Samsung and Globalfoundries announced yesterday that the two companies will adopt the same chip production process as they upgrade their manufacturing facilities in preparation for the next generation mobile devices. (Via Wall Street Journal) This announcement adds credence to an earlier rumor that Apple was negotiating with GlobalFoundries to start making the A-Series chip in the company's Malta, New York Fab 8 facility, with Samsung helping in the early stages of production.

global-foundaries-logo
As part of the agreement, Globalfoundries has agreed to drop its current 14 nanometer circuit technology and will instead license Samsung's 14 nanometer process. This standardization of production processes could have a significant impact on Apple, which can now source its A-series processors from either Samsung or GlobalFoundries without any additional engineering effort.

"What really drove us to this agreement was a strong pull from customers," said Ana Hunter, Globalfoundries' vice president of product management. "They see the value in really having one process where they have choice and flexibility in the manufacturing options that they have."

Intel is the first company to start producing chips based on 14-nanometer technology with production starting in the current quarter. Apple supplier Samsung is expected to begin volume production of its 14 nanometer chips in late 2014, while Globalfoundries may introduce the process in early 2015.

There is no information on how this agreement affects Apple's current chip manufacturing deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC). Apple reportedly contracted with TSMC to start producing its A-series chips in early 2014 using 20-nanometer technology. Apple turned to TSMC for its chip manufacturing needs as the Cupertino company strives to lessen its reliance on Samsung to meet its production needs. This balance of suppliers helps alleviate supply constraints that result from production problems at a single supplier.

Top Rated Comments

koyoot Avatar
95 months ago
http://semiaccurate.com/2014/04/17/semiaccurate-right-apples-foundry-plans/
http://semiaccurate.com/2014/04/17/global-foundries-samsung-sync-14nm-processes/

That means, that in next year we will see Chips based on this Process. And it will include GPU made by Apple in the same manner as Cyclone cores in A7 are...
http://semiaccurate.com/2014/03/25/details-apples-gpu-emerge/

http://semiaccurate.com/2013/03/25/what-is-apple-doing-at-14nm/ as a bonus... ;)


A8 - 20nm, quad core Cyclone 1.4/1.5 GHz CPU, PowerVR G6650?
A9 - 14 nm, Quad Core Hurricane(?) 1.5 GHz CPU, Apple Vision GP9(Based on Kepler/Maxwell Architecture from Nvidia)?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
95 months ago
Semiaccurate is a rumors site full of speculation that doesn't turn out to be correct a fair amount of the time.

Of cause. They are only semiaccurate. At least they admit that in their website name.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdriftmeyer Avatar
95 months ago
From a non-nerd perspective, this is good news for Samsung... Everyone licensing their processes means they can easily pick up overflow work and can control the development of the technology.

This doesn't so much reduce apple's reliance on Samsung, but actually increases samsung's power in chip development. So indirectly, apple just became more reliant on Samsung.

It's not Samsung's Processes being licensed. It's a joint cross-licensing agreement to be a first of its kind unified platform where the client can expect both Samsung and GlobalFoundries to stamp out the same solutions, reducing costs by hundreds of millions to the clients.

It's a collaboration that extends their already developed research between Samsung, Global Foundries, TSMC and IBM.

The difference is that Samsung and GF are working together because TSMC is king and IBM is out of the fab business.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdriftmeyer Avatar
95 months ago
Developing FinFET jointly between Samsung, TSMC and GlobalFoundries has been known for a long time, but joint distribution of a unified solution is BRAND NEW to the Industry.

Besides the info on GloFo site, this technical article from Semimd gives one more insight:

http://semimd.com/blog/2014/04/17/globalfoundries-and-samsung-join-forces-on-14nm-finfets/

One of the key take aways is they are bypassing 20nm and going straight to 14nm.

----------

The standard applies to all Global Foundries fab around the world? Or just NY?

Just Malta, the most advanced one.

http://globalfoundries.com/manufacturing/300mm-manufacturing

Dresden which has a higher capacity, for older 45nm and below manufacturing isn't focused like Malta which is targeted for 28nm and below.

Fab 8 is where all the joint development is taking place, including the school of nanontechnologies.

The campus is in the middle of a $40 billion development, with Fab 8 fully operational now.

What is clearly not in the picture is TSMC, the other partner who developed FinFET 14nm with Samsung, IBM and GlobalFoundries.

IBM is getting out of the Fab business, so they will be pushing their demands off onto their partners to manufacture, while they focus on R&D.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hleewell Avatar
95 months ago
The standard applies to all Global Foundries fab around the world? Or just NY?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
95 months ago
What I meant, was that GPU from Apple would have few ideas of design taken from "bigger" players, in the same way Apple took ideas for Cyclone cores from Intel.

Obviously, it would be PowerVR Architecture. But Enhanced by ideas from Nvidia/AMD.

If they could jump in performance, by licensing the architecture, not simply the cores, and designing them from ground up by them, and getting it to levels, that noone could meet - that would be an astonishing achievement.

Cyclone takes ideas from all the big wide desktop designs that have been prevalent over the past decade, whether it be Intel, AMD or IBM. There's no publicly disclosed feature of it that favors any one of those three over the other.

Nvidia is using their desktop design in mobile to unify their product line and simplify development costs. It's not as optimized for mobile workloads as PowerVR parts are. They would need an astounding reason to break backwards compatibility and do custom design of a GPU of a different architecture.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

Apple Releases New macOS 12 Monterey Public Beta

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third public beta of the macOS 12 Monterey beta to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test the new macOS Monterey software ahead of its public release. The third beta comes two weeks after Apple released the second macOS Monterey public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Apple Releases New Public Betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to download and test the new updates ahead of their fall release. The third public betas come two weeks after Apple released the second public betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS 15 updates over the air after...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...