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  • Teardowns Show Samsung Built the A5


    The iPad's A5 chip was manufactured by Samsung, according to two independent teardowns and analyses of the latest generation system-on-a-chip. Despite rumors that Apple was going with Taiwan Semiconductor to fab the A5, decapsulations of the SoC by UBM TechInsights and Chipworks clearly show telltales of a Samsung fab process.

    The process analysis and lab techs at UBM TechInsights dissected the A5 using optical die and scanning electron microscope cross-section images to look at the edge seal of the silicon die and the pitch of the first metal interconnect, as well as taking logic and SRAM transistor gate measurements. They then compared what they found to other manufacturers, including other chips fabbed by Samsung using its 45nm process, such as the A4 SoC found in the iPhone and the original iPad. The indicators all lined up clearly, showing that Samsung must have been responsible for the chip's fabrication.

    Chipworks this week also did a decap of the A5 and their chipheads experts also concluded, by comparing the shape of the transistor gates and dielectric layers in the A5 to last year's A4 CPU, that Samsung is the manufacturer. Both analyses found 512 MB of Low Power DDR2 DRAM, but UBM, which decapped two different A5s from two separate iPad 2s found different DRAM chips in each: one from Samsung and one from Elpida. This indicates that Apple is being flexible in its component sourcing, which may prove vital as Japan struggles to restart its manufacturing industry after the devastating Sendai earthquake.

    The rumors about Apple going to a new chip foundry aren't put to rest by these revelations, however. These reports, which go back to the early part of this year, rely both on industry gossip and raw business pragmatics to assert that Apple will get future chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest independent foundry. TSMC has the most capacity for 40-nm molds, which will be key for the A5's future development as the current 45-nm chip is almost twice the size of the A4. Additionally, as Samsung is pitting its Galaxy smartphones and Galaxy Tabs against the iPhone and iPad, Apple is at the mercy of a major competitor for an essential component of its products. With that competition heating up, it's reasonable to expect that relationship may be on its way out sooner rather than later.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Teardowns Show Samsung Built the A5 started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Cool, thanks Samsung! You've made Apple very happy..and rich
    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
      Thanx samsung for making this and making the galaxy suck
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      Thanx samsung for making this and making the galaxy suck
      Lol, yeah!
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Samsung do make good stuff.
    1. drewstone's Avatar
      drewstone -
      way to go Samsung, good lookin' out!!
    1. jesmith8's Avatar
      jesmith8 -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Samsung do make good stuff.
      Yeah... Just not "good" tablets.. lol
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      Thanx samsung for making this and making the galaxy suck
      Lol yeah WTF
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      I have a Samsung tv and am really happy with it. IF, and thats a big IF, I decide to get an Android tablet in the future, it will probably be a 10" Samsung, but for now I'm sticking with the iPad 2.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      Surprise Surprise!
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      If they can't beat then join them.
    1. TheJailbreakGenius's Avatar
      TheJailbreakGenius -
      We already knew about this from the iFixit article.

      Not really important. Maybe Apple will just use both manufacturers.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jesmith8 View Post
      Yeah... Just not "good" tablets.. lol
      The Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Honeycomb looks pretty good. As does the Galaxy S 2, which makes even the iPhone 4 look outdated. Dual-Core A9, 1GB RAM, 8-Core GPU, Super AMOLED,1080p video recording, 8MP Rear Cam, 2MP front Cam, NFC, HDMI, Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0.

      Gimme all that in a sleek Apple designed case and iOS for iPhone 5
    1. Co1d Night's Avatar
      Co1d Night -
      I've always liked samsung. Their products are cheap and they're almost indestructible. I ran over my samsung mp3 player with my car on accident and it still works...the screen has a small chip in the corner though.


      Sent from my iPod touch using ModMyi
    1. Giorgio79's Avatar
      Giorgio79 -
      Great Job Samsung !
    1. iCR4C's Avatar
      iCR4C -
      Samsung to the rescue again


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. lootbot's Avatar
      lootbot -
      Quote Originally Posted by Th3_Amazing_Ath3ist View Post
      I ran over my samsung mp3 player with my car on accident and it still works...the screen has a small chip in the corner though.
      lmao at that
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      It's amazing how Samsung makes great products for Apple, but their own products generally blow. Oh well at the end of the day it's all about the
      Dollar.


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. Ddaniel87's Avatar
      Ddaniel87 -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      The Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Honeycomb looks pretty good. As does the Galaxy S 2, which makes even the iPhone 4 look outdated. Dual-Core A9, 1GB RAM, 8-Core GPU, Super AMOLED,1080p video recording, 8MP Rear Cam, 2MP front Cam, NFC, HDMI, Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0.

      Gimme all that in a sleek Apple designed case and iOS for iPhone 5
      First of all let's compare a phone vs a phone, your comparison doesn't make any sense, it's like comparing a full size car vs a small car, they are completely two categories
    1. AkkeDaBest's Avatar
      AkkeDaBest -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      The Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Honeycomb looks pretty good. As does the Galaxy S 2, which makes even the iPhone 4 look outdated. Dual-Core A9, 1GB RAM, 8-Core GPU, Super AMOLED,1080p video recording, 8MP Rear Cam, 2MP front Cam, NFC, HDMI, Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0.

      Gimme all that in a sleek Apple designed case and iOS for iPhone 5
      Oh wow a future device beats the last years' iPhone in hardware

      The software still is better in the iPhone

      Jailbroken iOS FTW!
    1. MXCO's Avatar
      MXCO -
      This is called good business.