SAN JOSE, Calif. - Silicon foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) is taking a “bigger bite of the apple,'' according to an analyst.
''Rumblings about Apple’s decision to shift A5 processor ordersto TSMC from Samsung have gathered steam,'' said Steven Pelayo, an analyst with HSBC, in a new report. ''While unconfirmed, we believe cooperation is inevitable considering TSMC’s capacity and technological advantages, as well as a lack of potential interest conflicts.''
If TSMC did indeed receive the business from Apple, ''the results show minimal incremental revenue contribution (for TSMC) of approximately 1 percent (and) 2.5 percent of 2011 (and) 2012 consensus numbers,'' respectively, he said.
''In prior reports, we noted TSMC was less exposed to 'Round 1' of the tablet wars as Samsung captured much of Apple’s silicon opportunity. We always expected TSMC to benefit more in 'Round 2' with non-iPad products, but now it appears the company is potentially poised to take a 'bigger bite of the apple,' '' he said.
In the report, HSBC attempted to quantify the incremental revenues to TSMC if A5 processor orders are shifted from Samsung.
''We assume a die size of 60mm² for the dual-core A5 on 40/45-nm and estimate that approximately 1,035 units can fit on a 300-mm wafer. Assuming an 85 percent in 2011 and 90 percent yield in 2012 (as the process node matures), we expect net die per wafer to be around 880 and 932 in 2011 and 2012 respectively,'' the analyst said.
''We estimate total Apple iPhone/iPad shipments of 130 million units this year, with 90 million units fitted with the newer A5 processor. We expect the A5 to be integrated into iPhone soon, so by 2012 we forecast the A5 opportunity to increase by > 150 percent to 230 million,'' he said.
''Assuming TSMC gets 30 percent of Apple’s orders this year (with Samsung the remaining 70 percent) at an average wafer ASP of $4,000, the incremental revenues are only around 0.8 percent of its 2011 consensus revenues numbers. In 2012, the contribution should rise to 2.5 percent assuming it gets 60 percent of the A5 orders at a lower ASP of $3,000,'' he added.
Apple can scream and shout but reality is they are highly dependable on Samsung to procure leading edge components - maybe one reason to diversify and give some business to TSMC
Samsung announces wide I/O DRAM with TSVs for mobile apps
by Dr. Phil Garrou, contributing editor
February 27, 2011 - Samsung -- who in December 2010 announced 40nm 8GB RDIMM based on 4Gb, 1.5V, 40nm DDR3 memory chips operating at 1,333MHz and 3D TSV chip stacking architecture for servers applications -- announced at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC, Feb. 20-24 in San Francisco) the development of wide I/O 1Gb DRAM for mobile applications like smartphones and tablet computers. The 3D TSV architecture will be implemented in their 50nm node DRAM technology.
Previous generations of mobile DRAM, low-power DDR2 DRAM (LPDDR2) which runs at approximately 3.2-Gb/ sec, uses a maximum of 32 pins for I/O. The new wide I/O solution, which has 512 I/O (up to 1200 total pins), can transmit data at a rate of 12.8Gb/sec, resulting in a significant improvement in processing power. In addition it reportedly reduces the power consumption by 75%.
Following this wide I/O DRAM launch, Samsung is reportedly focusing on 20nm, 4Gb wide I/O mobile DRAM for delivery in 2013.
The 64.34mm2 is made up of 4 partitions symmetric with respect to the chip center, each partition consisting of 4×64Mb arrays, peripheral circuits and microbumps. The microbumps are 20×17µm2 on 50µm pitch. The TSVs are 7.5µm diameter with 0.22 - 0.24O resistance and 47.4fF capacitance.
Interesting news. However I was under the impression that Samsung provided Apple a turn key (fab + packaging) solution. If TSMC is providing the A5 silicon, I'm guessing it will go back to Samsung for packaging?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.