Samsung Said to Supply Apple with NAND Flash Memory in 2017 After Five-Year Hiatus

Samsung is once again set to begin supplying Apple with NAND flash memory chips in 2017, ending a five-year hiatus dating back to the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012, according to ETNews. The reason for the dissolution of the original supplier relationship is given as Samsung's unwillingness to comply with Apple's electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements via packaging changes or special coatings on the memory packages themselves.

This new claim comes on the heels of an report earlier report, also by ETNews, suggesting Apple was looking to individually shield more parts inside its devices for performance and EMI compliance reasons.

The earlier article claimed the impetus for this change was the use of multiple diverse systems such as 3D Touch along with the presence of various high-speed interfaces, all of which can contribute to and be affected by EMI. Individual shielding would also allow Apple to dispense with discrete metal shielding components, which could ultimately save on logic board space and allow more room for other components inside the devices.

The new report notes that Samsung's use of ball grid array (BGA) packaging places it at a disadvantage to competing products that use land grid array (LGA) package contacts, which allow the package to sit flush with the printed circuit board.

figure-3-lga-lead-styles

LGA type lead (left) compared to BGA type lead (right)

It appears Samsung's existing sputter coat EMI shielding technologies were insufficient for Apple's performance requirements, given the shielding gaps created by the raised BGA contacts. The emergence of new, cheaper spray techniques for ultra-thin coats of metal shielding seems to be one development that has changed the dynamic of this relationship, as have Samsung's concerns about a weakening flash memory market.

Samsung remains a leader in NAND type memory solutions, with its 3D V-NAND memories offering up to 256 Gb densities on the market currently. While this development seems most likely to affect the memories used in Apple's iPhone and iPad products, there would also be an opportunity for Samsung to show up in the entire line of Mac computers, which have become heavily reliant on flash storage. Along with the recent news that Samsung will supply Apple with OLED panels for future iPhones, it appears Samsung very much remains in play as a supplier for Apple devices.

Top Rated Comments

doelcm82 Avatar
64 months ago
That's the problem with Jony Ive really - he's obsessed but it's just with "thinness" above all else which makes for a worse product in many areas, Steve Jobs was obsessed too but it was making the best product, didn't always get it right but it was a healthier obsession!
Last Thursday when I was having dinner with Jony Ive and another close, personal friend (who actually, really knows Jony) at our favorite restaurant, the waiter brought a handful of "waffer" thin mints with the check. Jony picked one up and then exploded (no, not literally--that would have been gross). He started shouting, "You call this thin!? This isn't thin enough! Bring me thin, of just stay home!" He stood up suddenly, knocking his chair to the floor, and stormed out of the restaurant. As he exited, he overturned two other tables, and swept the the food and plates from a third.

I turned to my other friend and said, "Wow, he's really obsessed with thinness, right?"

"No, that's just an act."

"Are you sure? That looked pretty obsessive to me."

"I shouldn't tell you this, but I'm a psychiatrist, and I've been treating Jony for years. He's really suffering from PDGS."

"What's PDGS?" I asked, noticing my friend's hands were starting to shake.

She grew noticeably more excited as she explained: "It's Professionally-Diagnosed Greed Syndrome. These amateurs calling him obsessive don't know what they're talking about! I mean, look at this!" She grabbed her iPhone from the center of the table and at the same time scooped up Jony's forgotten phone and slipped it into her pocket. Then she unlocked her iPhone using his ring finger, and opened the Settings app. "Look at this! 16GB! That's crazy! That's insane! That's certifiable! I have to go post a rant to MacRumors!" She pushed her chair back violently, making a woman at the next table spill coffee onto her lap. Then she followed Jony's path out of the restaurant, knocking the legs out from under a busboy who was trying to clean up the mess.

It was five minutes before it dawned on me that they had left me alone with the check.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsrcool1234 Avatar
64 months ago
But still a 16 gb base model
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rocketman Avatar
64 months ago
First Apple and Samsung were suing each other, now Samsung is helping Apple a out :rolleyes: It's all about $!
Well, yes it is. Different departments/companies of a large conglomerate too.

cite:

http://www.samsung.com/levant/aboutsamsung/samsung/affiliatedcompanies.html
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AdamskiUK Avatar
64 months ago

Along with the recent news ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/14/apple-samsung-oled-panels-2017/') that Samsung will supply Apple with OLED panels for future iPhones, it appears Samsung very much remains in play as a supplier for Apple devices.
Good, at least we get decent parts.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordQ Avatar
64 months ago
iPhone 7s, featuring 16 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gorms Avatar
64 months ago
But still a 16 gb base model
Shall we start crowdfunding for you so you can upgrade to a model with more than 16gb? Would that placate the whining?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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