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Intel Corporation Message Board

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  • buffet_graham buffet_graham Sep 17, 2012 11:13 PM Flag

    14 nm FAB 42 plant coming online in Chandler Arizona in 2013 changes everything


    During this time Apple wasting his time fighting with Samsung on 45nm technology??? unreal??

    The Apple A5 Dual-Core Processor

    There is a quite a bit of speculation as to who Apple chose for the fabrication of the Apple A5 processor. Rumors circulated that Apple may have chosen to TSMC as their new fab in response to new competition from Samsung in the handset and tablet space.

    Based on analysis performed by UBM TechInsights Lab and Process Analysis personnel, we can say that the A5 in our possession is definitely manufactured by Samsung using their 45nm process. UBM TechInsights used optical die and SEM cross-section images to analyse important features such as die edge seal, metal 1 pitch, logic and SRAM transistor gate measurements. These features were then compared to other manufacturers in our database, including other Samsung 45nm parts. The previous generation Apple A4 processor was also fabbed on Samsung’s 45nm process.

    Right away the primary observation is that the A5 is a VERY BIG IC, with a processor die size of 12.1 x 10.1 mm. You'll recall that the Apple A4 was a package-on-package with the processor and its supporting memory stacked one capsule atop another and it had a processor die size of 7.3mm x 7.3mm.

    The A5 was said to support Low Power DDR2 DRAM memory and that has been proven true from our decap. What is also interesting is that teardowns performed at two UBM TechInsights locations (Austin and Ottawa) revealed two different LPDDR2 DRAM from two different manufacturers (Samsung and Elpida). The Samsung K4P2G324EC LPDDR2 die is the first time we’ve seen Samsung’s new 46nm LPDDR2 memory. This also tells us that Apple is fully prepared to package multiple LPDDR2 offerings.

    The people at IO Snoops have found something very interesting. While the A4 clock speed was steady at 1 GHz, the A5 clock speed varies depending on the application being run. This would indicate an advanced power management circuitry controlling the clock speeds of the cores—something new for the A5 and may explain the use of a different power management IC from Dialog Semiconductor.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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