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Samsung Chips Help Profit Margins

October 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Samsung Electronics  is expected to forecast a record third-quarter profit on Friday thanks to the strong market for memory chips, and as mobile earnings make a killing as rival Apple drops the ball.

The world’s biggest maker of memory chips and mobile phones has been the chief beneficiary of the semiconductor market, as mobile devices and servers demand ever greater processing power.

Brisk sales of the latest Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, launched in mid-September, also are likely to further boost its performance, analysts said.

Doh Hyun-woo, analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities said: “Samsung’s valuation is still comparatively lower than global competitors and fourth-quarter earnings will improve across the board and keep improving in 2018.”

Samsung’s July-September operating profit is expected to rise to $12.51 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of 19 analysts. That is nearly three times ta year earlier and slightly better than the previous quarter.

Strong global demand for DRAM chips will continue to outpace supply in 2018, while demand for NAND flash chips exceeded supply for six straight quarters as of last month, DRAMeXchange, a division of data provider TrendForce, said.

Samsung’s mobile division is seen posting operating profit of about 3 trillion won, compared to just 100 billion won in the third quarter of 2016. Pre-orders for the Note 8 hit the highest-ever for the Note series.

Lower liquid-crystal display (LCD) panel prices as well as one-off costs are expected to weigh on Samsung’s display business during the third quarter, analysts said.

However, the display business could improve in the fourth quarter on the back of sales of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for new Apple smartphones. However there are signs that Apple might be forced to reduce orders for these as fewer people are interested in its current “popping” iPhone range.

Samsung will only provide estimates for July-September revenue and operating profit on Friday, and will disclose detailed results in late October.


Will Samsung Become The Largest Chip Manufacturer This Year

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

The days of Intel being the world’s largest chip maker will be over in the second quarter as the mighty Intel has been felled by Samsung.

Nomura Securities said the South Korean consumer electronics maker will likely generate sales of $15.1 billion from semiconductors in the April through June period, higher than the $14.4 billion Intel is expected to have in the same time frame.

Nomura analyst CW Chung thinks Samsung will be the larger chipmaker with sales of $63.6 billion compared to Intel’s estimated $60.5 billion. One of the drivers of Samsung’s chip growth is the increasing prices of memory chips, which are found in everything from smartphones to servers.

“In the mobile era, demand for D-Ram [a type of memory chip] and SSDs [solid state drives] has surged, boosting their prices since last year amid tight supply,” said, an analyst at , in the report. “The memory chip market has grown bigger than the CPU market,” he said.

DRAM chip prices increased 25 percent in the first half of 2017, while NAND flash memory chip prices jumped 15 percent.

Chung thinks average selling prices will continue to increase in the third quarter. But it’s not just sales that are expected to surpass Intel. Nomura is forecasting Samsung will have more of a profit from its chips than Intel during the second quarter, to the tune of $6.6 billion compared to Intel’s $3.9 billion.


With The Pitfalls Samsung Still Very Profitable

April 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Samsung is better than Apple at making money. Sure, it might not have margins as good as the fruity cargo cult, it might not make as much cash, but it appears to be unstoppable.

How many companies can have the majority of the press against them, produce a phone which caught fire, has its Vice Chairman and several executives locked up for corruption, and still make a pile of dosh which eclipses the sun?

Samsung Electronics is reporting record earnings thanks mostly to its chip division and the quarters ahead could be even better if its newest smartphone, Galaxy S8, is a success.

Samsung is seeing a boom in memory chips and a sudden spike in demand from smartphones and servers.

Shares of Samsung, Asia’s biggest company by market capitalization and the world’s largest memory chip maker is near record highs after gaining nearly 17 percent so far this year, on top of the 43 percent surge in 2016.

Now Wall Street is expecting Samsung’s January-March operating profit to have risen 41 percent from a year earlier to $8.44 billion. This is Samsungs’ highest profit since the third quarter of 2013.

The Galaxy S8 is out from April 21 so the most analysts are predicting even greater profits in the second quarter.

Analysts expect tight supply conditions for memory chips to continue this year, particularly in NAND flash chips used for long-term data storage, keeping Samsung’s margins padded. That leaves the mobile division as the key earnings variable, they said.

It is starting to look like the Note 7 fiasco only delayed Samsung’s march to dominance and the S8 will help Samsung regain its lead over Apple.

If you think all this is par for the course, imagine that if the press hated Apple, Tim Cook was locked up for cutting an illegal deal over a golf course with President Trump and the iPhone 7 caught fire,  It is unlikely that Apple would recover, let alone make record profits. 


Samsung Preparing 7nm Processor For 2018 Debut

March 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Despite having its CEO behind bars, Samsung will be ready for volume production of its 7nm process node in 2018.

Samsung Electronics demonstrated its foundry technology roadmap at the China Semiconductor Technology International Conference (CSTIC) held in Shanghai on March 12.

Samsung  VP of Technology at Ho-Kyu Kang said that all chipmakers will have a few headaches when trying to move to sub-10nm process technology, and will have a hell of a time improving yield rates for the node.

He said that gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAA FET) technology will be the approach to overcome the issue.

Samsung will adopt the GAA FET structure to develop its 7nm and 5nm process nodes, said Kang.

Samsung will also use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography once it achieves a breakthrough in the technology, Kang added.

Samsung’s 7nm process have been earmarked for high-end chip applications such as GPUs, artificial intelligence (AI), servers and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Kang said that 5nm should be ready for volume production in 2020, Kang unveiled.

Meanwhile Samsung has launched its FD-SOI process technology to provide a low-cost alternative to FinFET technologies, and introduced a 28nm FD-SOI node designed specifically for IoT devices, he added.


Is Samsung Readying A 10nm SoC

August 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Of course, it is that time of the year. Apple, Qualcomm, MediaTek and now Samsung will have 10nm SoCs ready for  phones in early 2017. Of course Samsung wants to use its own 10nm SoC in the Galaxy S8 that is expected in late February 2017, but probably with a mix of 10nm Snapdragon too.

Samsung’s next generation Exynos’ name is very uninspired. You don’t call your much better chip just the Exynos 8895, but that might not be the final name.

The Korean giant went from Exynos 7420 for Galaxy S5 and first 14nm for Android followed a year after with Exynos 8890 still 14nm but witha  custom Exynos M1 “Mongoose” plus Cortex-A53eight core combination.

The new SoC is rumored to come with a 4GHz clock. The same leak suggests that the Snapdragon 830 can reach 3.6 GHz which would be quite an increase from the 2.15Ghz that the company gets with the Snapdragon 820. Samsung’s Exynos 8890 stops at 2.6GHz with one or two cores running while it drops to 2.3 GHz when three of four cores from the main cluster run. Calls us sceptics for this 4GHz number as it sounds like quite a leap from the previous generation.

Let us remind ourselves that the clock speed is quite irrelevant as it doesn’t mean anything, and is almost as irrelevant as an Antutu score. It tells you the maximal clock of a SoC but you really want to know the performance per watt or how much TFlops you can expect in the best case. A clock speed without knowing the architecture is insufficient to make any analysis. We’ve seen in the past that 4GHz processors were slower than 2.5GHz processors.

The fact that Samsung continued to use Snapdragon 820 for its latest greatest Galaxy Note 7 means that the company still needs Qualcomm and we don’t think this is going to change anytime soon. Qualcomm traditionally has a better quality modem tailored well for USA, China, Japan and even the complex Europe or the rest of the world.



Samsung Mongoose SoC Appears To Be A Performer

October 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Computing

Leaks are dangerous as they are sometimes fake.  But if this one is true, it looks like Samsung has guns to match the Snapdragon 820 or the MediaTek Helios X20 high end processors.

The Mongoose (Exynos M1 or possibly branded as 8890 ) has been benchmarked by the popular GeekBench. The Galaxy S6 with Exynos 7420 occa-core scores 1143 in single score and 5150 in multi-core part of the test. We ran the numbers seconds ago so they are real. The new core, expected in early 2016 phone’s like the Galaxy S7 will perform much faster than that.



Chipset Single-Core Multi-Core
Samsung Exynos M1 Mongoose – 2.3GHz 2,294 6,908
Samsung Exynos M1 (Mongoose) – Power Saving 1,710 4,896
Samsung Exynos M1 (Mongoose) – Ultra Power Saving 1,100 3,209
Samsung Exynos 7420 1,483 5,150
Apple A9 2,487 4,330

The most significant is the performance gain in the single core score.  This went up from 1483 to 2,294 and show a huge increase in single core performance. Samsung comes close to Apple’s Flagship A9 processor when it comes to the single core performance.

The new Samsung Exynos M1 Mongoose at 2.3GHz scores 6,908 in the multi-core which is more than what the company  has with its Samsung Exynos 7420. Things are looking good for Samsung as this SoC might end up at least in some models of Samsung Galaxy S7, the new phone that is expected early next year. Some versions of S7 will come with Snapdragon 820 too and it will be interesting to see how 820 is performing in the real world.


Will Samsung Release A 14nm Octa Processor?

February 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Computing

Samsung has announced an updated version of its Exynos 7 Octa processor. Last year it announced a 64-bit, ARMv8 processor based on a 20nm design, but these new chips will be 14nm processors.

The big news is that Samsung says mass production of the first chips developed with a 14nm FinFET process is underway. It looks like the Exynos 7 Octa processor will be the first to see the shift from 20nm to 14nm. Samsung says the technology will be used in additional products later in 2015.

This could be good news in terms of efficiency and performance. Samsung says the new chips could be up to 20 percent faster while using 35 percent less power. Thing better performance and longer battery life.

Intel’s Broadwell chips are also based on 14nm designs. But those processors are designed for desktops, notebooks, and tablets, while Samsung’s ARM-based chips are aimed at mobile devices, primarily smartphones.

Like we said last week, Samsung has beaten Intel, Apple and Qualcomm in the race for the first 14nm phone SoC – and now it’s in mass production to boot. We are just weeks away from Samsung shipping the Exynos 7 inside the Galaxy S6.


Will Qualcomm And Apple Give TSMC The Boot

July 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Computing

TSMC saw its share price drop dramatically on Thursday as analysts predicted a loss of orders for next generation chips from Apple and Qualcomm.

Falling by almost six percent, the share price fell after industry expert and KGI Securities analyst Michael Li predicted that big device and chip designers such as Apple and Qualcomm will likely buy a larger proportion of 14nm smartphone chips from Samsung rather than TSMC beginning in the second half of 2015, according to Reuters.

Liu did not reveal the source of his information, which he issued late on Wednesday following an investor conference held after TSMC reported its second quarter earnings.

Despite the news, TSMC, which is the world’s largest contract chip maker, reported its highest quarterly profit since the end of 2006, and said it expects revenue to grow at least a record 20 percent this year.

However, reports sent TSMC’s share price down by around 5.75 percent in Thursday trade compared with a one percent decline in the benchmark index.

On Wednesday, chip maker Intel posted a quarterly record for microprocessor unit sales with better than expected earnings for the second quarter.

The record-breaking figures showed second quarter earnings of $2.8bn  on $13.8bn  in revenue, and were owing to the firm’s surprisingly strong sales in the PC client group, which pulled in $8.7bn in revenue, as well as its data center and internet of things divisions.

Intel’s earnings of $0.55 per share were slightly above the expectations of Wall Street analysts, which had forecast lower earnings per share of $0.52 on revenue of $13.69bn.

The boost in the earnings of Intel’s PC client group could be attributable to a growing number of businesses upgrading their old PC systems due to the end of life of Windows XP.


TSMC Gearing Up For 16nm Chips

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Computing

TSMC is planning to add two more 16nm processes to its portfolio in an apparent effort to compete with 14nm nodes from Intel and Samsung.

TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process has been on company roadmaps for a while and it should be ready for production by the end of 2014. However, a new FinFET+ process is expected to launch in early 2015, with trial production in late 2014. That is not all – an even more advanced 16nm FinFET process is coming in late 2015 or 2016.

Digitimes says the advanced 16nm process is named 16nm FinFET Turbo and it is an attractive option for customers who are planning to migrate from 20nm.


TSMC Sees $Revenue$ Surge

April 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Computing

TSMC has seen its revenues surge by 25 percent to $4.5bn as demand for its leading edge 28nm process node continues unabated.

TSMC – foundry to some of the largest chip vendors including AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm – reported bumper first quarter 2013 results. The firm saw revenues grow by 25 percent from the same period last year to $4.5bn, while profits rose by 18.4 percent to $1.3 billion.

With TSMC expected to bring new process nodes on line as its customers demand ever smaller geometries for power savings, the firm said its 28nm process node was one of the reasons it exceeded revenue forecasts. Last year chip designers such as Apple and Qualcomm were falling over each other trying to secure production capacity at TSMC, such is the Taiwanese firm’s lead over its rivals.

However TSMC CEO Morris Chang said his biggest challenge was to keep the fabs that are not producing chips on the leading edge process node running at full capacity. He said, “Keeping the mainstream fabs full is almost as important as advancing the leading edge. […] Why do I talk about speciality [leading edge process nodes] technology? It helps the mainstream fabs stay full, hopefully.”

TSMC also talked about its upcoming 20nm process node, with AMD already having said that it is waiting for the firm’s next generation process node.

Even though Chang said keeping mainstream fabs – those that fab chips using larger geometries – is a challenge, it is unlikely that the firm will have much spare capacity at 28nm, given the number and size of its customers eager to use what is now a mature process node.


TSMC Starts Testing ARM’s Cortex A57

April 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Computing

ARM and TSMC have manufactured the first Cortex A57 processor based on ARM’s next-gen 64-bit ARMv8 architecture.

The all new chip was fabricated on TSMC’s equally new FinFET 16nm process. The 57 is ARM’s fastest chip to date and it will go after high end tablets, and eventually it will find its place in some PCs and servers as well.

Furthermore the A57 can be coupled with frugal Cortex A53 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. This should allow it to deliver relatively low power consumption, which is a must for tablets and smartphones. However, bear in mind that A15 cores are only now showing up in consumer products, so it might be a while before we see any devices based on the A57.

In terms of performance, ARM claims the A57 can deliver a “full laptop experience,” even when used in a smartphone connected to a screen, keyboard and mouse wirelessly. It is said to be more power efficient than the A15 and browser performance should be doubled on the A57.

It is still unclear when we’ll get to see the first A57 devices, but it seems highly unlikely that any of them will show up this year. Our best bet is mid-2014, and we are incorrigible optimists. The next big step in ARM evolution will be 20nm A15 cores with next-generation graphics, and they sound pretty exciting as well.