Apple has been trying to wean itself from being dependent on Samsung’s smartphone components for years, but breaking up is proving nearly impossible to do.
According to a report from Recode, Apple is turning back to Samsung to make the next-generation A9 processors that will make their way into the iPhone and iPad later this year.
The rumor mill has been flip-flopping between TSMC and Samsung on who will produce the A9 chips, but Ina Fried’s sources say it’s already a done-deal that Samsung will be this year’s big winner.
“While Apple had hoped to rely more heavily on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to fabricate the Ax family of processors used in its iOS devices, the company has turned to Samsung for its next-generation A9 chip, according to people with knowledge of the situation.”
The reason Apple is going with Samsung this year is because in the end, they’ve got the most technologically advanced manufacturing process. TSMC is still producing transistors on its chips at 20 nanometers, while Samsung has already shrunk its transistors down to just 14 nanometers. The difference will allow Apple to pack more power into a smaller space while also consuming less power.
Apple has been trying to kick its Samsung habit since 2011 when the two companies began to spar in a series of legal battles over patent infringement. The A8 processor currently used in the iPhone 6 was mostly produced by TSMC, but after Samsung invested $21.4 billion to ramp up its semiconductor capabilities, the balance of power has swayed back to the South Korean company’s favor.