Apple Ad Hints at New Chip Process
Even Apple Inc. is making a new year's resolution to shape up and slim down, at least in the silicon department.
A recent job ad posted by Apple suggests the vendor is planning to move to a chip process that will help increase battery life while enabling it to further slim its mobile devices.
The advert, initially posted in November, asks for a "Yield Ramp Engineer - Foundry Operations" with "experience with advance process technology preferably <=28nm Bulk CMOS involving HKMG." This is chip-speak for silicon made on an even smaller 28 nanometer process -- the current generation of mobile processors built for Apple by Samsung Corp. use a 32 nanometer process -- while deploying power-saving "High-K Metal Gate" integration technology that would make new chips particularly suitable for cellular applications.
The ad says the candidate "will be responsible for ramping process and product yield working closely with Apple wafer foundry partners" and promises "international travel" to deal with chip fabrication partners.
This comes as reports resurface that TMSC will replace or supplement Samsung as Apple's main chip fabrication partner. EE Times first reported this potential move in 2011: Now The Commercial Times is reporting that TSMC will start as Apple's fab partner early in 2013.
Apple hasn't officially confirmed any of this. Both Samsung, TSMC as well as other fab plants are moving to producing some silicon on a 28 nanometer process.
The job ad, however, confirms that Cupertino is still looking to its silicon providers to pull more performance out of the iPad and the iPhone.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile