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Thread: Dialog Semiconductor signs $600 million licensing deal with Apple

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    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Dialog Semiconductor signs $600 million licensing deal with Apple

    Deja Vu Imagination Technologies only Imagination played hardball and got kicked to the curb Apple style.....


    • Apple will pay Dialog Semiconductor $300 million in cash for the transaction and prepay a further $300 million for products to be delivered to Apple over the next three years.
    • Shares of Dialog were seen rising 17 percent in early Frankfurt trade following news of the deal.

    Dialog Semiconductor signs $600 million licensing deal with Apple

    After dispute with Apple, chip maker Imagination Technologies puts itself up for sale - The Verge

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    Let's see, in 2017 Apple sold 216.76 million iPhones, so using round numbers let's say that in the next three years they sell maybe 600 million iPhones. Apple pays Dialog some $600 million, so I'm expecting that Apple was paying Dialog more than $1/iPhone for ICs in each iPhone. Is Apple just ensuring that their IP pipeline is more under their own control, instead of an independent company like Dialog?

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    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Payne View Post
    Let's see, in 2017 Apple sold 216.76 million iPhones, so using round numbers let's say that in the next three years they sell maybe 600 million iPhones. Apple pays Dialog some $600 million, so I'm expecting that Apple was paying Dialog more than $1/iPhone for ICs in each iPhone. Is Apple just ensuring that their IP pipeline is more under their own control, instead of an independent company like Dialog?
    Or Apple feels that they can do better on their own, possibly buy putting it on the SoC.

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    OK, that makes some sense, but power management ICs have a large analog component which likely use mature process nodes like 120nm, so I'm not sure it would integrate into a 7nm A-series processor. At least back in 2012 Dialog Semi was using the 120nm BCD process from TSMC.

    https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1261462

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    Blogger Eric Esteve's Avatar
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    Apple may want to integrate the power management control in the SoC and use voltage regulators, LDO, etc. as IP. I guess that Dialog is using a mature node just because analog is more stable, and the chip cost less on 90nm than 28nm. Moreover, PMIC is a low complexity (low gate count) chip, no need to target advanced nodes... But the high voltage PMIC function can stay outside in the 120nm BCD.

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    Eric, I think that PMIC devices use an analog process called BCD, which is not the same as what TSMC uses for Apple's A-series of processors, so I don't foresee any integration of PMIC into an SoC.

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    Blogger Eric Esteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Payne View Post
    Eric, I think that PMIC devices use an analog process called BCD, which is not the same as what TSMC uses for Apple's A-series of processors, so I don't foresee any integration of PMIC into an SoC.
    Do you mean that there are no logic gates in the controller? That it's impossible to use LDO or Voltage Controller in 7nm? Obviously certain functions will have to stay outside the SoC and require a BCD process...

    In fact, Dolphin PM IP are a good example of some functions which could be integrated, see:
    Consistent semiconductor IP panoplies from Dolphin Integration

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    Sure, there are logic gates in the controller portion of a PMIC, however even the PMIC listed by Dolphin are on nodes like: 22 FDX, 40 LL, 40LP, 40uLP, 55 LL, 55 uLP, 65 LP, 90LP, 160 eFlash, 180 G, 180 eFlash, 180 GP, 180 eLL, 180 G_eFlash. They aren't on the bleeding edge 7nm process nodes yet, so that's why I don't see the PMIC function being integrated into an A-series process for Apple.

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