Samsung and GlobalFoundries have reportedly landed orders from Apple to produce the 14-nanometer A9 processor starting next year, according to DigiTimes.
These 14nm chips will be created in GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 factory in Malta, New York, which Samsung will also use to produce Apple’s A-series chips. DigiTimes’ source suggests that the two foundries plan to push their initial 14nm LPE (low power early) process — which was verified back in February — into risk production in Q4 this year, with small volume production in early 2015.
The report also states that Apple’s longtime partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will try to secure orders for Apple’s A9 chip by introducing new semiconductor processes by early next year. Apple is additionally considering Intel as a potential partner to produce the A9.
It was revealed late last year that Samsung and TSMC would share production of Apple’s A9 chip in 2015, with Samsung producing 30% to 40% of the total order. Samsung and GlobalFoundries have helped each other over the past year, with Samsung helping set up the Fab 8 factory last year, and GlobalFoundries providing the backup location when needed. Samsung and GlobalFoundries announced in April that they would be adopting the same chip production process to prepare for next-gen mobile devices.
Apple’s 14-nanometer A9 processors are expected to be used in the company’s iPhone and iPad models starting in 2015. This year’s iPhone 6, iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 are expected to utilize Apple’s 20-nanometer A8 processor, produced by TSMC. It was originally claimed that Samsung would be splitting the A8 production load with TSMC, although it reportedly dropped out back in February on account of low yields.