Jul 17, 2013

    Samsung chips to give iPhone 7 a speed boost

    SAMSUNG Electronics' newly-upgraded application processor (AP) chips for the upcoming iPhone 7 are expected to boost the phone's efficiency by at least 30 per cent, sources said on Monday.

    "The iPhone 7 will be much faster, by up to 30 per cent," said a source who declined to be identified.

    The chips, to be supplied starting 2015, will be equipped with 14-nanometer process technology, which in theory has double the efficiency of the current 28nm chips that Samsung supplies to Apple.

    In December last year, Samsung said it successfully introduced the 14nm FinFet chip in collaboration with global companies like ARM, Cadence, Mentor and Synopsis. The new chip uses a novel 3-D design that reduces leakage to maintain power and reliability.

    Reports of the latest development between the world's top two tech firms came shortly after it was reported that Apple was ready to ease its reliance on Samsung by signing with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for AP chips to be used in next year's iPhone 6 models. TSMC is the world's largest chip-foundry company.

    An expert who requested anonymity said: "Apple is a firm strongly driven by new and sharp technology. It probably felt TSMC was not going to be able to cut it with upgraded AP technology."

    The repercussions of lagging chip technology are serious for smartphone makers, as it means they would not be able to upgrade to newer and more-advanced phones. "Samsung and Apple have a mission, and that is to show that they have the wow power, the cutting-edge technology to beat analysts' forecasts that the smartphone era is on the wane," said the expert.

    Meanwhile, for Apple, gaining an edge over Samsung's Galaxy smartphones - which beat the iconic iPhones in global sales - is another priority.