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苹果A7处理器有望3月在台积电投产

台积电公司(TSMC)据传将在今年三月投产采用20纳米 CMOS 制程的苹果 A7 处理器,预计今年夏天即可开始试产芯片,以期在2014年初实现量产。台积电将为苹果生产 A7 处理器我们先前已有所耳闻,苹果准备将2011以来完全交由三星一家供货商代工的处理器转单台积电……

台积电公司(TSMC)据传将在今年三月投产采用20纳米 CMOS 制程的苹果 A7 处理器,预计今年夏天即可开始试产芯片,以期在2014年初实现量产。 根据媒体报导,台积电得以如期在今年第一季完成设计的话,接下来将在今年五、六用间展开所谓的‘风险生产’,并在2014年第一季开始商用化量产,如果一切顺利的话,就能使该芯片用于下世代的 iPhone 和 iPad 中。台积电正为其 用于制造 A7 处理器的 Fab-14 超大晶圆厂(Gigafab)提升制造产能。 台积电的 Fab-14 位于台南,它不仅是台积电第一座可量产20nm CMOS 系统芯片的的晶圆厂,同时也将成为接下来 16nm FinFET 组件制程的所在地。 台积电将为苹果生产 A7 处理器并不是什么新闻了。我们先前已有所耳闻,由于苹果与三星针对其手机设计的全球专利诉讼不断,苹果公司准备将2011以来完全交由三星一家供货商代工的处理器转单台积电。 据称苹果公司与台积电在2011年已经合作尝试采用28nm制程的 A6 应用处理器,但由于当时台积电的技术未到位,特别是有关附属IP的问题而限制了双方的合作。此外,传言还提到英特尔(Intel)也可能为苹果 A7 进行制造的可能性。英特尔已经为苹果公司的 MacBook 计算机提供 x86 处理器了,同时也逐步地增加为其代工服务。 然而,尽管英特尔十分精通于制造先进的微处理器,为第三方提供设计其自有处理器所需的 IP 以及为其进行制造,它可能会是一种高度复杂的设计互动,但对于英特尔目前的代工业务而言,它也可能会是一项优势。尽管如此,苹果仍然可能采用多家供货商为其制造处理器的策略,而且,它似乎可能透过一连串的合作方式来实现。 尽管三星可能继续以 32nm/28nm CMOS 制程为苹果供应 A6 处理器一段时间,而台积电则寻求在 20nm 制程成为代工伙伴;而且,显然地,苹果也表明了在与台积电合作的 16nm FinFET 发展蓝图之外,已经与英特尔针对 14nm 与10nm FinFET 展开合作。 本文授权编译自EE Times,版权所有,谢绝转载 编译:Susan Hong 参考英文原文:Apple's A7 expected to tape-out in March,by Peter Clarke

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{pagination} Apple's A7 expected to tape out in March Peter Clarke Foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will finish the tape out of Apple's A7 processor in 20-nm CMOS in March in time for volume production in early 2014, according to a report from DigiTimes which referenced unnamed sources. Completing the design in 1Q13 will allow the chip, expected to be used in forthcoming generations of iPhone and iPad, to begin so-called "risk production" in May or June and lead to high volume production in 1Q14, the report said. TSMC is adding manufacturing capacity at its Fab-14 Gigafab where is plans to make the A7 processor, the report added. Fab-14 in Tainan, Taiwan is not only set to be TSMC's first fab to produce 20-nm CMOS system chips in volume but it also earmarked as the place where it will bring up its follow-on 16-nm FinFET manufacturing process. That TSMC is set to make the A7 processor for Apple is no surprise. We've heard such things before that did not come to pass. Talk of Apple moving its processor production away from sole supplier Samsung has been rife since at least 2011, with a particular piquancy as Apple and Samsung have engaged in legal battles around the world over their mobile devices. It is thought that Apple engaged with TSMC to try and get the A6 application processor out in 2011 on the 28-nm process node but that the difficulties of migrating design elements, particularly around such as issues as collateral IP may have thwarted the move. Talk also continues to swirl around the possibility that Intel could also be a manufacturer for Apple. Intel does supply x86 processors to Apple for use in its MacBook computers and is gradually increasing its foundry engagements. However, even though Intel is well-versed in making complex microprocessors, offering all the IP needed to let a third-party design their own processor and then make it is a highly complex design interaction and possibly one that would be a stretch for Intel's foundry operation right now. Or, at least, Apple might think so if it got its fingers burned at the 28-nm node. Nonetheless the possibility remains that Apple could be moving to a multiple supplier strategy for its own processors. However, it seems likely that will be implemented as serial engagements. In other words, while Samsung may go on supplying A6 processors made using 32-nm/28-nm CMOS to Apple for some time, TSMC looks set to be the incumbent at 20-nm but it may have been made clear to the foundry that Apple is already working with Intel aiming at the 14-nm and 10-nm FinFET as a potential alternative to TSMC's 16-nm FinFET roadmap.
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Peter Clarke
业内资深人士Peter Clarke负责EETimes欧洲的Analog网站。 由于对新兴技术和创业公司的特殊兴趣,他自1984年以来一直在撰写有关半导体行业的文章,并于1994年至2013年为EE Times美国版撰稿。
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