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Thread: Teardowns Show Samsung Built the A5

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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
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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar
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    Default 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

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    Livin the iPhone Life steve-z17's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks Samsung! You've made Apple very happy..and rich

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    Thanx samsung for making this and making the galaxy suck
    [IMG]http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/9703/modu.gif[/IMG]

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    Livin the iPhone Life steve-z17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
    Thanx samsung for making this and making the galaxy suck
    Lol, yeah!

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    Samsung do make good stuff.

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    Green Apple
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    way to go Samsung, good lookin' out!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
    Samsung do make good stuff.
    Yeah... Just not "good" tablets.. lol

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    Livin the iPhone Life Silverado1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
    Thanx samsung for making this and making the galaxy suck
    Lol yeah WTF

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me
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    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.

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me se23's Avatar
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    Surprise Surprise!

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me delusion950's Avatar
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    If they can't beat then join them.

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    We already knew about this from the iFixit article.

    Not really important. Maybe Apple will just use both manufacturers.

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    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

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    La Malcria Co1d Night's Avatar
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    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.


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    What's Jailbreak? Giorgio79's Avatar
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    Great Job Samsung !

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    Samsung to the rescue again


    Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi

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    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

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    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.


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    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

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    What's Jailbreak? AkkeDaBest's Avatar
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    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!
    Last edited by AkkeDaBest; 03-16-2011 at 04:00 AM. Reason: Quote got ****** up

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