TSMC May Be Sole Apple A13 SoC Supplier
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
TSMC Secures Greater Dominance With Apple Win
Taiwanese firm TSMC is shaping up to be the dominant third-party foundry solution for the next while. With Intel and GlobalFoundries slowing down, the only real competition left is Samsung. After an early start to their 7nm process, TSMC is continuing to score more important customers going forwards. As a sign of their confidence in the company, Apple may be making TSMC their sole A13 SoC supplier.
In the past, Apple has used both Samsung and TSMC foundries to produce their chips. This ensures a steady constant supply in case of failure in one of those firms. It also might get Apple better pricing as they can play the firms off against each other. After all, nothing brings prices down like competition. However, Samsung is a competitor to Apple and the two firms have an acrimonious relationship at times.
New 7nm+ Process Ready For 2019
With the A12 SoC, we already saw some change in the Apple strategy. Instead of waiting for the Samsung 7nm process to get ready, Apple decided to kick things off with just the TSMC 7nm node for the A12 SoC. For the new A13 SoC that is to come next, it looks like Apple is going to do the same. Part of it might be due to the fact that company will have their second 7nm+ node ready for 2019. Due to the expense of that node, Apple will likely be a first adopter and continue their process node lead over Android.
Even if Apple were to go it alone with TSMC, that doesn’t mean Samsung is out of the loop just yet. For such an important market as the iPhone SoC, Apple may still have a relationship with Samsung for production, just in case. However, with TSMC leading the way as the pathfinder for the industry, they are the only option for first adapters. As we’ve seen before, Apple will spare no expense to be the leader in whatever direction they are going.