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06-25-2013, 12:38 AM #1
TSMC Rumored to Have Inked a Deal to Build A8 Chips for Apple Starting This Year
A recent report claims that Apple and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have actually sealed the deal on a three-year agreement to supply A-series chips for the future iPhones and iPads. Rumors of an agreement between the two companies have continued to crop up for years, but a recently released report by DigiTimes not only claims a deal has been made but gets into specifics about the terms of the contract. In particular, TSMC and its integrated service partner Global UniChip are said to be planning to supply A-series chips built on 20-nanometer, 16-nanometer, and 10-nanometer process nodes.
The report claims that TSMC will begin limited trial runs of manufacturing 20-nanometer “A8” chips as early as this July, though production isn’t said to ramp up substantially until September. The “A8” chip is expected to debut in 2014 as of right now. In addition, it was said that TSMC’s phase 4, 5, and 6 facilities at its Fab 14 location in southern Taiwan will be solely dedicated to building A-series chips for Apple.
For years, reports have claimed Apple was interested in forging a partnership with TSMC, a move that would allow the company to cut Samsung out of its supply chain. Currently, Samsung is the sole supplier of Apple’s custom A-series chips while also being Apple’s chief rival. The rumor of this news could if proven to be true could be the Cupertino California company’s first step in their favored direction.