“For Want of a Chip, the Auto Industry was Lost”

“For Want of a Chip, the Auto Industry was Lost”
by Robert Maire on 02-11-2021 at 10:00 am

Auto Assembly Line

Semiconductor production can’t be turned on and off like a switch

Semiconductor fabs have to run 24/7 to make money. They have to be running full all the time to fully utilize the high running costs and in the case of new fabs, high capital costs.

Unlike a brake pad factory hat can hire and fire people at will and source readily … Read More


Apple A14 Die Annotation and Analysis – Terrifying Implications For The Industry

Apple A14 Die Annotation and Analysis – Terrifying Implications For The Industry
by Dylan Patel on 12-20-2020 at 10:00 am

Apple A14 Die Analysis

SemiAnalysis and SkyJuice have teamed up in order to analyze the A14 die shot from ICmasters. Our previous analysis of the A14, delved into why Apple and TSMC have deviated from previous generations when comparing theoretical logic transistor density to a real world utilized transistor density.

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5 Things You Need to Plan for System Custom Silicon

5 Things You Need to Plan for System Custom Silicon
by Raul Perez on 12-13-2020 at 10:00 am

logo4semiwiki

I used to be part of the custom silicon management team at Apple.  I’ve seen how great a challenge it is to pull off a custom silicon strategy within a one year product cycle. Apple is the perfect example of this custom silicon model since they develop the best mobile processors in the world for their products. Which also includes otherRead More


Apple’s A14 Packs 134 Million Transistors/mm², but Falls Short of TSMC’s Density Claims

Apple’s A14 Packs 134 Million Transistors/mm², but Falls Short of TSMC’s Density Claims
by Dylan Patel on 12-11-2020 at 6:00 am

Apple 14 TSMC 5nm Transister Packing 1

Our friends over at ICmasters have delved into the package of the Apple A14 Bionic. The die size has been unmasked, and it stands in at 88mm2. Despite cramming in 11.8 billion transistors, the die size is incredibly small thanks to utilization of TSMC’s 5nm process node.

The march of progress is not all rosy. Apple’s chips have historically… Read More


Can Samsung Foundry Really Compete with TSMC?

Can Samsung Foundry Really Compete with TSMC?
by Daniel Nenni on 11-20-2020 at 6:00 am

Samsung TSMC 3nm Battle SemiWiki

The semiconductor foundry business has been front page news of late and for good reason, it’s an exciting time in the semiconductor industry and the foundries are where it all begins. Unfortunately, most of the “exciting” news has been overblown but this topic is of great interest, to me at least. Having been intimately involved… Read More


TSMC Sets the Stage for a Great 2021!

TSMC Sets the Stage for a Great 2021!
by Daniel Nenni on 10-16-2020 at 10:00 am

TSMC Revenue Analysis 2020

TSMC is the bellwether for not just the semiconductor industry but the worldwide economy. TSMC makes semiconductors, semiconductors are where electronics begin and electronics are the foundation of modern life, absolutely.

Apple is also a key economic indicator and as we all know Apple is a strategic partner of TSMC. The Apple… Read More


Intel 10nm SuperFin Technology!

Intel 10nm SuperFin Technology!
by Daniel Nenni on 08-17-2020 at 6:00 am

Refining FinFet Intel SuperFin

I made it through the Virtual Intel Architecture Day last week and much to my surprise it was very well done. Virtual events have been hit and miss but this one was definitely a hit. Great content, approachable experts, a glitch-free experience. The mainstream media has been redundantly covering it so let me add my many years of experience,… Read More


Apple’s Silicon Switch Changes Game & Balance 

Apple’s Silicon Switch Changes Game & Balance 
by Robert Maire on 06-24-2020 at 10:00 am

Intel Apple Silicon

Will/should others follow?
TSMC vs Intel impact?
Moving Apple’s supply chain further overseas

Apples move to self served silicon was no surprise…..
It has been speculated for years and we have talked about it many times.  It makes more sense for Apple to have silicon, custom designed for their applications and products… Read More


Our US chip foundry comments confirmed by WSJ

Our US chip foundry comments confirmed by WSJ
by Robert Maire on 05-11-2020 at 10:00 am

Trump Intel TSMC China TAiwan

-Could GloFo come back?
-TSMC or Intel or both or neither?
-Samsung would be a long shot?
-Perhaps Apple could convince TSMC?

The Wall Street Journal put out an article that detailed what we had indicated in our newsletter 10 days ago, that the US government is looking at getting a US based foundry to protect our interests given our … Read More


That Last Level Cache is Pretty Important

That Last Level Cache is Pretty Important
by Bernard Murphy on 04-21-2020 at 6:00 am

CodaCache in System

Last-level cache seemed to me like one of those, yeah I get it, but sort of obscure technical corners that only uber-geek cache specialists would care about. Then I stumbled on an AnandTech review on the iPhone 11 Pro and Max and started to understand that this contributes to more than just engineering satisfaction.

Caching

A brief… Read More