We’ve all heard the rumors that Apple will move away from Samsung and find another fab to make all of their sexy, super-fast A-series processors, but today, The Korea Times is reporting it as a done deal, saying that Apple has shut Samsung out entirely from the design of their A7 processors. Who are they going with instead? The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC for short.
Being in business with Apple can’t be all that bad right now. Despite a report this morning that claimed Apple’s suppliers experienced weak sales in February, there are a few Apple suppliers that are hiring more employees to meet demand.
The Apple TV, Cupertino’s “hobby” of a set-top box, is often used to test out new fabrication process for the A-series chips that go into iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. The last Apple TV ran a 32nm A5 processor built by Samsung with a single-core disabled, which eventually ended up (in a dual-core capacity) in the iPad mini.
Intel and Apple, teaming up to make A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad? That’s what the rumors are saying, with a recent Reuters report going so far as to claim that executives from both companies have actually met to discuss the possibility of the x86 maker pumping out ARM chips custom designed by Apple!
“Intel Once Again Rumored To Be Working On iOS Device Chips With Apple,” read our headline this morning. But would Intel really cash in on its x86 heritage to make ARM chips? And if Apple did switch, would that really be a win for everyone?
The short answer? Yes, Intel would make ARM chips for Apple. But no, it probably wouldn’t be a win for either company. Here’s why.
There’s been a lot of talk about Project Azalea, Apple’s rumored $10 billion project with TSMC to build a top-secret chip plant on domestic shores. We’ve heard it might be built in New York. We’ve heard it might be built in Portland. Wherever it’s built, though, it’s believed to be a major blow against Apple’s frenemy Samsung, who currently builds the majority of Apple’s custom ARM chips.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Project Azalea might not have anything to do with Apple after all, with TSMC’s CEO himself now denying it.
Just a week ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began slyly hinting that Apple would be building a 3.2 million square foot computer chip factory somewhere in his state. This project is known as Project Azalea.
But not so fast. Now a new report has popped up saying that New York isn’t the destination of Apple’s massive new fab plant, but Oregon is instead.
New York has reportedly been pitched a proposal that would see a 3.2 million square foot computer chip factory built in the state… and Government Andrew Cuomo is slyly hinting that the proposal might come from Apple as part of a big to start building their A-Series iPhone and iPad CPUs domestically.
Ever since Apple first introduced the Lightning adapter, much attention has been given to the mysterious chip used inside every Lightning Cable. Some speculated that the chip’s purpose was to merely “flip” the path the digital signals take from pin topin depending upon which orientation he cable was plugged into a device, while others have insisted that it is, in fact, a security chip meant to thwart counterfeit Lightning accessory makers.
What’s the truth? It looks like the chip inside every Lightning cable is a security chip, but it’s a simple one, less advanced even than the security chips you would find in today’s printer cartridges! And since those can be faked, so can Lightning.
When the new iPhone 5 is officially released on Friday, it will be powered by Apple’s custom-designed A6 chip, a 1.2GHz, dual-core chip that is the first Cortex-A15 class CPU to market.
How did Apple get to this point? Just four years ago, they made their first step into custom chip design: now they are releasing cutting edge chips that are months ahead of the competition.
Over the weekend, Linley Gwennap, who heads the Linley Group chip consultacy, posted up a brief history of Apple’s chip development. It’s not just illuminating because of how we got here — from Apple buying up P.A. Semi in 2008 to signing secret deals with ARM — but in that it predicts when and what the next-gen A7 chip will look like.