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Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 10:54 pm PT (01:54 am ET)

Rumor: Samsung to take over Apple A-series chip production from TSMC in 2015

A report on Wednesday claims Samsung will likely take over fabrication orders for Apple's next-generation custom A-series mobile device processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in 2015.

Apple's A7 SoC is manufactured by Samsung and powers the iPhone 5s, Retina iPad mini and iPad Air.
Source: iFixit


Apple manufacturing partner TSMC, which reportedly began shipping A-series chips for the "iPhone 6" last week, will be replaced by Samsung when fabrication of next-generation SoCs starts in the second half of 2015, reports Reuters.

The report cites a research note from KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, who attended a TSMC investor conference on Wednesday. Liu said Samsung foundries will in effect replace TSMC as the main manufacturer of advanced 14-nanometer APs ordered by Apple and Qualcomm. According to Taiwanese publications, Qualcomm has already placed orders with Samsung for the next-gen silicon. Evidence of Apple's orders has not yet been reported.

After years of rumors and speculation, Apple inked a deal with TSMC to produce its mobile chips last June, the first of which are expected to see iOS device lineup this fall.

Today's report lines up with a rumor from early July that claimed Samsung landed orders for a trial run of Apple's "A9" chip, which is said to be built on a 14-nanometer process.

In addition to the alleged swing back to Samsung, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang said during the conference that his company's marketshare of 16-nanometer chips will be smaller than "a major competitor" in 2015. Going into 2016, however, Chang forecasts TSMC to regain its lead.