We’re the chips in America: Apple could build A9 processor in the U.S.


A9 production may be coming to the U.S. Photo: Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr CC
Photo: Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr CC

GlobalFoundries, a.k.a. the largest silicon foundry in the United States, is pushing to to become a mobile device chipmaker for Apple, according to a new report.

On the back of the enormous success of the iPhone 6, the battle to build Apple’s next generation 14-nanometer A9 chips has been raging as of late — with the three leaders being Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Samsung and GlobalFoundries.

The chips in question are set to debut with Apple’s 2015 iOS devices, including the next generation iPhones and iPads.

Although TSMC reportedly fabricates all Apple’s 20-nanometer A8 chips, the company has supposedly failed to capture orders for the A9 generation of chips. Working against TSMC is the suggestion that it is unwilling to slash prices to try and land the big Cupertino whale, whereas Samsung and GlobalFoundries are willing to drop their prices to win orders.

As per today’s report, GlobalFoundries is also striving to become the major contract chipmaker of U.S. semiconductor company Qualcomm.

It was previously reported that Samsung would snap up the majority of the next gen iPhone A9 chip orders, while TSMC would manufacture the chips for the next iPad devices.

While it’s far from a foregone conclusion, having the U.S.-based GlobalFoundries produce the A9 chips for the devices that will (presumably) be the iPhone 6s and iPad Air 3 would achieve two things: helping Apple lessen its reliance on Samsung, while also bringing more component production back to the U.S.

Apple unsuccessfully tried to do this with GT Advanced Technologies, but GlobalFoundries represents a chance to do a make good — provided they can live up to Apple’s exacting demands, of course.

Fingers crossed.