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 2015A 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.
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.
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