Design win for smartphone: the strategic choices made by Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi…

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Huge investments worldwide from the likes of TSMC and SK Hynix, underpin this technology node right now, making this metric one to watch. “We’ve all heard about the buzz in Europe, the US, Taiwan and South Korea surrounding investments to establish a supply chain for these leading-edge technologies,” asserts Romain Fraux, CEO of Yole SystemPlus, part of Yole Group. “In this context, it’s really important to track how these technology nodes are being used in the smartphones industry.”

Technology nodes of 14 nm down to 5 nm represent 27% of die area in devices. Importantly, around 1.9 million units of 12-inch wafers are shipped per quarter using these technology nodes. Meanwhile some 2.2 million and 1.0 million units of 12-inch wafers are shipped with the legacy 28-16 nm and 90-32 nm nodes per quarter, respectively.
“You won’t see a metric like this anywhere else,” highlights Fraux. “For silicon wafer manufacturers, for example, this is so important as you can understand your market in terms of wafer size, technology and other segments.”

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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Thematic(s) :


Electronic costing and technology experts at Yole SystemPlus have released the Smartphone Design Win Monitor which provides unique industry insight into the latest component, packaging and silicon chip choices of smartphone makers.

Much of the detail is based on teardowns from Yole SystemPlus, which uncover the innovative design features and new semiconductor components within a smartphone. “You can often find some online data on, say, chipset providers, but this will only provide a small part of the entire picture,” says Romain Fraux. “With our quarterly Smartphone Design Win Monitor, we are providing an exhaustive view of the content of the smartphones we’ve analysed in terms of technology choice, based on our many tear-downs.”

Each Smartphone Design Win Monitor looks at 8 representative handsets per quarter, tracking the shipment market share – so if one vendor has 20% market share then around 20% of the phones analysed will come from that vendor.
“The Monitor includes a database with historical and latest information, providing a one-year view so readers can understand trends on an annual basis,”explains Audrey Lahrach, Technology & Cost Analyst, deeply involved in the development of the Smartphone Design Win Monitor at Yole SystemPlus.
Detail is provided on the phone and IC manufacturer with, for example, data and graphs illustrating the design wins per vendor from quarter to quarter. Indeed, in the most recent quarterly update, Qualcomm has a clear lead on design wins, followed by Qorvo and Murata. Likewise, data on design wins per nationality – which represents the country of a company’s headquarters – are provided. Latest figures reveal how the US has captured a mighty 47% of design wins, a figure that had changed very little from the previous quarter.
Data is also provided on package footprint per vendor, category and packaging technology. For example, in the latest Monitor, Qualcomm and Samsung are leading the pack on footprint but huge variations are seen from quarter to quarter. In a similar vein, recent data on electronic bill of materials – eBOM – reveals that, at least for now, memory is driving the cost of phones, with 28% in Q1 2021 against 34% in Q4 2020. This excludes display, battery, PCB and mechanical components.
In addition, data on die, wafer and technology indicates that Samsung – a key provider of memory chips – now leads die area utilization, with 3,123 mm2 (30%).
More information in the dedicated article: Smartphone Design Win Monitor : discover the decisions that global manufacturers make article.

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