the product, which can make calls. Did you also see this? Samsung has increased its smartphone shipments to 25 million units, up 39 percent from its previous forecast. Last but not least, Samsung rolled out a notebook PC line. Steve, time to call TSMC and GlobalFoundries and look into your own fab.

ChakC
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
ChakC   9/4/2010 9:57:40 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree with you Dave. Apple should position itself as a secret innovative technology company, instead of an IC supplier. Thanks Mark for raising such an interesting discussion topic!

p51
User Rank
Rookie
re: Apple should build a fab
p51   9/3/2010 9:11:31 AM
NO RATINGS
If Apple wants control of its destiny, it needs control over the technology used in its products. This means they should invest more in their R and D efforts to develop technologies required, which may be cheaper than that offered by a third party. Ofcourse this isn't easy if there are third pary patents/licenses involved, but it will help reduce the cost of produc development. Running a fab is expensive and for it to be economical, Apple will need to sell a lot of their products to keep the fabs busy. Maybe in a few years when Apple have greater domination in the market, but not now I think.

Page 1 / 7   >   >>
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Top Comments of the Week