Apple chipmaker will spend $2.2 billion to gain edge over rivals

Apple chips are getting EMI shielding.
TSMC may have won the A10 battle, but it also wants to win the war.
Photo: Apple

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have reportedly scored Apple’s A-series orders for the next-gen iPhone 7, but with plenty of rivals on its tail it’s not shying away from putting in the work (and, more importantly, the cash) to ensure it stays Apple’s chipmaker of note.

According to TSMC’s co-CEO Mark Liu, this means spending a massive, record-setting $2.2 billion on R&D this year; a significantly higher figure than the $1.067 it spend researching new processes last year.

Chipgate stokes anxiety, relief and some laughs over iPhone 6s

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Which chip is in your iPhone 6s?
Which chip is in your iPhone 6s?
Photo: techfast Lunch & Dinner/YouTube

Heading to social media to vent about Chipgate, some iPhone 6s owners are upset to discover that not all A9 chips are created equal.

Worse, some feel duped by Apple, which used two vendors to supply different versions of the chips in “identical” phones. Others worry about reports of inferior battery life — and some are thinking seriously about returning their new iPhones. Still others are playing the latest Apple controversy for laughs.

Burned by Apple, Intel tries to hide its unprofitable mobile chip division

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Apple's put the heat on Intel, and the chipmaker is doing some reorg to make things right. Photo: Intel
Apple's put the heat on Intel, and the chipmaker is doing some reorg to make things right. Photo: Intel

Intel is losing against ARM when it comes to mobile. This is incontrovertible. In smartphones and tablets, Intel’s chips just haven’t been able to compete with the likes of Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Nvidia…. despite the billions of dollars Intel has spent trying to heavily subsidize things like Atom-powered Android phones.

Not so surprisingly, Intel’s mobile and tablet business isn’t profitable. But Intel’s about to do a little bit of creative accounting to make it’s mobile and tablet divisions profitable: merge them into the PC division.

Apple Primed to Devour Key Japanese Chipmaker

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retinadisplayiphone5

Apple is considering a buyout of a division of Renesas Electronics that specializes in display chips for smartphones. The buyout would give Apple engineering expertise to help improve the iPhone’s display “sharpness and battery life,” according to Japanese business site Nikkei.

Apple already orders all of its liquid crystal display chips from Renesas, and the Japanese company is responsible for powering about a third of the world’s small to midsize LCDs. Instead of using the chip division of Renesas like an outside contractor, Apple wants to bring it in-house.

Apple’s A8 Processors Will Be Built On Revolutionary 14nm Process [Rumor]

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apple_a7_chip

Although reports have surfaced that Apple may be building a top secret $10 billion chip fab, right now, the vast majority of Apple’s A-series chips are made by Samsung. This is obviously not an ideal situation, as it gives Apple’s arch smartphone rival the advantage of knowing what the iPhone-maker is planning on doing next, at least from a silicon perspective.

It looks like Apple may soon be able to rely less on its nemesis when it comes to building chips, though. A new report says that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will largely take over for Samsung in making iPhone and iPad chips in the future. And they’ll be pretty crazy advanced chips, too, at least if the rumors can be believed.