Apple may partner up with TSMC for A-series production, bye-bye Samsung
Anthony Garreffa / 4 years ago
Apple and Samsung have a glorious relationship – on one hand, they’re sleeping together over the production of Apple’s A-series of processors, used in virtually every iDevice out there – and on the other hand, they fight like a bitter couple in court over patents. But, this latest news could be surprising, for not just Apple and Samsung – but for many of the other big clients in the industry.
Apple is rumoured to begin sourcing their A-series of processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company (TSMC) sometime next year, and this should cause TSMC’s other clients to worry – we’re talking about Broadcom, Alteria, NVIDIA and Qualcomm, here. All of which are huge clients of TMSC, and could see their chip production take a second seat to Apple’s.
At the moment, Samsung are the one and only source of production for Apple’s A-series of processors, and during their five-year relationship, things have gotten quite sour in the court room. Apple have slowly been positioning themselves for this move, with the latest A6 and A6X processors being custom-designed by Apple, verus the A4 and A5 processors being designed by Intrinsity.
Apple acquired Intrinsity in 2010, and while their early designs had some handy input from Samsung, they also had some potential IP from Samsung that Apple couldn’t pack up and move over to TMSC – this is most likely what forced them to make the A6 a custom-designed processor.
Moving onto demand from Apple – who seek over 200 million SoCs per year (by some estimates), TMSC clients should definitely feel worried. Big players like NVIDIA and Qualcomm could have their orders cut short, or have extended waiting time for chips as TSMC throws A6 processors into mass production for next-gen iPads and iPhones in 2013/2014.
Time will tell – but it looks like there’s set to be all sorts of hurt in the industry next year – and this could effect many more tech items, not just smartphones.
Source: Ars Technica