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Thread: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing's Q1 2018 Discussion:

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedfriend View Post
    name99 - I have heard that they want to manufacture chips much earlier in the year now to avoid embarrassing product delays that they have suffered over the last few years. Thus there is concern that 7nm+ will not be ready for HVM early enough in 2019, so Apple will skip it.

    As for Apple being willing to pay a dollar or five more, they stiffed Imagination Tech on GPU IP to save 20 cents a chip...
    From what I am told the Apple / Imagination relationship went bad so it was not just price. I'm not sure why Apple is skipping 7 EUV but they are. If you are designing to EUV it will not stay a secret. Too many people being trained and complaining about it. You may also see EUV design experience on LinkedIn profiles from people job hunting.

    My bet is that TSMC is making a special version of 7nm+ for Apple without EUV. The TSMC Symposium is next week. We should know more then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedfriend View Post
    name99 - I have heard that they want to manufacture chips much earlier in the year now to avoid embarrassing product delays that they have suffered over the last few years. Thus there is concern that 7nm+ will not be ready for HVM early enough in 2019, so Apple will skip it.

    As for Apple being willing to pay a dollar or five more, they stiffed Imagination Tech on GPU IP to save 20 cents a chip...
    Timing, sure, that makes sense. That's a better argument than what I'm seeing about "10% performance boost is not enough".

    Imagination Tech, that I don't buy. That was IMHO about moving to their own GPU that they controlled. Perhaps could have been avoided if Imagination were willing to push the GPU further and faster at the pace Apple wanted, but perhaps even that was impossible if Apple wanted really tight future GPU/CPU integration.

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    It seems like Apple has bad relationships with it's fabless design companies, no doubt in part because they have an internal fabless design group that is in direct competition with it's vendors. Unless Apple decides it's going to get into the semiconductor manufacturing business I'd expect them to continue to have a positive relationship with TSMC.

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    I agree with this analysis of @count. The only point I would dispute is the assumption that Apple only deals with TSMC. We know the S1 SoC (SoC for the first Apple Watch) was fanned on Samsung 28nm, and while we know nothing of the later watch SoCs, sticking with Samsung (to maintain good relationships with both fabs, and maintain skills should they need to move) would make sense.
    (Same holds for the T1 and T2 which appear to be stripped down Watch SoCs.)

    It’s even possible (and would make technical sense) that they fab the W1 and W2 (the wireless chips for things like AirPods) at GloFo.
    (Again we know nothing about where these chips are fabbed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by name99 View Post
    I agree with this analysis of @count. The only point I would dispute is the assumption that Apple only deals with TSMC. We know the S1 SoC (SoC for the first Apple Watch) was fanned on Samsung 28nm, and while we know nothing of the later watch SoCs, sticking with Samsung (to maintain good relationships with both fabs, and maintain skills should they need to move) would make sense.
    (Same holds for the T1 and T2 which appear to be stripped down Watch SoCs.)

    It’s even possible (and would make technical sense) that they fab the W1 and W2 (the wireless chips for things like AirPods) at GloFo.
    (Again we know nothing about where these chips are fabbed).
    Yeah, I wouldn't expect Apple to use TSMC exclusively, since they will want to maintain a relationship with a secondary fab and have a little bit of negotiating power. They need to be able to credibly threaten to switch foundries, and that means throwing a few bones over to Samsung, just enough to keep them in the game. That said, I think it's fair to assume that TSMC will get the majority of Apple orders barring any major screw ups.

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