Samsung still making Apple’s A6 chip, electron microscopes reveal

Original Article written by Ubm Techinsights.

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Apple and Samsung have many beefs. But for now, it appears, Samsung is still manufacturing the A6 processor inside Apple’s flagship iPhone 5.
That’s the conclusion reached by UBM TechInsights, whose engineers have been carefully disassembling the iPhone 5 since it launched Friday. Unlike other teardown teams, TechInsight’s engineers don’t stop when they expose the circuit boards and chip packages inside the phone. These guys pried the A6 chip out, stripped off its cover, and have been carefully shaving it down, layer by layer, and examining it with electron microscopes.
“All signs point to Samsung doing the manufacturing,” TechInsights technical research manager Allan Yogasingam said in an email to VentureBeat. “Manufacturing semiconductors is like a fingerprint, as each process is unique to the fabrication facility, in this case Samsung’s 32nm process technology.”
Yogasingam also provided the images below, from his team’s research into the A6 chip. Among other revelations, the A6 has a triple-core GPU (the graphics engine of the chip).
The “32nm process” in Yogasingam’s comment refers to the average size of the components, such as transistors, in the chip. One of the ways semiconductor makers increase the speed and power of chips is by developing equipment that can make smaller and smaller components, enabling them to keep pace with Moore’s Law — the market imperative to double chip performance without increasing price every 18 months.
Yogasingam adds more technical detail:
Our initial SEM cross-sections of the A6 processor show metal and dielectric layering that is almost identical to that used in the previous A5 processor

Original Article written by Ubm Techinsights.

Read the original full length article


Brian Rossi is a web architect and entrepreneur. Brian loves scalable architectures, small business development, tech startups, big data, mobile payments, social web, branding, & user experience.

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