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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • wallisweaver wallisweaver Dec 23, 2012 12:00 AM Flag

    Samsung, TSMC and 20nm

    According to our favorite Taiwanese supply chain rumor website DigiTimes, here’s what we can expect in 2013: Samsung is going to jump to 20 nanometer technology while simultaneously building factories that can produce 14 nanometer transistors. TSMC is also going to make 20 nanometer chips, but production is going to start in the second half of the year. Said production will also be low volume. Our gut tells us that we’re not going to see any 20 nm Snapdragons from Qualcomm until very late 2013 or early 2014.

    Above from Android Authority

    [So, no one really expects any TSMC 20nm production until 2014. Which likely means, unless everything goes perfectly at TSMC, no real volume unit 2015. And when has anything involving fabrication gone perfectly at TSMC? They started having major production problems at 45nm for gosh sakes. Is Apple going to wait until 2015 for 20nm, by which time Intel will be close to 10nm? And the idea of building 20 and 14nm at the same time? That's a devastating sign that the ARM fabrication roadmap is totally broken and they are left with the "Hail, Mary".]

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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    • Intel is not willing to manufacture ARM based chips for Apple, the biggest mobile IC consunmer. It is still angling to overtake ARM through a combination of architecture and process technology such that its chips are clearly better than ARMs and therefore get a tight integration advantage for IA across computing platforms. It hasn't been able to do so in the last generation with Medfield and if you assume equal progress on both ARM and Intel camps on technology, which is a reasonable assumption, won't be able to do so at any point in time in the future. Where this decision of Intel's leaves Apple is that if it wants to get its in-house designed chips manufactured it has to go with the best manufacturing option available which appears to be TSMC or Samsung, possible GloFo. It doesn't really matter where they are on an absolute level as long as they maintain relative position with respect to Intel in terms of process technology. Most likely with the recent increase in investment we have seen at all the major foundries, the process lead will reduce because it is predicated on investment, not on Intel's unique understanding of IC production. This is the position stated by TSMC's Cheng and negated by Intel's Otellini in their claims that they have come up with something unique with 3D transistors. Qualcomm and NVidia are more or less in the same position as Apple because of ARMs architectural advantage which effectively negates Intel's current process advantage.

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