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Samsung may Re-Enter NAND-Flash Business for the iPhone Next Year with new EMI Shielding Process

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In February we posted a report titled "Apple is Adding EMI Shielding Technology to the iPhone 7." The report noted that Apple has StatsChipPac and Amkor responsible for the EMI Shield process on major chips of iPhone 7. Apple first applied EMI Shield technology to major chip package 'S1' of Apple Watch that was released last year. To apply such technology onto major chips of iPhone 7, it has been doing development project with packaging businesses since last year. It is heard that Apple personally chose equipment partners during this process and had induced packaging businesses to give them contracts.


While Apple has experimented with using EMI shielding since the iPhone 6, it limited its use to the logic board, according to iFixit. February's news simply confirmed that Apple is intending to expand the use of EMI shielding. In a new report published today, we learn that Samsung may be included in Apple's supply chain for NAND-Flash for iPhones again after being locked out for the last four years. Samsung Electronics' DS (Device Solution) Memory Business Department is now once again to supply NAND-Flash memories to Apple for future iPhones.


According to a Korean industry insider, Samsung Electronics is co-developing an EMI shielding process that uses a spray method with Protec. While Protec and Asymtek are developing the equipment, Hansol Chemical and Ntrium are developing EMI masking material that is in a form of ink. Samsung Electronics is planning to supply NAND-Flash package with EMI shield to Apple when equipment and material are developed. It is predicted that supply will be begin as early as 2017.


Technically speaking, the report notes that "EMI shielding for semiconductor chip takes place by adding a process that covers ultra-thin metal on top of packaging's surface. The new process will replace traditional use of sputter for EMI shielding.


Apple has been using EMI shielding technology for NAND-Flash packaging products that have a controller, which operates by RF (Radio Frequency) Chip and clock, since iPhone 5. It is going to expand EMI shielding technology to most of chips starting in the iPhone 7 that will be released this year – just as we reported on back in February.


The Korean report noted that "A reason why Samsung Electronics has decided to supply NAND-Flash memories to Apple again is because it was affected by worsened market situation of memory industry." The report basically takes the position that Samsung is somehow doing Apple a favor, when it's really the other way around.


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