Because someday soon, we will find more 3D TSV devices than just CMOS image sensors inside mobile applications, I like to keep my eyes and ears open for what’s going on in those areas. Here are a few interesting tidbits I came across lately.
Forget what you heard about TSMC manufacturing the next A6 processor. According to SemiWiki blogger, Daniel Nenni, this rumor is false! He says this is because the iPhone 5s’ A6 processor will be based on 28nm technology; Samsung will be the manufacturer because it’s too late in the game to switch now. However, Look for TSMC to be manufacturing the next, next A6 processor at 20nm. Read his full post “TSMC Apples Rumors DEBUNKED!” here for a couple more rumors he’s put to rest. What I want to know is, which generation of 1Phone will replace the PoP configuration of the memory on the A6 with a 3D IC assembly process?
According to a post by Peter Clarke in EETimes, this ongoing business from Apple, despite the lawsuits, helped Samsung secure the #3 spot in IC Insights list of top 12 foundries in 2012, and will likely vie for #2 with GlobalFoundries regardless of whether Apple moves its processor manufacturing to TSMC. (It’s interesting to note that the only other IDM in the top 10 is IBM at #10.)
This could be because Samsung is holding its own with its Android phones, which have carved a good chunk of the mobile phone market away from Apple, according to a post in Extreme Tech. Apparently Apple is hoping to regain some of the market with a cheaper alternative (think iPad Mini and iPod Nano).
And today’s final tidbit got a “no duh” reaction from me when I read it. (You know, like one of those pointless studies such as “increased caffeine intake proven to interrupt sleep cycle”). According to a post on Mashable, smartphones are now consuming more data than tablets. I guess the notable point for me was the “now” part – or as the title reports – “for the first time” regardless of the market expansion of tablets. Since smartphones are not limited to WiFi, as some versions of tablets are, it makes sense they would be used more to access data anywhere. I didn’t really see the point in getting a 3G enabled tablet, since I can always use my smartphone. Why pay the extra monthly fee? I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way, so is it really all that earthshattering? ~ F.v.T