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Badonkadonk

Badonkadonk
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  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Well we can see at least one case where a TSMC customer got burned on their FinFET schedule: NVIDIA. Their Erista part got dropped in last minute on 20nm, along with a change to stock ARM cores, because they had planned to skip 20nm (Logan / Stark on 28 to Parker on 16) which is where all their Denver resources were focused. There may be others in that camp, but we'll have to wait and see, could be that it won't be as obvious a change in plans since not many other people provide their road map publicly like NV.
    Feb 6, 2015. 09:24 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    A72 is Maia and is a derivative of A57, which is not even in market yet (save for Samsung, and they only run it in legacy mode). I would expect silicon samples late '15 (like WW48+) or Q1 16, which means shipping in H2'16 at best. I expect it leverages all the same PoP collateral (compilers and cells) that A57 does, and is just an improved partitioning of the micro architecture to deal with the high power issues apparently seen on A57. It is more than an R2P0 step but less than the jump from A9 to A15 (or A9 to A12)
    Feb 5, 2015. 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    I do appreciate you insight here, but I don't think Intel even thinks much of their foundry business right now. Comments from Dr. Bohr seem to indicate he doesn't expect his foundry folks to beat SLSI/GF or TSMC to the pitch with 14nm, and he's very likely basing that assumption on his insight into volume ramp for lead customer (which is either Altera or Panasonic, no other public signees).

    The other point to note is the scaling mentioned by Altera: 25% versus "16" (with a 20 BEOL means they are comparing against 20nm equivalent either way) seems good, but is it true "full node" scaling expected? To me if Alterations is seeing this level of area savings that may entice more folks (including Apple) who are pressed more for area versus performance to consider Intel for foundry even after the transition to "16/14" at other foundries. If TSMC's "10" is only as good as Intel's 14, then how much better will Intel's 10 be for this space? I believe it is only proper that Alterations makes mention for examining both TSMC and Intel for 10nm, as Morris was pretty clear they needed to recoup face here. But I assume it is Intel's win to lose, not the other way round.
    Feb 1, 2015. 01:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Apple does need to stay on the bleeding edge for the area density, not performance. Those CPU and GPU blocks are pretty sizable for a mobile SoC and they only take up ~60% of the die area. They have some secret sauce as well that may be of interest to Intel, but largely that is through their acquisitions of Anobit, Authentec and their ISP firmware. Cyclone is a nice core but it is not the crown jewel of Apple's SoC IMO.
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Intel is intending to launch and integrated DBB in SoC in 2016, not start then. They've no doubt started now on the integration.

    But rolling their own SoC and making a modem IP available for others is not the same scope of work. I think 5 yrs is pessimistic, but 2018 might be more reasonable. Certainly I would be shocked to see them deliver a solution for a 3rd party before then.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    XMM7260 has passed ADAPT some time back and is being released in a handset in NA this quarter. It is on par with the MDM9235 solution spec wise, and could be deployed in similar sockets. No CDMA of course, but VZW will be LTE only capable soon enough, and S needs to get their shit together.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Different set of skills for sure to design a good quality radio pipeline, but digital logic scales across nodes just fine. What doesn't scale, and what requires the effort when porting nodes, are the high rate data converters (ADC / DAC) that digitize your analog signals. Typically you don't have to throw away technology but (at least with UMTS and LTE) the 3GPP based technologies are getting "better" by getting "bigger", meaning support for multiple carrier binding to get an aggregate bandwidth that is higher. So developing a Rel5 UMTS modem up through Rel7 would be hard because you need to support new encoding schemes and modulation rates, and this is all "new" IP to develop, likewise first gen (rel8) LTE modems were a huge investment and headache to support along with legacy radios. But things get a bit easier after than for both stacks through CA, in that you just started doubling the signal chains needed, and you have to modify your link layer (which is typically SW) to aggregate and disaggregate radio packets across the carriers. That's a simplified version, anyways.

    To wit, Intel's issues in bringing their modem IP acquired from Infineon onto their own foundry process is not some insurmountable challenge on the transistor side, it is just a lot of work on the architecture and system design side. Once this is done (current road map suggests a follower to SoFIA LTE) then it should scale from 14 to 10 and lower reasonably well (on the DBB side). Their RFICs are built on 40 nm today and should be moving to 28, still with external foundry. No idea if they will bring that in-house as Intel's process may not be suitable for the analog domain.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Agree on their OR bring up, that is their NPI location. AZ i'm not so sure, last I heard Fab42 was still just a shell, no tools. Intel has publicly commented they are going to retool their Israeli fab for 10nm, but you may be correct that this is later in time.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Likely in May though, not Feb like people seem to believe. I expect announcement at WMC and launch before end of Q2. Could also be they keep using 5433 on 20nm and just rebrand it as 7410 when they "enable" 64b. Then launch 7420 on 14nm in their domestic market only (as they have in the past). If the speculation on S810 is true though you may see more Exynos based devices in NA markets soon. Which would likely be a boon for Intel and well
    Jan 27, 2015. 10:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Samsung was demoing their "14" nm Exynos end of Q3 - I forget the context, may have been ARM Techcon. They didn't call it Exynos of course, just "a 14nm part" but that's what it is. Hisilicon also showed off their first "16"nm design from TSMC, though this was for base stations, not mobile. Point is devices are sampling as of H2'14, and while I agree yields are likely very poor, that is the cross for the Foundries to bear, not the customer like Apple. Samsung licensed their designs to GF as well to provide volume upside, so if they want to bring a device to market in H1'15 I believe they can, even if they throw away half of what they build. Apple will ramp mid year for a Sept'15 launch and I have no doubt they will be on SLSI 14 at that time.
    Jan 27, 2015. 10:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    "Analog" versus "Digital" is a blurry line. Qualcomm's solutions take in IQ channels from their RFICs and digitize them at the very input to their SoC, which then processes all the data upstream as digital samples (and lots of DSP processing). This has been the industry norm for at least a decade, though exactly where the data converters lie between ABB and DBB depends on the vendor (and if they follow a standard like DigRF or not).

    Qualcomm sells modems to Apple and others, and sells also SoCs that integrate the DBB function. Both of these parts can leverage the same RFIC solution because they are the same modems.

    Intel today (XMM726*) only had a modem IP. And they pair it with discrete APs from their Atom line (like Moorefield), but they could also be used with Apple's solution. Intel uses DigRF4 as the interface between their RFICs and DBB, but architecturally it is similar to Qualcomm (and Marvell, and many others). Intel is developing SoCs that integrate their modem IP with Atom solutions, which is their SoFIA line, and these should be shipping this year, though with LTE remains to be seen.
    Jan 27, 2015. 10:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Samsung builds A-series chip in Austin, TX while Intel is retooling their Israel fab for 10nm, so not sure what you mean by "at home". Of course, latest parts are built at TSMC, but "designed in California" like everything else (even if actually designed in Texas).
    Jan 27, 2015. 10:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    Not to mention, no Apple doesn't need to send info back to ARM, they license the ISA and that's it. But that doesn't mean other Intel Foundry customers aren't building with ARM, or that Intel is not working with ARM to get their Artesian (POP Kits) IP built on Intel's processes. That type of channel is more likely to influence ARM performance than any agreement with Apple.
    Jan 27, 2015. 10:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: A One-Stop Shopping Center For Apple [View article]
    If Apple are going to transition off x86 for their Macs it will happen regardless, so for Intel would they rather have zero or something? Likewise, Apple's custom chips will move to FinFET eventually, so would Intel rather stay with zero % of the mobile / tab business or a portion of that to offset the losses on Mac side? IMO it is likely we see an Apple response to Surface Pro 3 and / or Chromebooks based on their own chips before a true "MacBook" replacement, but that could just be wishful thinking. The A series are built with performance in a limited thermal envelope in mind, and they can't just magically crank up the power and frequency of the same part to compete with Broadwell and the like.
    Jan 27, 2015. 10:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry In Terminal Decline [View article]
    BlackBerry develops software for both EMM and device side (SMS, BBM) for iOS and Android. They also beta test their own apps (eating their own dog food, so to speak). Would not surprise me in the least to see employees using iPhone there.
    Jan 15, 2015. 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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