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TSMC Now Shipping A-Series Processors to Apple for Future iOS Devices

tsmc_logo_newChip manufacturing company TSMC started shipping processors to Apple in Q2 2014, reports the Wall Street Journal. After exclusively sourcing its processors from Samsung, Apple last year struck a deal with TSMC that would see the manufacturer begin supplying A-series chips for Apple's iOS devices.

Apple's deal with TSMC is a win-win situation for both companies with Apple reducing its reliance on Samsung for iOS device components and TSMC receiving a boost financially from Apple's hardware orders.
The development means Apple doesn't have to rely solely on Samsung for microprocessors, a critical component that controls applications running in smartphones and tablets. By securing an additional supplier, Apple will have more leverage when it comes to price negotiations with its chip suppliers in the future. Through the deal, TSMC adds a high-profile customer that could help support expensive research investments the manufacturer needs to move to advanced technology and will likely boost its overall revenue this year, analysts said.
In line with previous reports, TSMC allegedly began mass producing chips for Apple using its 20-nanometer process earlier this year and is working with the company on future 16-nanometer designs. Apple also is rumored to be working with Samsung on next year's A9 processor which could use a 14-nanometer design.

Top Rated Comments

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10 weeks ago

Awesome news, but not because of that Samsung BS related with trials.

It is awesome news because samsung is getting behind (still in 28?), Intel is having lots of trouble with going 14 nm.

So TSMC is by far the best option, 20 nm is going to be the most viable option for a long time. Of course, Samsung electronics seeing a 30 % YoY profit decline, 3rd quarter in a row of decline in profits, and blaming most of it on Samsung Mobile (smartphones, tablets, computers) is good, but it's time to take a dig at those manufacturing plants too.

God, a big screen iPhone (2 models) and suddenly looks like Samsung Mobile, maybe even Samsung Eletronics in itself will feel a lot of pain in the next 2 years. "How to go from 9 billion $ in a quarter to 2 billion $ in a year."

Great. Less stupid Galaxy ads.


Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.
Rating: 12 Votes
10 weeks ago

Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.


call me a child then

it would be worth it only to see these spectacularly inane ads be halted
maybe this will stop people from calling me stupid because i have an iphone and their samsung is so much better, after all who knows how much such marketing actually alienates people in the end
Rating: 10 Votes
10 weeks ago
Awesome news, but not because of that Samsung BS related with trials.

It is awesome news because samsung is getting behind (still in 28?), Intel is having lots of trouble with going 14 nm.

So TSMC is by far the best option, 20 nm is going to be the most viable option for a long time. Of course, Samsung electronics seeing a 30 % YoY profit decline, 3rd quarter in a row of decline in profits, and blaming most of it on Samsung Mobile (smartphones, tablets, computers) is good, but it's time to take a dig at those manufacturing plants too.

God, a big screen iPhone (2 models) and suddenly looks like Samsung Mobile, maybe even Samsung Eletronics in itself will feel a lot of pain in the next 2 years. "How to go from 9 billion $ in a quarter to 2 billion $ in a year."

Great. Less stupid Galaxy ads.
Rating: 8 Votes
10 weeks ago

Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.


I guess I'm childish then. Samsung is a garbage scummy company for a number of reasons. I hope they crash and burn and someone like HTC takes their place as top android manufacturer.
Rating: 8 Votes
10 weeks ago

Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.


Unfortunately, for companies that I admire (for various reasons), Samsung must fail in order for them to succeed. I agree that it shouldn't be a reason in Apple's case, but it is what it is.

Then, there's the whole corruption thing, bad products and lack of support. For that, I want Samsung to be knocked down nicely.
Rating: 6 Votes
10 weeks ago

Why can't an American company make a viable mobile processor? We have MIT, Caltech, let's make this work people...


I am not aware of CPUs that aren't designed by a US company. Apple (an American company) designs the A series SOCs that are based on ARM (technically a European company, but the designs are all done here) designs. Many of the A-Series SOCs makes for Apple are actually made in US foundries.

Intel, NVIDIA, QualComm are all based in California.
Rating: 5 Votes
10 weeks ago
Gosh, how I hate that logo...
Rating: 3 Votes
10 weeks ago

I am not aware of CPUs that aren't designed by a US company. Apple (an American company) designs the A series SOCs that are based on ARM (technically a European company, but the designs are all done here) designs. Many of the A-Series SOCs makes for Apple are actually made in US foundries.

Intel, NVIDIA, QualComm are all based in California.

IBM's POWER8 is designed all over the place; Germany, India, Israel and the US.

Famously the Core architecture was designed by Intel in Haifa, Israel. Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge are more current designs designed in Israel.

STMicroelectronics is a European company that designs a lot of microelectronics. As is Infineon and Ericsson.

Japanese and Taiwanese companies like Sony, Toshiba, Canon, Fujitsu, MediaTek all have ARM licenses, and Fujitsu is even designing their own mainframe architecture.

China is becoming larger and larger in designing high end microelectronics. Allwinner, RockChip, C*Core, Longsson, Huawei, all have broad licenses for ARM, MIPS, Sparc and even Power.
Rating: 2 Votes
10 weeks ago

Comes in, looks around, sees the usual Samsung must collapse and fail comments, made on devices using Samsung components by people who are utterly blind and naive to just how much of iOS devices success is down to Samsung, gets sunglasses (too nice a day to get my coat) and leaves..


Comes in, looks around, sees the usual misconception about Samsung responsible for the majority of iOS components, gets sunglasses and leaves with a drink in hand.

Here's a simple fun fact. There are more TSMC-made components in this iPhone 5s teardown from iFixit than Samsung components. There's literally a single Samsung component in that particular iPhone 5s.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+5s+Teardown/17383

But it's been my experience at Macrumors that most of those who preach objectiveness and facts while criticizing others for bias and naivety are usually the ones who accept "the facts" only when those facts make Apple look bad.
Rating: 2 Votes
10 weeks ago

Wanting Apple to succeed is great. Wanting Samsung to fail is childish.


Not necessarily.

I'd agree if someone wanted to see Samsung fail strictly because they're an Apple competitor, but you can't just assume that's the reason people want to see Samsung fail.

Samsung has been incredibly successful in the last few years, especially with their Android devices. So much that they're pretty much dominating the Android market and other Android OEMs are struggling to even turn a profit. It's just natural for those other OEMs to ask themselves "What did Samsung do right that we didn't?", and basically take inspiration from Samsung's success.

Now Samsung's approach has been highly controversial in many aspects, and pretty much all they do differently is the result of a specific mentality, strategy and business culture that many consider toxic for the entire industry.

Copying Apple's business is hard for the struggling Android OEMs. They won't become a vertically integrated company with their own OS and retail stores overnight. But copying Samsung's approach is relatively easy, and that's what many OEMs could do if they're threatened by bankruptcy. And that is what I'd be afraid of is Samsung continues gaining success, and it has almost nothing to do with the Apple vs Samsung competition. I'd be afraid that the majority of the industry borrows the Samsung approach, and that you'd have pretty much no option between the Apple and Samsung mentalities. That would be even more problematic given that Apple's mentality is pretty controversial as well.

If you want an analogy, imagine a thief gets caught and prisoned. Even if the victim doesn't get satisfaction due to the feeling of revenge, they could still feel good about the fact other potential thieves are less likely to do the same since the message being sent is that you can't just get away easily with a crime like that. See what I mean? There's more to it than a purely emotional feeling of victory or revenge. There could also be a rational reason for justice to be served for the sake of society or an industry as a whole.

(Note that I'm not saying Samsung are the equivalent of thieves, it's only an analogy to illustrate my point that you may want to see someone/something fail for rational reasons)

tl;dr: Someone's or something's failure may actually benefit the industry or society. It's not necessarily only for an irrational feeling of victory/revenge.
Rating: 2 Votes

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