Samsung Confirmed to be A7 Chip Manufacturer
Apple seems to have turned to Samsung to manufacture its new 64-bit A7 processor that powers the flagship iPhone 5S according to an analysis-on-a-chip. The silicon experts at Chipworks recently revealed that the new A7 ARM CPU, custom designed by Apple, was in fact fabricated by Samsung. They are still looking for further details but they suspect that the processor will utilize Samsung’s 28-nanometer Hi K metal Gate. If the prediction is accurate it would mean that Apple is using the same process as the Galaxy S4’s Exynos Application processor.
Chipworks also found the new M7 motion coprocessor inside the iPhone 5S, which is labeled as the NXP LPC18A1. It’s based on the LPC1800 series Cortx-M3 microcontrollers made by NXP. As for the enhanced camera found in the iPhone 5S, the iSight module was discovered to be a custom Exmor-RS sensor from Sony. Other parts in the handset include a touchscreen controller from Broadcom, an LTE modem by Qualcomm and NAND flash from SK Hynix.
The iPhone 5S CPU has been of much speculation as all of the custom A-series chips to date have been built by Samsung. There have been many indications that Apple would prefer to move away from Samsung and potentially move to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., for its chip production as Samsung is Apple’s chief competitor in a number of markets. The Cupertino California company has worked in recent years to lessen its reliance on Samsung for other key parts such as the flash memory found in the iPhone and iPad. To date, Samsung’s Silicon fabrication facilities in Austin, Texas have been responsible for all A-series chips.