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Apple to Boost Pure-Play Foundry Growth

8/14/2013 08:10 AM EDT
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Tom Murphy
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Beyond the Money
Tom Murphy   8/14/2013 12:34:06 PM
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This will obviously be a boost to foundries.  I wonder how much of Apple's shift is based on: a) its nasty public spat with Samsung; b) its fame for ultra-secrecy around new products; c) cost savings.   I also wonder if this will have longer-term ripple effects down the road that will lead to further divergence between Samsung's Droid phones and Apple's iPhones.

mcgrathdylan
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Re: Beyond the Money
mcgrathdylan   8/14/2013 12:59:44 PM
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Personally, I don't believe that cost has anything to do with it. To my knowledge, there is no evidence to suggest that having its chips built by TSMC will save Apple any money. I thinkit has everything to do with the IP fights. It seems like common sense that when you believe that a supplier has lifted your intellectual property, you are probably better off having a different company build your chips. Just my opinion.

mcgrathdylan
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Does it matter if they are pure play?
mcgrathdylan   8/14/2013 1:07:10 PM
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This IHS report makes the point that with Apple's expected shift to TSMC, pure play foundries will be getting a bigger slice of the pie than they did before. My question is, does that matter? Samsung is competing head to head with the pure play foundries and wether Apple's chips are built by Samsung or TSMC, they are contributing to the size of the foundry industry. From a customer perspective, the only difference I can see (process technology being equal) is the issue of wether you want to have your chips built by Samsung or Intel when they may be at some level a competitor. This has always been a knock on Samsung's foundry operation. And Samsung is such a broad company that it must compete with just about everyone on some level.

Another issue that traditionally dogged Samsung and other memory chip vendors that did foundry work is what happens when an upturn comes and your capacity utilization shoots up? Do you still build chips for other companies or do those move to the back of the line, after your own products? Samsung has obviously overcome this issue and has fabs dedicated to foundry work. If Intel continues to increase its presence in foundry, I wonder if this will be an issue for Intel.

rick merritt
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Questions
rick merritt   8/14/2013 1:18:28 PM
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This report raises several questions for me:

Is the volume of Apple's apps processor so huge it can drive double digit growth at TSMC? I am dubious.

Don't folks like Samsung, IBM etc claim they have standalone foundry divisions that act as pure play foundries even  if they are part of a broader corporatation?

And what real impact of this long anticipated and rumored shift of Apple app processor foundry biz from Samsung to TSMC have on anyone besides Samsung and TSMC?

mcgrathdylan
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Re: Questions
mcgrathdylan   8/14/2013 2:13:31 PM
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To the first question, I believe that IHS is not saying that the only reason for pure play foundry growth this year is the Apple move. I'm interpresting, but it seems like pure play foundries were going to have a pretty good year anyway, and this is just icing on the cake. But it's a lot of icing. Last year, IHS predicted that Apple would spend $28 billion on chips in 2012.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1262197


Apple was the world's largest chip buyer for several years but I believe it was recently dethroned by, ironically, Samsung.

_hm
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Pure-play foundry to IDM link
_hm   8/14/2013 8:31:56 PM
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This is a good concept. But if pure-play foundry get bought by IDM, can IP leak now to IDM? Legally, how is it possible to keep pure-play foundry and IDM apart for ever?

 

Peter Clarke
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Re: Questions
Peter Clarke   8/15/2013 8:20:21 AM
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What the chart shows is just Q4/Q1/Q2 although the preduction is obviously bullish.

However, there are forecasts out there that Q3 will not be as good because of lower-than-expected demand and higher-than-expected inventory build.

It is interesting that Morris Chang of TSMC has more modest forecasts.


As per TSMC's most recent quarterly results Chang was predicting semiconductor industry up 3 percent in 2013.

Fabless sector sales to increase 9 percent in 2013

Foundry sector sales to increase 11 percent in 2013

And TSMC to do better than that.

 

Cowan LRA Model
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Re: Questions
Cowan LRA Model   8/15/2013 9:54:43 AM
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Hi Peter - TSMC's Morris Chang's latest global semi sales forecast revision to 3% from his previous 4% prediction is in excellent agreement with the latest Cowan LRA Model's forecast expectation of 3.1 percent. Details are provided at the following URL = http://electronics.wesrch.com/paper-details/docx-EL1SE1J5ALSED-2013-and-2014-s-global-semiconductor-sales-and-y-o-y-sales-growth-expectations-per-cowan-lra-model.

Regards, Mike Cowan (independent semiconductor industry market watcher and developer of the Cowan LRA Model for forecasting global semi sales and sales growth)

Peter Clarke
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Re: Questions
Peter Clarke   8/15/2013 10:24:47 AM
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Thanks Mike

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