A5 Chip Production Now Well Underway At Samsung’s New Texas Factory


Image courtesy of Austin American-Statesman
Image courtesy of Austin American-Statesman

While most of the components crammed inside your iOS devices are built by low-cost Asian manufacturers, its dual-core A5 processor is actually built a little closer to home — at Samsung’s new factory in Austin, Texas.

Reuters reports that Samsung’s new factory has been manufacturing the A5 chip since earlier this year, but production didn’t enter full swing until early December:

The A5 processor – the brain in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 – is now made in a sprawling 1.6 million square feet factory in Austin owned by Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics, according to people familiar with the operation.

One of the few major components to be sourced from within the United States, the A5 processor is built by Samsung in a newly constructed $3.6 billion non-memory chip production line that reached full production in early December.

The new factory is reportedly home to 1,100 employees, with nearly all of its production dedicated to Apple’s chips.

There has been speculation that claims Apple is moving its processor production away from Samsung — with which it has recently been embroiled in a lengthy legal spat — to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). However, more recent rumors have suggested that the company will at least stick with Samsung for the next-generation A6 processor, which is apparently already being produced in Texas.

Both companies have declined to comment on the new factory, although a Samsung spokeswoman did confirm that the company has expanded its production to make logic chips.

[via MacRumors]

  • Al

    I would imagine Apple is contracted with Samsung for a number of years.

  • Len Williams

    It would be interesting to see the legal agreements Apple and Samsung have in place that let them wage all-out war in courtrooms around the world, yet still allow Samsung to manufacture the custom A5 and A6 chips that power the iPhone and iPad. Samsung even tried to get the iPhone banned in France because Apple supposedly violated some of their patents–which was denied by French courts. If they had been successful, it could have lead to other bans in other countries, leading to greatly reduced sales, which would also mean smaller numbers of chips needed by Apple, thereby cutting Samsung’s profits for the sale of those chips. Manufacturing products for your chief competitor and hated enemy must be very weird for Samsung’s execs. 

  • Charlie Robinson

    I live less than a mile from the this facility in eastern side of Austin which is ranch country. In fact this facility is smack dab in the middle of a large ranch. The facility though is not new it has been in Austin for a number of years, Listed as Samsung Semiconductor. The complex was recently expanded to accommodate the manufacturing of A5 chips and as well as a deal with the City Of Austin to hire more locals to offset their taxes. It is a beautiful facility and we are proud to have Samsung here in Austin.