updated 10:46 am EST, Wed December 18, 2013
Rumor points to TSMC and Samsung
Apple has reportedly chosen Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to handle most of the A-series chip manufacturing for its 2014 iPhone lineup, transitioning away from its current reliance on Samsung, unnamed sources have told DigiTimes. The supply-chain sources further claim that Apple is moving toward 14nm and 16nm manufacturing processes for the A-series chips that will be utilized for iPhones in 2015.
The rumors echo earlier reports suggesting that TSMC has signed a multi-year deal to fabricate Apple's upcoming mobile chips, starting with the A8. The Cupertino-based company is said to be diversifying its suppliers following a number of high-profile legal battles with rival Samsung.
Despite the claims of a heavy shift toward TSMC orders, the latest report suggests Apple may need to retain Samsung as a supplier for 14nm chips. The Korean company is said to be on track for 14nm production around the same time TSMC begins 16nm fabrication.
Apple's current 64-bit A7 system-on-chip (SoC), which powers the iPhone 5s and latest iPads, utilizes Samsung's 28nm fabrication process. A jump to 16nm or 14nm construction is viewed as inevitable in the mobile industry as companies continue to improve power efficiency and reduce chip size.