Sat, Apr 05, 2014 - Page 14 News List

TSMC, MediaTek to benefit from 64-bit chips migration

Staff writer, with CNA

A technology shift to 64-bit chips would benefit Taiwanese contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and chip designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) due to their leading technologies, according to a research report.

The advanced chips, which provide more physical memory for computers and mobile devices, and can help improve user experience, are expected to be adopted by more companies this year, Barclays PLC said in the report released on Monday.

IMPROVEMENTS

“Starting in the second half of 2014, we expect 64-bit ARM application processors and central processing unit upgrades for smartphones and the micro server market, due to better cost, improved power and thermal performance and enhanced speed,” said Andrew Lu (陸行之), an Asia-Pacific semiconductor analyst at Barclays.

Apple Inc rolled out the world’s first 64-bit ARM-based A7 chip in its iPhone 5S and iPad in the second half of last year.

ADDITIONAL GROWTH

Lu estimated that leading foundries such as TSMC, which already generate 30 percent and 40 percent of their sales from smartphone SoCs (systems on a chip), would see additional sales growth of 2 percent next year and 2016 from the shift to 64-bit ARM smartphone SoCs starting next year.

Lu also forecast additional sales growth of 2 percent next year and 2.5 percent in 2016 for MediaTek, driven by an adjustment to its product mix and an increase in its average selling price.

The estimates are based on an assumption that 64-bit ARM smartphone SoCs will account for 25 percent to 35 percent of MediaTek’s total smartphone chip shipments next year and 50 to 60 percent in 2016, he said.

MediaTek, the leading chip supplier to Chinese smartphone makers, unveiled its first 64-bit LTE chip in late February, joining rival Qualcomm Inc in a race to spur growth in the mainstream fourth-generation (4G) mobile market.

PRICE POINT

The MT6732 chip uses a 64-bit quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 processor system licensed by ARM, which will be available at a “mainstream price point,” the Hsinchu-based company said.

Apple and Qualcomm launched their own 64-bit chips for mobile in late last year, and Samsung Electronics Co said it plans to use 64-bit technology in its smartphones in the future.

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