The outlook remains murky for Apple's anticipated "A9" processor, expected to arrive in its 2015 iPhone, with a pair of new reports disagreeing on whether Samsung or TSMC will build the bulk of next-generation chips.
After Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. reportedly built the majority of A8 chips for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is said to have begun turning back to Samsung for its next-generation "A9" processor, which is expected to power the company's 2015 iPhone lineup.
A new rumor suggests that Apple has struck a major new agreement with its chief rival, Samsung, in which the South Korean electronics maker will produce most of Apple's custom A-series processors for iPhone and iPad starting in 2015.
Though the A8 chip was recently unveiled in the iPhone 6, Apple is said to already be lining up deals for next year's presumed "A9" processor, which will reportedly be manufactured with a 14-nanometer process by longtime partner Samsung.
Though Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is handling the lion's share of building A8 chips for Apple's latest iPhones, longtime partner Samsung is still reportedly a major contributor, accounting for an estimated 40 percent of production.
A Monday morning report from the Republic of China indicated that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is in the process of accelerating the rollout of its new 16-nanometer FinFET fabrication process in a possible bid to wrest control of Apple's A9 manufacturing from rival chipmakers.
To date, Samsung has been the sole supplier of custom A-series processors for Apple's popular iPhone and iPad, but industry watchers again expect that to change after the South Korean company signaled that its microprocessor business has a bleak outlook.
Following years of rumors, chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has begun production of Apple's A-series processors and the chips are now making their way to assembly plants, according to a Thursday morning report from Hong Kong.
Samsung Electronics and Globalfoundries are reportedly planning to begin building 14-nanometer mobile chips in small quantities at a New York-based facility in early 2015, which could set the stage for the team to begin building "A9" chips for Apple, according to a new report.
While rumors of a partnership between Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have lingered for years, yet another report on Wednesday claims once again that the Taiwanese chipmaker is now producing chips for the company — namely a next-generation "A8" processor for the 2014 iPhone.
A new report out of Taiwan suggests that Apple will not only diversify the supply chain for its next-generation A-series processors, but that the company will also make the leap to a much more advanced fabrication process.
As Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC gets set to ramp up production on its 20-nanometer process fab in January, some analysts believe the company is poised to take a large bite out of rival Samsung's supply contract for Apple's A-series processors.
A rumor out of the Far East on Sunday claims Apple has once again retained Samsung's services to build a next-generation processor dubbed the "A8," though a majority of production will reportedly be handled by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. recently held a job fair in upstate New York, helping to drive up expectations that the chipmaker is planning to open a chip fabrication plant in the area to build mobile processors for Apple.
Production of a rumored fingerprint sensor said by some to be bound for the next-generation iPhone could rely heavily on Taiwan's semiconductor industry, strengthening Apple's ties in the region as it drifts farther away from Samsung.