Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) will reportedly land a deal for Apple’s future “A7’ processors when the Cupertino company’s current contract with Samsung expires in 2014.
Samsung has been responsible for Apple’s mobile chips since the introduction of the A4 back in 2010, but Apple has seemingly been looking to take its business elsewhere since the pair became embroiled in a series of lengthy legal battles.
The rumor comes from the Economic Daily News in Taiwan, and was first spotted by Japanese blog Macotakara. It claims TSMC will build Apple’s A7 processors next year, and that the chips will employ a new 20-nanometer manufacturing process for the first time.
If true, the A7 will be the first mobile chip from Apple that wasn’t built by Samsung. The Korean electronics giant has been responsible for a number of Apple’s components in recent years — particularly those for its iOS devices — and Apple has long been one of its biggest customers.
But since Apple secured more than $1 billion in damages from Samsung last summer, the company has been looking to distance itself from its biggest rival in the smartphone space.
Samsung’s display division isn’t involved in the production of Apple’s latest hot product, the iPad mini, and one rumor claims that it won’t be involved with any of the next-generation iOS devices. Furthermore, Apple has long been rumored to be switching its processor production from Samsung to TSMC.
There does seem to be one discrepancy in the rumor, however. Economic Daily News claims TSMC will produce the A7 chip in 2014 for the iPhone 6, which means it won’t be ready for the iPhone 5S or the fifth-generation iPad this year. Apple has traditionally launched its latest chips inside of its new iOS devices, so either this isn’t going to happen this year, or TSMC will start manufacturing the A8 instead.