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  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]
    TSMC has clearly stated that when they start ramping volume production that they expect the majority of their customer products to be made at 16FF+. We will see when the products release what node they are made at. I would not be surprised to see a 16FF+ mobile SOC or GPU by late 2015 or early 2016.
    Nov 6, 2014. 09:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]
    According to TSMC their 16FF/16FF+ chips will be in customer products by Q4 2015 (high single digit of Q4 2015 wafer revenue at 16FF/16FF+ , similar to Q3 2014 which had 9% of wafer revenue at 20nm). These 16FF/16FF+ products will reach retail most probably in Dec 2015 or Jan 2016. So you see according to this timeline the iPhone 6S might not get 16FF given its yearly Sep launch, but you are likely to see mobile chips from other companies and maybe even GPU chips (Nvidia might skip 20nm and go straight to 16FF / 16FF+) make it to 16FF/16FF+ in a year's time.
    Nov 5, 2014. 07:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]

    "Intel either ships product to everybody who wants it or announces 3 quarter delays (and get hammered by everybody for it)."

    Oh is that the reason why Intel has not launched notebook and desktop 14nm Core processors in Q4 2014. 14nm notebook chips looks like late Q1 2015 and desktop is now slated for late Q2 or early Q3 2015. The trickle of parts called Intel Core M is a joke and in fact the wafer volume of TSMC 20nm will be more than Intel 14nm in 2014. Apple's A8 chip is 89 sq mm (compared to Core M at 82 sq mm) and A8X is significantly larger (50% more transistors than A8) and given the sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus its clear that Apple is selling whatever they can produce. btw the volume of iPhone chips is no small number.

    Q1 2013 earnings call

    In Apr 2013 TSMC confirmed that they had entered 20nm risk production. read page 4

    "A few comments on 20 nanometers and 16 nanometers FinFET. On 20 nanometers risk production has started in the first quarter, that is last quarter.Engagements with the customers are on schedule, have scheduled 20 product tape-outs for this year from multiple customers. Many of these tape-outs will drive high production volume. And yield progress on 20-nanometer is on track"

    Q2 2014 earnings call

    read page 5
    "We started 20 SoC production in January this year and by fourth quarter of this year, the 20 SoC will account for 20% of the quarterly revenue -- wafer revenue. And for the whole year of 2014 we expect 20 SoC will be about 10% of our total wafer revenue of the year of 2014, of course"

    Q3 2014 earnings call

    page 3

    "By technology, after two years of meticulous preparation we began volume shipments of 20-nanometer wafers. The revenue contribution went
    up from 0% to 9% of the third quarter wafer revenue. This is the fastest and the most successful ramp for a new technology in TSMC's history"

    page 5

    "Next, I'll talk about the 16-nanometer ramp and competitive status. In 16-nanometer, we have two versions, 16 FinFET and the 16 FinFET Plus.
    FinFET Plus has better performance and has been adopted by most of our customers. 16 FinFET we began the risk production in November last year and since then have passed all the reliability qual early this year. For the FinFET Plus, we also passed the first stage of the qualification on October 7 and since then entered the risk production. The full qualification, including the technology and product qual, is expected to be completed next month. So right now we have more than 1,000 engineers working on ramp up for the FinFET Plus. On the yield learning side, the progress is much better than our original plan. This is because the 16-nanometer uses similar process to 20 SOC, except for the transistor. And since 20 SOC has been in mass production with a good yield, our 16 FinFET can leverage the yield learning from 20 SOC and enjoy a good and smooth progress. So we are happy to say that 16-nanometer has achieved the best technology maturity at the same corresponding stage as compared to all TSMC's previous nodes."

    So roughly 1 year from start of risk production to start of volume production for 20nm and around 6 months to start high volume shipments. The volume ramp in H1 2014 was slow as TSMC worked its way to higher yields and then it was a steep ramp in Q3 2014. Q4 2014 20nm wafer revenue is expected to be >= 20% of total revenue.

    read page 17, 18 of Q3 2014 earnings call
    So according to TSMC 16 FINFET production ramp starts in late Q2 2015 with 1.5 quarter lead times (more processing steps than 20SOC) and will contribute to high single digit of revenue (7 - 9%) in Q4 2015.
    Nov 1, 2014. 01:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]
    cinci is a troll. He was vehemently arguing that TSMC 20nm will never happen in 2014. But that has happened and the iPhone 6 is here and manufactured at TSMC 20nm. so you can bet against TSMC while I am bullish that they will meet their timelines. nothing more to discuss.
    Oct 31, 2014. 08:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]
    Ultratech could be referring to Samsung but TSMC is proceeding well with the risk production of FINFET. TSMC has demonstrated working silicon with partners like HiSilicon and ARM.

    TSMC also stated in their Q3 earnings conference call that they expect to pull in 16 FINFET volume production ramp to late Q2 2015. The lead times are 1.5 quarters as 16 FINFET has more processing steps. They also stated high single digit % of wafer revenue at 16 FINFET in Q4 2015. In fact a TSMC customer has already committed a high volume tapeout already. read page 12, 17, 18

    ASML in their Q3 earnings call said 14/16nm FINFET ramp is a 2015 event and not 2016 event.
    Oct 30, 2014. 01:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Guidance And History Suggest Q1 2015 Revenues Of $66.3 Billion And $2.56 EPS [View article]
    I think Apple is being conservative as they are not able to meet demand for their latest iPhones. Apple will try their best to meet demand but I don't think they will meet demand entirely. The mix is also shifting in favour of iPhone 6 Plus due to high demand in China which will push ASPs higher. Apple is moving from 70:30 or 65:35 to 55:45 volume split for 6 and 6 plus

    Apple should easily beat the high end of their guidance range. How high will they go depends on how well they handle their supply chain and improve production turnaround times. I am thinking they could go almost upto USD 70 Billion.
    Oct 25, 2014. 04:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings: Dismissing The Bear Case [View article]
    the 15 million chip sales that Intel talks about is just Baytrail-T. With a 1 million dollar revenue on 15 million units Intel is surely giving away Baytrail-T for free. I am sure this strategy is not going to work. Intel now clearly states that though it expects to reduce losses in MCG in 2015 it still does not see profitability for MCG in 2015. MCG will continue to be a huge money loser. Intel's SOFIA is built at TSMC and thus its hard to see Intel having a cost advantage over the competition (Qualcomm, Mediatek). Intel's 14nm Cherrytrail faces significant competition from Apple A8X and Snapdragon S810. Finally TSMC stated in their Q3 earnings call that it now expects 16 FINFET production in late Q2 2015 and a high single digit % of wafer revenue at 16 FINFET in Q4 2015. It remains to be seen how successful Samsung is in ramping 14 FINFET as they seem to be having serious yield issues. TSMC is in a better yield situation according to industry analysts.

    As for Apple I exect the iPad Air 2 alongwith a rumoured 12.9 inch iPad pro to revive Apple's sliding iPad revenue. We will have to wait and see how the next few quarters play out. Apple still is going to reap a huge jump in revenues due to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
    Oct 21, 2014. 08:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Q4 Will Show Just How Stagnant Apple Earnings Really Are [View article]
    Now that you got served a humiliation by Apple's record Q4 earnings why don't you stop writing about Apple. USD 42.1 billion revenue for a Y-o-Y growth of 12% and a Q1 2015 projections of 63.5 - 66.5 billion. I am sure Apple will hit the high end of the range or beat their estimates for Q1 2015. These aren't revenue numbers of a company which is losing its mojo. This is the world's most powerful technology company reasserting its dominance.

    the iPhone became a USD 100+ billion business for the first time ever. But the growth is just starting for iPhone with the 6 Plus bound to take share from Android phablets. FY 2015 revenue of USD 200+ billion is now guaranteed. Still there is a bit of concern as iPad continued its slide. So it remains to be seen if a 12.9 inch iPad Pro in H1 2015 can revive Apple's sliding iPad revenue. iWatch will launch in early 2015 and the prospects are very exciting for Apple.
    Oct 21, 2014. 03:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Q4 Will Show Just How Stagnant Apple Earnings Really Are [View article]
    How is this person allowed to write such rubbish ? MB's obsession with hating Apple is just ridiculous. This guy is really clueless. Samsung mobile revenue is falling off a cliff as Apple moves into phablets and companies like Xiaomi carve out further marketshare from Samsung. Samsung is struggling to sell S5 and this guy is talking about S6 as if its going to save them. pitiable.

    Anyway he will be made to look a fool once again on Monday after Apple reports earnings.
    Oct 16, 2014. 12:06 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]
    you are a diehard Intel fanboy. sorry but you just flat out lie to suit your case. Intel 14nm is in production from Q3 2014 (ww-28 which is roughly July 3rd week)

    Cherrytrail is further delayed with an expected March 2015 ramp and product availability by late Q2 (say Computex).

    TSMC has 2 flavours of 16 FINFET. 16FF and 16FF+ . TSMC has stated that the majority of its customers are going directly to 16FF+ from 28nm and 20nm. 16FF+ brings a 15% die size reduction over 20SOC.

    " Silicon results on 16FF show the “big” Cortex-A57 processor achieving 2.3GHz for sustained mobile peak performance, as well as the “LITTLE” Cortex-A53 processor consuming only 75mW for most common workloads. The performance improvements are a result of the collaboration between ARM and TSMC to jointly optimize the 64-bit ARMv8-A processor series on FinFET process technologies and build on the successful tape-out of the Cortex-A57 processor on TSMC’s 16FF process last year.

    Ongoing collaborative efforts are focused on TSMC’s 16FF+ process technology which will deliver an additional 11% gain in performance for the Cortex-A57 at the same power as the 16FF process, along with a further 35% power reduction for the Cortex-A53 when running low-intensity applications. This further increases the dynamic performance range and power savings for big.LITTLE platforms. 16FF+ is scheduled to be delivered by Q4 2014. Early big.LITTLE implementations of Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors on 16FF+ are supported by ARM POP™ IP technology."

    "As a second-generation FinFET technology, he said, 16FF+ can provide an additional 15% die size reduction compared to 20SoC."

    page 4

    "First, we have two general offers for customers, 16 FinFET and 16 FinFET
    plus. 16 FinFET plus offers 15% speed improvement, the same total power, compared to 16 FinFET. More importantly, 16 FinFET plus offers 30% total power reduction at the same speed, compared to 16 FinFET.
    Our 16 FinFET plus matches the highest performance among all available 16-nanometer and 14-nanometer technologies in the market today.

    Compared to our own 20 SoC, 16 FinFET plus offers 40% speed improvement. The design rules of 16 FinFET and 16 FinFET plus are the same; IPs are compatible. "

    Elizabeth Sun - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd -
    Director, Corporate Communications
    So Randy, your question is with respect to the timing, the availability of the 16 FinFET versus the 16 FinFET plus. And then the way the customer
    adopts, whether they're more adopting 16 FinFET or the 16 FinFET plus?

    Mark Liu - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd -
    President & Co-CEO
    Okay. 16 FinFET plus will be qualified in September. But remember, we and our customer work on 16 FinFET design one and a half years before.
    So all the customer already design -- the design is on 16 FinFET, okay. So the customer -- for those customers when the product tape out -- for
    example, we have a first product tapeout this month, it will ride on 16 FinFET process. And for those customers taped out in the second half, mostly, I would say mostly, will be riding on the 16 FinFET plus. So I would think majority of our process customers will run on 16 FinFET plus. And looking into the volume for the next year, I would say that most of the product will be run on 16 FinFET plus. Okay, thank you"

    "My sources tell me that Samsung 14nm is 3-6 months ahead of TSMC’s 16FF+. My sources also tell me that TSMC 16nm FF+ is today the most competitive FinFET offering, meaning power, performance, area, AND cost. This is based on information from the associated PDKs and not from PowerPoint slides or press releases."

    TSMC will win across the board on power, performance, area and the elephant in the room called yields. If Samsung was so capable why did they fail to ramp 20nm in high volume and lose the Apple A8 chip production to TSMC. TSMC's 20nm process ramp has proven they are the undisputed leader of the foundry market.

    Finally here is a bit of evidence that customers are going from 20nm to 16FF+.

    "In 16, 28 and the 20; and, as best we can tell, at 16, and they're doing 16 in two cycles. They're doing a FinFET and they're doing the FinFET Plus version, and we're going to be using the FinFET Plus version. And -- so, we're benefiting from all of their development at this point in time"

    "On the 16-nanometer -- this is FinFET, we're on schedule to tape out in Q1 of calendar year 2015. And what has happened is that we have revised our roadmap to better align with customer requirements and specifications.

    So, originally, we had expected to tape out by the end of the year. We're now expecting to tape out our first 16-nanometer device in the first quarter of 2015."

    Finally there is now news coming out that TSMC may finally win against Samsung in the FINFET race.

    "TSMC, which has more than half the global foundry business, has overtaken Samsung in the FinFET race to commercial production that the South Korean company was leading this year, according to industry analysts. Both companies lag Intel, which is making FinFET chips internally.

    Recent developments suggest TSMC has taken the lead over Samsung at developing [16/14nm] FinFET manufacturing technology," Mehdi Hosseini, a San Francisco analyst who covers TSMC and Samsung for Susquehanna Financial analyst, said in an Oct. 1 report.

    Checks with industry experts suggest Samsung's foundry has experienced a setback with its 14nm FinFET project, while TSMC's 16nm pilot line is gaining incremental confidence among prospective customers, Hosseini said in the report.

    TSMC may need to revise a prediction chairman Morris Chang made in July: "In 16-nanometer, TSMC will have a smaller market share than a major competitor in 2015."

    So stop spreading FUD. We will see TSMC 16FF+ products by late 2015, exactly a year behind Intel. TSMC 16FF+ will be extremely competitive with Intel 14nm and superior than Samsung 14 FINFET.
    Oct 10, 2014. 02:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Will Foil Intel's Mobile Ambitions [View article]
    Cherrytrail is expected to ramp in March 2015 and be available in products in Q2 2015. This is a further delay from Intel which initially said late Q4 2014 shipments and Q1 2015 product availability.

    The A9 will be a big jump in performance given Apple's history of alternating between product design changes and major architectural improvements. The A7 was a massive 2x jump from the A6 across the board. I expect a similar jump from A9 wrt to A8 . I would not be surprised to see a quad core improved Cyclone with DVFS / turbo or a dual core improved Cyclone with Symmetric MultiThreading to further drive performance higher. from the GPU point I think Apple will significant architectural and performance improvements and get close to 2x the A8 GPU perf.
    Oct 9, 2014. 11:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The $200 Billion Question [View article]
    Apple's FY 2014 revenues are USD 140 billion + USD 37 - 40 billion in the recently finished quarter. Taking even a median thats USD 178+ billion. With so many growth factors at play the USD 200 billion mark is easy pickings. I am willing to bet that USD 210 billion is pretty much a guarantee. Apple's iPhone revenue is already close to USD 100 billion in FY 2014. USD 120 billion for FY 2015 from iPhone is very much achievable. You have to remember Apple did not have a product against the Android phablets and now they do. The 5 inch plus market was 47% of the total market for phones with unlocked retail price of USD 500+. Of the remaining 53% Apple had a dominant 87% market share of phones with an unlocked price of USD 500+ and less than 5 inches screen size. Apple's gain will come at the expense of Samsung and the rest of the Android vendors.

    Apple Watch can conservatively sell 20 million units at an ASP of USD 500 or higher. Given that price varies from a base price of USD 350 to a rumoured USD 5000 for the gold edition your ASP estimates are very low.

    With the iPad Pro and iPhone 6 Plus combined with the IBM partnership Apple can improve enterprise market share for their mobility devices further eroding into Wintel market share.
    Oct 9, 2014. 10:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Incredible 10 Million Unit Sales On Launch Weekend - Fact Or Fiction? [View article]
    A piece of advice. Please write about any other stock than Apple. You are making a fool of yourself. Apple is going to break all kinds of records with iPhone 6 sales and their FY 2015 sales and profit numbers. Apple is just getting started. The next gen iPads in Q4 2014, iPad Pro and Apple Watch in H1 2015 are going to combine to push sales easily in the USD 210+ billion range for FY 2015.
    Sep 30, 2014. 07:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's iPhone 6 First Weekend Sales Record: What It Means For Investors [View article]

    CUPERTINO, California―September 23, 2013―Apple® today announced it has sold a record-breaking nine million new iPhone® 5s and iPhone 5c models, just three days after the launch of the new iPhones on September 20

    CUPERTINO, California—September 22, 2014— Apple® today announced it has sold over 10 million new iPhone® 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, a new record, just three days after the launch on September 19.

    "iPhone 5S and 5C sold over nine million units in the first three days, which sets a record for first weekend smartphone sales,[72] with the 5S selling three times more units than iPhone 5C."

    The big difference is the iPhone 5S was a flagship phone running the brand new (back in sep 2013) 64 bit A7 chip (manufactured on Samsung 28nm) while the 5C was a redesigned iPhone 5 running the A6 chip (Samsung 32nm). On launch iPhone 5s - $199 and iPhone 5C - $99 with 2 yr contract.

    In contrast the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are both flagship phones running the state of the art 64 bit A8 chip manufactured at TSMC 20nm. The iPhone 6 is priced at $199 and iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $299 with a 2yr contract.

    Since 5s and 5c sold in a 3:1 ratio the 5s sold around 6.75 million units in first 3 days. So Apple is selling roughly 50% more flagship phones and the margins are also higher due to the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is supply limited on iPhone 6 Plus. Hopefully they can sort it out before the peak holiday season which starts during Thanksgiving and runs till New Year.
    Sep 22, 2014. 11:26 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's iPhone 6 Market Impacts [View article]
    Apple has a significant lead with the world's first 20nm 2 billion transistor 64 bit SOC in a smartphone. For comparison the Core M is a 1.3 billion transistor chip. Thats a lot of transistors powering a lot of functionality. Apple's new Reachability feature is designed to serve single handed operation of the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's focus is not on quantity but on the quality of features. The usability of their devices is much superior to the competition.
    Sep 9, 2014. 10:46 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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