TSMC – Not Samsung – Will Be Making Apple’s A6 and A7 Chips

TSMC – Not Samsung – Will Be Making Apple’s A6 and A7 Chips

Credit: MacStories.com

The fallout from Apple’s lengthy battles with Samsung has started. The tech giant has inked a contract with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce the A6 and successors. The move ends an exclusive deal with the Korean Samsung to produce chips for Apple’s iOS devices, according to a Friday report.

According to industry publication DigiTimes, the quietly-arranged pact covers both the A6 and the next iOS processor. The chipmaker will also get a good price from Apple, adds the report.

This is just the latest news of TSMC’s involvement in supplying Apple. TSMC announced it had received a “rush order” for components. Analysts parsed the statement to mean the order came from Broadcom, an Apple supplier. Although much talk has centered on the iPhone 5, these experts believe Apple is ordering more iPhone 4 parts to meet unexpected demand for the current handset.

  • FriarNurgle

    Wah Wah

  • supertino

    I think Samsung will buy out TSMC in that case. Their whole “Division of Copying and Backstabbing” depends on design ripoff and inside information and they cannot succeed without it.

  • facebook-100001819333465

    Huh well thats pretty weird and ironic at the same time

  • MADG33k

    I am not surprised by this. Apple likes to stick with suppliers they use until given a push which requires them to consider change. Now that they have evaluated TSMC they have found what many of us in the Fabless IC industry already know, that TSMC’s Fab’s are much better, both from a quality perspective, as well as delivery. I am a Mixed Signal Semiconductor Test Engineer and have seen plenty of wafers from both companies over the past 15 years and there is no doubt about this. 

    The biggest impact this will have now will be a supply constraint which will occur as Apple starts to fill the Fab capacity at TSMC. The question will be which companies chips get forced out of TSMC (or who the prices go up for in order to stay) in the specific Fabs that have the processes Apple needs to build these chips. Also if Apple is happy with what they get receive from TSMC, look for them to invest money in TSMC to expand the Fabs with the processes they need (or build new ones) for the A”X” chips (just like they have done for the screens). Typically you need a minimum of a year lead time to expand a Fab and two to three years to build a new one.

    I should point out that TSMC is a HUGE fabless foundry so there is no way Apple will fill all of their fabs, but they can have a significant impact on the specific fabs they need. Also TSMC supports many different process and geometry sizes so, they have fabs (and the customers in those fabs) that will not be impacted by this move at all.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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