Apple Decreases its Dependence on Samsung as it Finally Inks a Deal with TSMC
A recently released report from The Wall Street Journal
claims that Apple finally sealed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. earlier this month, with the first set of chips to begin rolling off the production line in 2013. The report cites a TSMC executive stating that Apple signed an agreement that will see the chipmaker build the next-generation 20nm A-series SoCs which will be powering future iterations of the iPhone and iPad. Samsung will continue to be Apple’s main supplier of A-series chips for the rest of 2013 though.
The deal was years in the making according to the source, as TSMC was unable to manufacture silicone up to the speed and power standards which Apple required. Once the technical difficulties are overcome, the firm is said to start chip production. Discussions of a partnership between the two companies dates back to 2010, but WSJ
says that in 2011, TSMC was unwilling to accept an offer from Apple to either invest heavily in the firm or reach an agreement that would decide a certain amount of fabrication space specifically for the production A-series chip.
The recent news appears to confirm a previous rumor
which mentioned the companies inking a deal. The report also claimed 20nm SoCs were on the way but pegged the mass production to start in September of 2013 ahead of the chips’ inclusion in Apple’s next-gen products in 2014.
As of right now, Apple relies exclusively on Samsung for its A-series processors. The switch to TSMC Is widely believed to be part of a move away from Samsung as Apple looks to decrease its reliance on the South Korean manufacturer. The Cupertino California company has succeeded in diversifying its supply chain to include Toshiba NAND flash memory modules and displays made by LG, Japan Display and Sharp. The Cupertino company still sources components from Samsung but to a much lesser extent than it did before.
Source: The Wall Street Journal