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A report on Thursday once again affirms rumors that Apple is contracting Samsung to manufacture A-series processors expected for inclusion in next-generation iPhone handsets.
Citing sources close to the matter, Bloomberg says Samsung is slated to fabricate Apple's forthcoming system on chip design, potentially dubbed "A9," bound for this year's iOS device lineup. If true, Samsung would reclaim a position currently filled by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world's largest chipmaker.
Samsung's plant in Giheung, South Korea, is said to be a main point of manufacture, with additional orders going to partner GlobalFoundries. GlobalFoundries, which joined forces with Samsung last year in an attempt to stave off unchecked growth by TSMC, licenses the Korean company's 14-nanometer fabrication technology. The process is a step ahead of TSMC's 20-nanometer process used to produce Apple A8 SoCs, which power iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and recent iPad models.
Samsung has for months been rumored to be a key supplier of Apple's next-generation silicon, the most recent report coming in February. It was said in December that Samsung was already trialling A9 production after TSMC failed to compete with its own 16-nanometer process.
In addition to chip architecting, Samsung is also rumored to provide DRAM modules for Apple's A9, meaning a good portion of critical iPhone components could be produced by the Galaxy maker.