Apple's Choice to Change Chipmakers Causing Concerns in the Industry
Many concerns are arising in the semiconductor industry regarding Apple’s potential switch from Samsung to TSMC for production of iOS device processors. Supply chain sources recently indicated to Digitimes
that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will begin producing chips for Apple in 2013. Industry observers indicated that demand for chips from Apple is expected to be massive, with roughly 200 million CPUs for the iPhone and iPad needed every year. This move causes concerns among TSMC’s current customers who are afraid they could be squeezed out if Apple takes up the bulk of TSMC’s orders.
According to the report, “TSMC’s advanced process offerings serve the world’s major fabless IC firms including Altera, Qualcomm and Nvidia. While being capable of providing sufficient capacity to Apple, TSMC does not want to upset its existing major clients, the observers noted. Allocating efficiently its production capacity will be a focus for the foundry in 2013, the observers believe."
Rumors of a deal between Apple and TSMC have been afloat for quite some time but Samsung continues to remain the sole supplier of custom ARM-based processors for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. The growing rift between the two tech giants has increased talks that suggest Apple plans to move its chip production away from Samsung. The move which was previously just a rumor now may seemingly become real. As with any information from Digitimes
, it has to be taken with a grain of salt since the publications record has been spotty when it comes to predictions and rumors.