Print 11 comment(s) - last by Mint.. on Jul 11 at 10:47 AM

Samsung's big infrastructure investments pay off

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), the world's largest smartphone maker, is celebrating a blockbuster win.  Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), the world's largest maker of smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs, has committed, according to a report in the Taiwan Economic News, to producing some of its Snapdragon 4 SoC stock on Samsung's Texas chip line.

The pairing seems somewhat unlikely given that the pair are rivals in the SoC market.  Samsung's Exynos 4 looks to challenge Snapdragon 4 for market dominance late this year.

But Samsung has invested greatly in its chip-making facilities, and has already proven liberal in licensing its top-of-the-line fabrication facilities to rivals.  Despite Apple, Inc. (AAPL) looking to sue the pants off it in court, Samsung continues to produce the chips found in every Apple iPhone or iPad.

At the same time Qualcomm's traditional partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330), has reportedly struggled with yield issues on the 28 nm node.  Reportedly TSMC could not fulfill an order for as many chips as Qualcomm wanted; hence the unlikely deal with Samsung was born.

Samsung smartphone chip wafer
Qualcomm is shacking up with Samsung, an unlikely partner. [Image Source: BSN]

The deal is great news for Samsung as the company can hedge its bets, allowing it to profit even if the Exynos chip line struggles.  It also helps to justify the company's deep R&D investments.  After all, if Samsung can outperform TSMC, it may be awarded even more of Qualcomm's business in the future.

There was also good news for another smaller fab -- United Microelectronics Corp. (TPE:2303).  UMC, a local rival to TSMC, also signed a contract with Qualcomm to produce between 2,000 and 3,333 wafers a month, starting in Q4 2012 when its 28 nm fab comes online.

UMC is moving aggressively to reach the 20 nm node, which is expected to be the next jump for ARM chipmakers.

TSMC currently plans to produce approximately 15,000 28 nm Snapdragon 4 wafers a month this fall, once production hits full swing.

Source: Taiwan Economic News

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Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By soloburrito on 7/5/2012 2:48:25 PM , Rating: 4
It's nice to see innovative competitors collaborate when it's mutually beneficial instead of trying to nuke each other in court.

The North American Galaxy S III uses the Snapdragon S4 SoC so taking the partnership to its next logical conclusion makes sense.

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2012 5:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, crank those awesome things out. Its really the only feature I wish my galaxy nexus had.

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By aurareturn on 7/6/2012 12:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung is not exactly an innovative company. They haven't invented anything or changed any industry.

They just dominate ever industry because they make slightly better products than everybody else.

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By aurareturn on 7/6/2012 12:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
Note: I'm not an Apple fanboy. I just purchased a Google Nexus.

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By jeffkro on 7/7/2012 12:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
It turns out people want slightly better products

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By tamalero on 7/6/2012 9:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
samsung doesn't exactly innovate and then make a huge ruckus party like apple.
they immediately implement it in their portfolio and sell devices off it.
their chips, screens and other tech comes into mind.

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By Shlong on 7/6/2012 3:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
OLED screen tech, Flexible / Folding OLED tech, chipset SOC's, re-inventing vending machines with multi touch 46" screens, etc. How is that not innovative?

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By aurareturn on 7/6/2012 8:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
OLED screen tech, Flexible / Folding OLED tech, chipset SOC's, re-inventing vending machines with multi touch 46" screens, etc. How is that not innovative?

Do people here have crushes on Samsung or what?

RE: Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
By Mint on 7/11/2012 10:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding me?

They produce almost every OLED screen out there, finally giving us a display with true blacks and paving the way for the display tech of the future.

The Galaxy Note is the most revolutionary smartphone since the original iPhone. It pushed the envelope in form factor and usage model, and tightly integrated a quality stylus when everyone sheepishly followed Apple in banishing it.

Name one CE company that is more innovative. Apple is the only one that comes close, and their innovation consists almost entirely of conglomerating existing ideas and leveraging their loyal userbase to make it happen.

By PittmanKen18 on 7/6/2012 11:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
like Albert implied I am dazzled that some people can make $5031 in a few weeks on the internet. have you seen this link makecash16 com

By ct760ster on 7/7/2012 10:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of being an ogre and trying to undermine each other effort like certain pomaceus fruit company, they leverage each other fortirtude by sharing fair and common fabrication technology and learning from each other in a cross-sourcing manner. d(^o^)b

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