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Apple Hopes To Drop Samsung As Chip Supplier

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the why-do-mommy-and-daddy-fight dept.

Patents 107

danomac writes "Apple is testing out new chip suppliers, trying to find a supplier other than Samsung. Apple is currently suing Android phone manufacturers, and Samsung is included in the lawsuit. 'Apple faces several hurdles should it want to make a switch to TSMC, including patents and chip design issues as well as a push by Samsung to retain the business. ... Analysts and other sources had previously said TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker, was set to become a supplier of a next-generation processor chip to Apple, likely starting next year. However the chip may not be called the A6, as some reports have indicated, the sources said. TSMC is an obvious candidate to win processor business from Apple as it has budgeted $7.8 billion this year to update technology and add capacity. It also has experience with the architecture of British chip designer ARM Holdings Plc, widely used by Apple to make power-efficient mobile chips."

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107 comments

It's kind of obvious (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780464)

The next iPad will be powered by an Arduino!

Re:It's kind of obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780490)

Yes, and have a 64kb ram from mouser, a Nintendo DS "replacement" touchscreen from dealextreme and an old Nokia screen from ebay.

Re:It's kind of obvious (1)

narcc (412956) | about 3 years ago | (#36781592)

Yes, and have a 64kb ram from mouser, a Nintendo DS "replacement" touchscreen from dealextreme and an old Nokia screen from ebay.

And still sell millions 'cause Steve says that specs don't matter.

Correction (4, Funny)

Chris Down (2350174) | about 3 years ago | (#36780484)

"Consumers hope to drop Apple as computer supplier"

Re:Correction (0)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 3 years ago | (#36780542)

Doesn't look that way to me. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I guess we'll see on Tuesday which of us is correct, but I'm liking my position on this...

Simon

Re:Correction (1)

fj3k (993224) | about 3 years ago | (#36782440)

Of my friends with iPhones, aprox. half have said they would not buy an iPhone again.
That said, of those who said they wouldn't buy one again and have bought a new phone, less than half bought a different phone. But that's not a representative set, they are the people who buy new stuff when new stuff comes out.
As an aside, of my friends with Android phones, none have said they would change. But the android phone owners are in the minority.
As presented, these facts don't make any sense to me.

Re:Correction (0)

mgblst (80109) | about 3 years ago | (#36782796)

A smarter man would not have posted such useless dribble. But hey, it takes all sorts.

Apple is growing, the iPhone is growing, Android is growing faster.

Anyway, you may have missed the point where we were talking about computers in the parent comment.

Re:Correction (1)

djfuq (1151563) | about 3 years ago | (#36787374)

You are an asshole. The guy was just giving anecdotal information that I actually found interesting, and have additionally noticed the same trends myself by talking to other engineers around the office.

Most people I know at work tend to get an iPhone first, then get sick of it's restrictive and hobbled nature and then get an Android phone next. Some people are fanbois and stick with iPhones and buy each model as they come out however.

Oh yeah- go suck a bag of dicks.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780720)

drop them like a used rubber

Re:Correction (1)

tyrione (134248) | about 3 years ago | (#36781062)

You have such a singular wit.

Re:Correction (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781402)

What? Are you one of those Linux fags who can't afford a real computer? Crying little bitch. The facts are that Apple is way ahead of the game in just about every category. All Linux can claim is the server room and some third rate cellphones.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781534)

Huh? Apple supplies computers?
I thought those gadgets weren't programmable by the end user... ;)

(On a serious note: Actually, all iDevices technically really aren't computers, because the end-user really can't program them. Like an appliance, all he can do, is extend the fixed functionality with modules adding more fixed functionality. Which misses the complete point of having a computer: To automate your work (away)!)

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785074)

Huh? Apple supplies computers?

I thought they kept doctors away if taken once daily. You live and learn.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36782254)

"Consumers hope to drop Apple as computer supplier"

It seems like quite the opposite [infoworld.com] is happening. [infoworld.com]

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36782380)

Consumers dont care about the geek ideology. If they did, Windows wouldnt have won the world today. They just want the product to work well.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36783120)

I like Samsung. I have twin 22" Samsung monitors (one of which I'm typing on right now). Great products, great prices. Samsung does not press anyone into a walled garden. There is no 'incompatible' over at Samsung. Android runs beautifully on Samsung products. Good job Android! Good job Samsung! Samsung makes money by creating and selling quality products. They aren't a bunch of greedy butt-heads hiding behind intellectual property lawsuits to be viable in the marketplace.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36783820)

"Consumers hope to drop Apple as computer supplier"

Here here! What is "uninstall" in Mac terms?

Re:Correction (2)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 years ago | (#36786214)

Here here! What is "uninstall" in Mac terms?

Drop into the trash.

And it's "hear, hear".

Good luck with that (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780512)

Good luck with that, Apple. I know that if there's one thing I look for in a potential customer, it's a tendency not only to file bogus patents (what was that last one, changing to landscape mode based on orientation but with a phone!111!!!!?) but to ruthlessly sue suppliers over them. (Oh no, you have a product with ROUNDED CORNERS, prepare for the Nazgul!)

Of course, I know I'm being naive. They'll find some company that's more than happy to accept their money, even with the continual threat of being sued to prevent them from using their own technology in the future.

But I can hope that karma comes back to bite them in the ass. I can only hope.

Re:Good luck with that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780628)

Good luck with that, Apple. I know that if there's one thing I look for in a potential customer, it's a tendency not only to file bogus patents (what was that last one, changing to landscape mode based on orientation but with a phone!111!!!!?) but to ruthlessly sue suppliers over them. (Oh no, you have a product with ROUNDED CORNERS, prepare for the Nazgul!)

Of course, I know I'm being naive. They'll find some company that's more than happy to accept their money, even with the continual threat of being sued to prevent them from using their own technology in the future.

But I can hope that karma comes back to bite them in the ass. I can only hope.

What the fuck is with you numnuts. Are you that retarded you cant see when something is a direct copy of another? Are you fucking deluding yourself?
If patents are to difficult for you to read, you are on the wrong site. Or again, maybe you are just fucking deluded. What other companies apple is doing business
are they suing? What company are they suing over Android? Are you fucking deluded? When was the last time you left the basement? Nothing you have
posted is even close to being true. Are you fucking Deluded?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

alamandrax (692121) | about 3 years ago | (#36780662)

Sir, I do believe you shall find that it is spelt "numbnuts".

sip

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Nimatek (1836530) | about 3 years ago | (#36780912)

I believe he spelled it this way intentionally, in order to avoid any potentially existing patent claims to the original spelling. As any law-abiding citizen should do. I would be careful with your use of 'Sir' if I were you. That's a very common and stylish word. Apple might have claims to it.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

dave87656 (1179347) | about 3 years ago | (#36783548)

Sir, I do believe you shall find that it is spelt "numbnuts".

sip

I believe that was the only word in his highly intelligent post the wasn't a form of "f**k".

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36783076)

What company are they suing over Android? Are you fucking deluded?

HTC [reuters.com]

Depending on how that Dee Looded looks like, I might be interested in at least meeting her, yes.

So... (1)

HumanEmulator (1062440) | about 3 years ago | (#36780520)

They are either punishing Samsung (the common dramatic spin I see put on the story) or maybe they are expecting to need A LOT of A6 chips. Maybe the rumors of putting them in Macs are true?

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36780570)

Or maybe they see the value in having a supplier that doesn't represent a conflict of interest.

Re:So... (1)

tftp (111690) | about 3 years ago | (#36781362)

Or maybe they see the value in having a supplier that doesn't represent a conflict of interest.

They need to look for an established, large manufacturer who can quickly produce millions of reliable components for Apple. On the other hand, the same manufacturer must not have any business with any of Apple's competitors - who are in the majority and are busily flooding the planet with hordes of Androids.

In other words, they want a manufacturer with a death wish. The only way a chip maker can agree to those conditions if Apple completely buys it.

Re:So... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36781450)

On the other hand, the same manufacturer must not have any business with any of Apple's competitors...

Not quite. It's not about having any business at all with any of Apple's competitors, it's about Samsung themselves being a direct competitor.

Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 3 years ago | (#36781476)

The problem with letting morals interfere with business decisions is knowing where to stop. Now that they've made it plain how little tolerance they have for independent thinking suppliers, the rest are going to be a bit skittish, either in their dealings with Apple, or in their own R&D. Either way, Apple is sending the message that it doesn't want first tier brilliant thinkers, only second tier yes-men.

I have a friend who lets his religious fundamentalism go crazy. I sent some Thomas the Tank Engine chocolate lollipops for Christmas stocking stuffers, and was told that Thomas is a Disney property, Disney supports health insurance for domestic partners, and therefore my stocking stuffers were unwelcome.

So what next? Don't let UPS deliver anything because the driver might be gay, or support human rights? Where does he draw the line? It's one thing (however silly it is) to not buy Disney products himself because they have gay employees, but to chew me out for not following his politics is absurd.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 years ago | (#36781734)

How your post got modded up is beyond me. I think your religious fundamentalist friend has a tighter grasp on reality than you do.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 3 years ago | (#36782056)

So explain, then, exactly how you know where to draw the line.

Suppose you consider Disney to be evil for having health benefits for domestic partners, and you refuse to do business with them. Suppose you own a company which makes piping.

Do you refuse to sell piping to Disney?

Do you refuse to sell piping to a local hardware store which sells to Disney?

Now being the owner, it's entirely up to you to make these decisions. But what if you work for this piping company?

Suppose you are a salesman, and Disney calls up wanting to buy piping, and you know you'd get fired if you turned down the sale.

Do you do the honorable thing and quit?

Do you do the dishonorable thing and turn them down and hope your boss doesn't find out?

Do you turn the sale over to a co-worker who isn't as principled?

Do you take the sale but turn down the commission?

I'm not trying to be tricky or snarky. I'd really like to know how you deal with these matters.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 3 years ago | (#36783588)

I think you're missing his point. He was not arguing in favor of your friend's position, but was attempting to humorously point out that your position is at odds with reality. Samsung is not "independently thinking." It's doing the opposite - mimicking Apple's products. that's where Apple's objections lay.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 3 years ago | (#36784070)

Samsung is not "independently thinking." It's doing the opposite - mimicking Apple's products.

Which products is Samsung "mimicking", exactly?

Please, just don't tell me that tablet/icon look is Apple's "invention". I've had enough laughs today.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 3 years ago | (#36784918)

When I take my Samsung Galaxy S out of my pocket, a lot of people seem to think it is an iPhone.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785064)

When I start a Linux distribution with KDE, people seem to think its a new version of Windows.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 3 years ago | (#36785172)

Which products is Samsung "mimicking", exactly?

I'm not sure why you put scare quotes around the word mimicking. It's an apt description. And why do you transform that into the borderline straw man of invention? All products have a trade dress. Samsung's Galaxy S shamelessly mimics the iPhone's trade dress right down to the packaging. Here's a pretty good example [copyrightc...ulture.com] .

Re:Good luck with that (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#36782432)

I always thought of myself as a fundamentalist but apparently not. I have to admit to watching Thomas the Train with my grandson.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36783106)

I suggest you tell your friend he's a fucking nutcase, and he's wrong. As near as I can tell Thomas is NOT owned by Disney in any way. He should probably check his facts before blindly following whatever fundamentalist with an agenda convinced him to boycott Thomas. You also might want to let him know he should start thinking for himself. Since he's probably such a rabid whack job, you might want to be prepared to drop him as a friend.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784048)

Copying Apples designs doesnt exactly require independent thinking.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 3 years ago | (#36784846)

Oh pulleez. Don't start pretending Apple's the only original thinker in town and everybody else steals from them. Steve Jobs isn't the first person to wear black.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#36786460)

If it were me, I'd turn down the "Christmas Stocking Stuffers" on several grounds, before "gay" would be included.

1) My kids wouldn't know what or who Thomas the Train was. They don't get to watch TV. They play with toys and read books instead. If they do watch TV, it is Discovery or some other program that is at least educational without dumbing down.

2) Christmas is a made up holiday, and commercialized at that. "Jesus" wasn't born on Dec 25, nor anywhere close to that date. However pagan gods were, which was the origins.

3) Santa Claus is a made up character. Telling kids that Santa is real is setting them up for eventual disappointment when they realize you've lied to them all those years.

And none of that makes a bit of difference to my Christian friends, they keep doing it anyways. I expect more from my kids, and I'm rarely disappointed.

Re:So... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#36780868)

Even if the lawsuits didn't exists, I would have foreseen Apple doing this sooner or later. First of all, having only one supplier for a critical component is risky. Second, Samsung is producing Apple chips on their 45nm line whereas the rumor is that TSMC will fab Apple's chips on their 28nm line which in itself is a huge improvement for Apple in terms of cost.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781198)

I imagine the apparent conflict of interest is of minimal significance. Electronics manufacturing is rife with examples of companies with competing end user operations supplying each other - consider Sony's fabrication of many of Nikon's DSLR sensors. Nobody would deny there's intense competition between the two for their cameras, but Sony has the means, and finds a profit even in assisting its rivals. (Canon, I believe, are large enough to be able to keep sensors purely "in the family")

28nm does seem like a big draw. Lower power is obviously highly influential in such decisions, perhaps even making for lower cost, as you note, due to a (hopefully) larger number of viable chips per wafer.

Re:So... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36781268)

First of all, having only one supplier for a critical component is risky...

That risk is offset by tying up that supplier so they're the only one that can use them.

Re:So... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#36781986)

It's not risky in the sense that should something happen to the supplier like an earthquake, the customer has an alternative.

Re:So... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36782126)

Right, but until that quake happens their competitors are on equal footing.

Re:So... (1)

imgod2u (812837) | about 3 years ago | (#36781980)

I doubt there's anything so sinister. One thing to note is that TSMC's 28nm process is ready now; chips will start mass production at the end of the year on it.

I don't think Samsung has their 32nm HKMG ready for the type of volume that Apple would need for A6. The A5 is already huge and would likely not fit in a phone. Apple's only chance of getting some more horsepower inside future iPhones without having to use the A4 again is to switch to a smaller process.

Re:So... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#36782450)

No one wants to here that. You take all the fun out of everything.

Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

mykos (1627575) | about 3 years ago | (#36780578)

Unless they can get Globalfoundries off the ground at 28nm or better, they won't be able to produce enough product to make any sales, with Nvidia and Apple hogging all the fabs' attention. Enjoy your $800 entry level GPUs and your $1000 midrange CPUs.

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

HappyPsycho (1724746) | about 3 years ago | (#36780626)

That might be true if the profit margins nVidia & Apple got went to the fab plants. They are all probably paying about the same.

Apple is probably the only one with some sort of advantage, the whole "we'll help u build it, but it only produces our chips"

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 3 years ago | (#36780732)

Doesn't Samsung and TSMC share the same process? So it is easier to transfer from Samsung to TSMC than to Global Foundries? Correct me if I am making a mistake here.

I guess Apple may be secretly working with Intel too.

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

makomk (752139) | about 3 years ago | (#36781004)

IIRC, TSMC don't actually share the same process with anyone these days, and even if they did it doesn't exactly work like that...

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

tyrione (134248) | about 3 years ago | (#36781092)

Do yourself a favor and visit GlobalFoundries latest news information. They are soon to be exploding and already have customers spoken for all but the new plant in New York that will be targeting the 22nm and below needs at 300mm wafer size.

http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2011/07/12/globalfoundries-begins-installing.html

More News Here: http://www.globalfoundries.com/newsroom/ [globalfoundries.com]

Tri-Gate competitor well under way. http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2011/07/12/global-foundries-tri-gate-competitor/1 [bit-tech.net]

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 3 years ago | (#36781620)

AMD did a lot with finfets, so I wouldn't expect the transistor structure to be a problem ... but they're completely fucked with patterning until EUV hits. Intel has chromeless pixelized masks pretty much on lock down patent wise and it's a huge advantage.

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (2)

tyrione (134248) | about 3 years ago | (#36781824)

AMD did a lot with finfets, so I wouldn't expect the transistor structure to be a problem ... but they're completely fucked with patterning until EUV hits. Intel has chromeless pixelized masks pretty much on lock down patent wise and it's a huge advantage.

You do realize that it's not just AMD but IBM that co-developed much with AMD, right? If you think Intel has it all locked down you better spend a few hundred hours reading up on IBM patents.

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 3 years ago | (#36790432)

Intel was able to use pixelated photomasks for functional CPUs in 2006 . No one else has even published papers on attempts with test circuits ... IBM has been fucking around with pixelated source masks, but mostly because that's less patent encumbered AFAICS.

Re:Looks like AMD might be going under then (1)

Ant P. (974313) | about 3 years ago | (#36781798)

> $1000 midrange CPUs.

They still make the Pentium Extreme Edition?!

Conflict of Interest (-1, Troll)

sunfly (1248694) | about 3 years ago | (#36780598)

Samsung has shown not only the desire to compete directly with them, but steal all they can from them. This is one of the biggest risks of outsourcing, and a valid reason to pull all contracts as fast as they can.

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 3 years ago | (#36780606)

What exactly did Samsung steal from Apple?

Re:Conflict of Interest (-1)

jmcbain (1233044) | about 3 years ago | (#36780672)

You seriously need to keep more up-to-date with technology news even if it takes away from your daily anime porn site viewing.

Re:Conflict of Interest (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36780722)

Please do say what they stole. As far as I can tell apple is complaining about some bogus design patents and some typical bullshit software patents.

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780810)

Please do say what they stole. As far as I can tell apple is complaining about some bogus design patents and some typical bullshit software patents.

Something like this, I believe:
http://allthingsd.com/20110715/itc-rules-htc-violated-two-apple-patents/?refcat=news [allthingsd.com]

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 3 years ago | (#36780916)

Pssst... HTC and Samsung are two different companies. Just a little heads up.

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780960)

Pssst... HTC and Samsung are two different companies. Just a little heads up.

It's not just HTC. This applies to Android also, per the article.
He also said " something like..."

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 3 years ago | (#36780920)

those two patent are some old shit that should never had been granted.....
read this : http://www.google.com/patents?id=aFEWAAAAEBAJ&zoom=4&pg=PA11#v=onepage&q&f=false [google.com]
please tell me what is so novel about that. Things like this were common a the xerox lab. Go read a publication from Alan Kay.

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780940)

Aside from the fact that the patents seem unnecessarily vague I saw the name Florian Mueller and stopped reading. I'll wait to see what the rest of the board has to say...

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36780980)

Says Florian. Anything from a non-troll?

The ITC is saying the apple has a pantent on something obvious, who cares?
Unless they actually ban imports it does not matter.

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

K-Mile (906254) | about 3 years ago | (#36781192)

As far as I can tell, one of those patents (http://www.google.com/patents/about/5946647_System_and_method_for_performing.html?id=aFEWAAAAEBAJ) is about 'detecting structures in data and presenting the user with the ability to perform actions on a structure'.

This can be anything from a hyperlink that you can click (a grammar detects a pattern, a link tag, and presents the user with an interface (right mouse button) to perform actions (opening the link, or bookmarking it) on the structure) to a phone number you can dial from the screen or even all those online ads highlighting words in the text of a webpage.

The only specific feature is that this implementation uses a 'analyzer server' to process the data. But since it is not specified what that is, it can be anything running on the device.

I am sure there must be some prior art to that patent ;)

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781242)

The primary complaint is about "trade dress". In other words, apple feels that:

1) they've created a product that looks very distinctive from anything ever created before it
2) that product has very strong brand recognition
3) samsung has deliberately created products that look similar to that product
4) many consumers, particularly the non-tech-literate masses, are confusing samsung's product for apple's more well known one

1 and 2 are definitely true. 4 is probably true, even I've been confused by how similar some samsung phones are to older models of the iPhone. If the court finds number 3 to be true then samsung is in really deep shit. And samsung has been found guilty of this exact offence before (copying blackberry's trade dress).

Under trademark law, it's illegal for two companies who compete directly to have the same trademark. If there is one car company "ford motors" and another car company "form autos", it would be confusing.

Under trade dress law, it is illegal to for two companies to produce competing products which are visually similar. It's got nothing to do with functionality, in fact functional similarities are specifically exempt from trade dress and companies are encouraged to copy each other under trade dress law (only patent law protects against copying functionality). If there is one car company, say ford, who sells a product, say the focus, and another completely different car company sells a product that is visually similar to the ford focus, then that would be confusing to consumers and is therefore illegal.

In general, whoever has the more popular product will win the court case, not necessarily whoever came up with the product first. This is about protecting consumers from confusion, not about protecting companies, and therefore the more well known company should be the one to continue using the product while the other company has to come up with a new visual appearance. If the trade dress infringement was intentional, then they'll also face severe monetary damages.

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

CrackedButter (646746) | about 3 years ago | (#36781274)

Lol, bogus indeed. If Nilay Patel from TIMN has written a clear and concise breakdown of this lawsuit, you're doing yourself a favour by reading it so I don't have to laugh at the ignorance in your post.

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780674)

Rounded corners, shiny black plastic, and putting icons in a grid.

Apparently.

Re:Conflict of Interest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780700)

What exactly did Samsung steal from Apple?

They cloned the iPad, iPod and iPad. Are you blind?

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781064)

Really? Apple was NOT the first popular PDA or Tablet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAQ

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_TC1000

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781390)

Really? Apple was NOT the first popular PDA or Tablet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAQ

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_TC1000

You ever heard of the newton?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_(platform) [wikipedia.org]
http://ouriel.typepad.com/myblog/2007/01/iphone_someone_.html [typepad.com]

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 3 years ago | (#36784052)

You ever heard of the newton?

He said popular.

Newton was not popular or first either.

Re:Conflict of Interest (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36781080)

They had devices that looked like that before the iPhone came out. Form follows function. Icons will be on a grid, the face will be made of glass, and the edge has metal trim. Nothing innovative there.

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780786)

Clients....

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

Skuto (171945) | about 3 years ago | (#36781120)

Mod parent up.

Re:Conflict of Interest (3)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 3 years ago | (#36780802)

Nothing. Apple is just dominated by aggressive, corporate-type lawyers, that's why they patent things like round corners and putting icons in a grid. That's what Apple considers "innovation" nowadays...as boring as their latest products.

Re:Conflict of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780822)

What, do you ask?
Their revolutionary and magical products that can make unicorns come rainbows and cure cancer.

Surprising? (2)

hahn (101816) | about 3 years ago | (#36780616)

Is this really so surprising? Apple creates end products to sell to consumers and buys parts from Samsung. Samsung creates chips (as well as other parts) to sell to companies but also sells competing end products to consumers. TSMC only creates and sells chips to companies, but nothing to end consumers. And now that TSMC's foundries have been updated, it's kind of a no-brainer isn't it?

Re:Surprising? (4, Informative)

stevew (4845) | about 3 years ago | (#36780792)

You have to understand that TSMC has a different business model than Samsung. TSMC is the largest Chip Fab in the world - bar none. It is ONLY a chip fab. The article is actually in error when it implies that the relationship between ARM and TSMC is a big deal. The relationship between Samsung and ARM is likely exactly the same! They BOTH have a license to ARMs IP. The BIG difference between the two is that TSMC doesn't have System Architecture experience. They take designs from others - and create masks, then fab them for you. Most of the "fabless" semiconductor companies in the world use either TSMC or UMC (the number 2 player..)

Samsung is different in that they do both Architecture/Implementation of the design along with fabrication. TSMC doesn't really have that ability.

What Apple would have to do is take on the Architecture/Implementation roll by themselves and send the design to TSMC for fabrication. That would put Apple more in the "fabless" semiconductor business. What they do now is they buy most of the design from Samsung, i.e. they use Samsung's IP on their chip, then Samsung implements the device, and fabs it. They ship the completed device to Apple.

Hope this straightens out some of the differences between the two approaches.

Re:Surprising? (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#36780910)

What Apple would have to do is take on the Architecture/Implementation roll by themselves and send the design to TSMC for fabrication. That would put Apple more in the "fabless" semiconductor business. What they do now is they buy most of the design from Samsung, i.e. they use Samsung's IP on their chip, then Samsung implements the device, and fabs it. They ship the completed device to Apple.

Except that Apple has been designing their own chips since the A4 and Samsung manufactures it. I'm sure that Samsung has assisted Apple like they would any other customer but considering that Apple bought PA Semi and Intrinsity (two chip design companies) for their personnel and expertise, I would say their A4 and A5 designs are not bought from Samsung.

Re:Surprising? (1)

tfranzese (869766) | about 3 years ago | (#36781016)

Just to add to the sibling here, Apple is no stranger to chip design. Back when they were dealing with the PowerPC (and probably before then too) they were very much into motherboard/chipset design within their VLSI research group. I wouldn't sell them short.

Re:Surprising? (1)

hahn (101816) | about 3 years ago | (#36781366)

You have to understand that TSMC has a different business model than Samsung. TSMC is the largest Chip Fab in the world - bar none. It is ONLY a chip fab. The article is actually in error when it implies that the relationship between ARM and TSMC is a big deal. The relationship between Samsung and ARM is likely exactly the same! They BOTH have a license to ARMs IP. The BIG difference between the two is that TSMC doesn't have System Architecture experience. They take designs from others - and create masks, then fab them for you. Most of the "fabless" semiconductor companies in the world use either TSMC or UMC (the number 2 player..)

Samsung is different in that they do both Architecture/Implementation of the design along with fabrication. TSMC doesn't really have that ability.

What Apple would have to do is take on the Architecture/Implementation roll by themselves and send the design to TSMC for fabrication. That would put Apple more in the "fabless" semiconductor business. What they do now is they buy most of the design from Samsung, i.e. they use Samsung's IP on their chip, then Samsung implements the device, and fabs it. They ship the completed device to Apple.

Hope this straightens out some of the differences between the two approaches.

My understanding is this: both the Apple A4 and A5 are SoC's (System on a Chip) with ARM cores (A4 - single, A5 - dual) but are designed by Apple. Samsung only provided manufacturing capability. Design of the end product (iPhone and iPad) was done by Apple. Integration of the chip into the finished product and mass manufacturing (iPhone 4, iPad 1 and 2) was done by Foxconn and Pegatron (iPhone 4 CDMA only). I don't recall ever reading that Samsung was involved in any part of the iPhone 4 or iPads beyond the manufacturing of the chips (and flash memory). Please provide a link if you know differently. Here's one that lists parts and suppliers for the iPhone 4: LINK [isuppli.com]

Thus, at least to my understanding, replacing Samsung is simply a matter of finding someone else who can manufacture chips (and maybe even memory if they just want to be rid of Samsung). At the very least, it benefits Apple to find more than one potential supplier both for getting more supply and lower prices.

Re:Surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781600)

The BIG difference between the two is that TSMC doesn't have System Architecture experience. They take designs from others - and create masks, then fab them for you. Most of the "fabless" semiconductor companies in the world use either TSMC or UMC (the number 2 player..)

That's interesting. I guess that'd make them perfect for Apple then, since Apple has been designing their own chips since the A4, and Samsung is only doing the mass production work.

As far as I know, all major electronics companies try to have at least two suppliers for any given component, to ensure they can continue to ship products if one of them runs into problems.

Not to mention, several months after it's launch most of the stores around the world are still out of stock on iPads, with up to a two week wait for some customers wishing to purchase one. So clearly someone on the iPad production line can't manufacture goods as fast as Apple wants. Perhaps samsung is the bottleneck.

Maybe this isn't even to replace Samsung. Maybe they'll have chips made by samsung and TSMC.

Re:Surprising? (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 3 years ago | (#36783568)

What Apple would have to do is take on the Architecture/Implementation roll by themselves

Samsung had no role in the design.

Re:Surprising? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#36781058)

Yep! And it goes beyond that. Apple now designs its own custom chip, and so has effectively become a fabless semiconductor company. Why would Apple want to share its proprietary designs with a *competing* company already involved (as either the thief or victim) in several industrial espionage incidents when it can just use a "neutral" (not to mention the largest) contract fab like TSMC?

Re:Surprising? (1)

tftp (111690) | about 3 years ago | (#36781434)

Why would Apple want to share its proprietary designs with a *competing* company already involved (as either the thief or victim) in several industrial espionage incidents when it can just use a "neutral" (not to mention the largest) contract fab like TSMC?

This naively assumes that nobody at the "largest" contract fab is willing to sell a couple of designs to whoever is interested in them. But they are ready to spend millions on chasing that dream.

Apple should understand that once they release something to another company that "something" is instantly copied and sold to the highest bidder. Their only hope would be to keep the high level design in Cupertino and send only the lowest level stuff to be manufactured. But if they want to take this road they can do it already - and as some people commented earlier, they do just that.

As it seems, though, Apple developed a case of corporate paranoia. There were signs of this disease before, but now Apple openly proclaims that "everyone is stealing from us" and such things. They need a head doctor.

Re:Surprising? (1)

gatodecat (822540) | about 3 years ago | (#36781684)

Why would Apple want to share its proprietary designs with a *competing* company already involved (as either the thief or victim) in several industrial espionage incidents when it can just use a "neutral" (not to mention the largest) contract fab like TSMC?

This naively assumes that nobody at the "largest" contract fab is willing to sell a couple of designs to whoever is interested in them. But they are ready to spend millions on chasing that dream.

Apple should understand that once they release something to another company that "something" is instantly copied and sold to the highest bidder. Their only hope would be to keep the high level design in Cupertino and send only the lowest level stuff to be manufactured. But if they want to take this road they can do it already - and as some people commented earlier, they do just that.

As it seems, though, Apple developed a case of corporate paranoia. There were signs of this disease before, but now Apple openly proclaims that "everyone is stealing from us" and such things. They need a head doctor.

Don't forget.
What the eye doesn't see. The heart doesn't grieve about.
To Apple, Samsung is clearly infringing on their IP. A change is in order.
 

Re:Surprising? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 3 years ago | (#36781616)

Considering the rules set out by Sarbox, I would actually trust Samsung a hell of a lot more than I would TSMC not to sell or reuse those designs for another product. Because they're in direct competition, Samsung could find themselves delisted from the stock exchanges, which would hurt their business a hell of a lot more than any profit they could garner from it, meaning that Samsung is likely to be significantly more open about how they're treating Apple's proprietary designs.

My guess is it has more to do with capacity, and switching from a 45nm to a 28nm fab than it does blocking out the competition. Building their i-somethings on a 28nm fab will mean less loss to heat, which means less power consumption, and longer battery life.

Re:Surprising? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#36782100)

Yes TSMC could sell designs from one of their clients to another of their clients. But here's the problem: If anyone ever found out, TSMC would most likely lose all their clients as no one would ever work with them again lest they have the same thing happen to them. With Samsung if all their external customers stop using them, they still have internal customers.

Re:Surprising? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#36782700)

Yep - it's 100% of TSMC's business but just a few percent of Samsung's (at most)...

Re:Surprising? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 3 years ago | (#36784958)

Samsung are a Korean company with a secondary listing on the Pink Sheet Market, so I don't really think they are affected by Sarbanes Oxley.

Re:Surprising? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 3 years ago | (#36786376)

If they're listed at all on an American market, they are affected by it. I work for a Canadian company that has a secondary listing on NYSE, primary listing on TSX, and we still have to comply with Sarbox.

Re:Surprising? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 3 years ago | (#36787790)

You don't have to comply with any regulations to list on the Pink Sheet market. Even SCO Group is able to list on there. If you are listed on NYSE or Nasdaq then of course it is a completely different matter.

Planning? We don't need no stinking planning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36780762)

File this under the "not well thought out beforehand" category.

why do you think they're suing samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36781866)

in corporate america it's called "negotiating"

it's not a problem, it;s a feature (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 3 years ago | (#36782840)

Where else are you going to purchase radiation hardened chips?

Adding a supplier doesn't mean dropping one (2)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 years ago | (#36786272)

I still don't see why adding a new chip supplier has to mean dropping the old one.

Maybe Apple just want's to make sure it can still build new devices even if one supplier has problems.
Maybe they need additional suppliers to meet the increasing demand (yes, there is increasing demand for iOS devices).
Maybe they hope to gain something by having competing suppliers. Lower prices and/or better products. Faster, more efficient chips etc.

After all, Apple is a company and is doing business to make money; not to win a troll award.

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