In the aftermath of GT Advanced filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the sapphire maker reached a $439 million settlement with Apple in which the supplier will repay the iPhone maker up to $290,000 per furnace sold. GT Advanced creditors aren’t happy with the proposed settlement, however, arguing that the sapphire company may have received too little in the deal. expand full story
November 19, 2014
November 17, 2014
Korea Times is claiming that a deal has been struck with Apple for Samsung to supply 80% of the chips for next year’s iPhones and iPads, with TSMC picking up the balance of orders.
Samsung Electronics agreed with Apple to produce application processors (APs) from next year for iPhones and iPads, sources said Monday.
The agreement means Samsung will become a primary supplier of APs to Apple, pushing its chief Taiwanese rival TSMC back to second place. From 2016, the company will supply 80 percent of APs used in Apple devices, and TSMC the remainder.
The paper suggests that Samsung will split production of the A9 chip across its Korean and Texas plants, partnering with New York-based GlobalFoundries for additional capacity …
expand full story
October 11, 2014
Ahead of next Thursday’s Apple event, new images purportedly showing parts for the new, full-sized iPad have emerged. Photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw show a full logic board for the new iPad Air as well as parts for the new Home button, glass screen cover, and audio control components. At first glance, the new iPad Air logic board does not reveal too much new, but adjusting the colors of the image shows a fairly unexpected addition: an A8X system-on-a-chip:
October 2, 2014
At a press conference, ZDNet says that Samsung president of the company’s semiconductor arm is looking forward to reversing its profit forecasts when it starts producing chips for Apple using its next-generation technology.
Kim Ki-nam, president of the Korean electronic giant’s semiconductor business and head of System LSI business, told reporters at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul that once the company begins to supply Apple with chips using its latest technology, profits “will improve positively”.
Samsung is expected to start producing application processors (APs) for clients such as Apple, Qualcomm, and AMD, using its 14-nanometre process around the end of the year.
Effectively, Samsung has all but confirmed that it is signed up to manufacture Apple’s next-generation SoC for iPhones and iPads, likely named ‘A9’, probably using a 14 nanometer process. The current A8 chip is produced using 20 nanometer fabrication, with most orders being taken by TSMC.
July 10, 2014
July 1, 2014
May 12, 2014
The court battles between the two companies doesn’t seem to have harmed Samsung’s position as a key supplier of components to Apple. DisplaySearch figures show that Apple switched from LG to Samsung as the primary supplier of its display panels for iPad Air and iPad with Retina display last quarter, reports CNET.
Samsung Display reclaimed its position as the top iPad display panel supplier, shipping 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048×1,536, accounting for 62 percent of total shipments of that display size and resolution […]
LG Display […] saw its share of that display size/resolution plunge to 38 percent in the first quarter from about 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 …
February 17, 2014
Image via iFixit
Two new reports out today are offering a bit of early insight into what to expect from Apple’s next A-series SoC, or system on a chip, that powers its iPhone and iPad devices.
The first tidbit from Fudzilla says Apple will once again rely on Qualcomm for LTE chips in the next round of iOS devices rather than an A8 chip with LTE integrated. So what does this mean? It’s probably safe to assume Apple will save a SoC which includes the LTE modem in a future iteration.
Generally, the fewer chips required in a mobile device, the better optimized for battery life the device is. Apple, of course, must strive to engineer battery life parity, if not improvements, as our devices get more powerful each generation.
January 27, 2014
January 10, 2014
December 19, 2013
Just like in 2011 and 2012, 2013 was an exciting year for 9to5Mac in terms of leaks, exclusive stories, and breaking news. This year was interesting however because there was considerable doubt cast at many of the stories we’d broke which added some entertainment into the mix. Below, we break down our biggest stories of the year by product type:
November 11, 2013
A report from Times Union newspaper today claims Apple could be looking to GlobalFoundries to make chips for the iPhone and iPad at its “Fab 8” plant in Malta, New York (via MacRumors). It’s unclear if the move would be to reduce its dependence on Samsung, its current manufacturing partner for the iPhone and iPad system-on-a-chip, but Times Union says Samsung will go to Fab 8 at least initially to assist GlobalFoundries in preparing to build the chips:
Samsung Electronics, which currently makes the logic microprocessors used in Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad devices at its Austin, Texas fab, will help with the start-up of the Apple program, ensuring that Apple will have a second U.S. source for chips for the popular smart phones and tablets. Logic chips are the workhorse chips that are essentially the brains of a smart phone… It’s unclear if GlobalFoundries will be making the chips with Samsung as the customer on behalf of Apple, or if Apple will be the direct customer, with Samsung helping set up the operation to mirror what it does in Austin. Either way, Apple will be the ultimate customer.
There have been rumors for years that Apple is attempting to reduce is reliance on Samsung, one of its top supplier of parts for the iPhone and iPad but also its biggest competitor in the smartphone space. Most of those rumors have pointed to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., but reports back in July claimed Apple was in talks with TSMC competitor GlobalFoundries. expand full story
September 20, 2013
Back in July, Mark reported that some code in iOS 7 showed that the 64-bit A7 would be made by Samsung. If that weren’t enough, Anandtech reported that they also believe that Samsung made the A7 last week after their iPhone review.
The evidence was pretty strong but we now have what appears to be definitive evidence from iFixit/Chipworks.
There was mighty speculation among the internet as to the manufacturer of Apple’s new A7 processor. We uncovered it last night during the iPhone 5s teardown, but now Chipworks has taken it one step further. Through the magic of decapping an IC, their internal shots revealed the A7 to be made by Samsung. Die photos of the A7 are coming.
Chipworks goes further and identifies what Apple calls the M7. It actually is a non-descript chip called the LPC18A1 made by a company called NXP. That’s marketing!
Finally, Sony looks like it has another win on its hands with the improved 15% bigger pixel camera sensor, a feat it has had since it first got the iPhone 4S camera contract two years ago.
September 19, 2013
The 64-bit A7 chip used in the iPhone 5s is ‘only’ dual-core, rather than the quad-core most had assumed, according to chip review site AnandTech – and it has the same 1GB RAM as the iPhone 5. But no need to feel short-changed: the review concludes that dual-core is the optimum solution at present, and that real-life performance is better than anything else on the market.
All the benchmarks we’ve seen point to the iPhone 5s being the fastest phone out there by some considerable margin.
In a phone interview with CNET, Anand said:
The tools that count cores query the [operating system] and the OS returns the number of logical CPUs and they only returned two. The quad-core card was kind of forced. It’s definitely not the only way to arrive at the ideal performance-power for a phone … expand full story
August 12, 2013
July 31, 2013
While Apple is using an A6 processor for this new iPad mini, developer Nick Frey has shared with us that Apple is also developing a new A7 processor. A reference to an s5l8960x (likely A7) processor, which is a leap over the s5l8950x (A6) and s5l8955x (A6X), was located inside of the iOS 7 filesystem. Based on recent chatter, it seems plausible that this will be the chip powering the new iPhone 5S.
Interestingly, it appears that Apple will again work with Samsung for this new chip. The main system-on-a-chip will include some Samsung components- at least to power the display, according to analysis of the above code by a person familiar with Apple’s chip design process. This contrasts with a rumor from earlier this year (like every year) claiming that Apple will switch to TSMC on the A7 processor.
This source also says that over the past couple of years, Apple has hit roadblocks (in relation to processing speed) with both the upcoming A7 and A8 chip, but it appears those that issues have been resolved.
July 19, 2013
The Wall Street Journal summarizes information from court documents and various sources that points to Apple and Samsung being back at the bargaining table after the two companies spent much of 2012 in court proceedings regarding patent infringement claims. During the summer of 2012, Apple won a major lawsuit in California court against Samsung due to design patent infringement claims regarding the iPad and iPhone.
Today’s report shares that since that time, the Cupertino and South Korean tech firms have met multiple times in private to come to some sort of settlement. Since last summer, the two companies have still been filing lawsuits against each other. Notably, today’s report claims that a settlement was near this past February, but the talks dissolved. Even with the cool-down, the talks are reportedly still on-going. Samsung reportedly has made proposals for the potential settlement:
July 14, 2013
July 12, 2013
According to a report today from SemiAccurate, a semi-accurate site that has been hit and miss on Apple rumors in the past, Apple has just bought into a chip fab plant, backing up recent rumors that the company could be moving to build its own CPUs.
Apple has just done something that SemiAccurate has been expecting for months and entered the fab industry. No we are not joking, Apple just bought into a fab, and not in a trivial way either.
The full report remains behind a paywall, so it’s unclear if the site mentions a specific company that Apple has bought into. The tags for the report, however, do list “UMC”, a hint that the company in question could be Taiwan-based chipmaker United Microelectronics Corporation…
July 8, 2013