Apple Set to Shift From Samsung to TSMC for 'A6' Chip Production Next Year?

Back in March, a report suggested that Apple was preparing to shift production of its A5 system-on-a-chip for the iPad 2 from Samsung to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a deal that was claimed to span multiple generations of chips and would reduce Apple's reliance on competitor and legal foe Samsung for iOS device components. Early examinations of iPad 2 chips did, however, reveal that Samsung continued to be Apple's supplier for the brains of the popular tablet device.

Talk of TSMC striking a deal with Apple revived late last week, with Merrill Lynch analyst Dan Heyler claiming that the chip manufacturer stands a good chance of winning orders for Apple's next-generation "A6" chip next year. And today Ars Technica weighs in, sharing word from a "plugged-in source" that chatter about an Apple-TSMC deal is "growing deafening".

While Apple continues to source components from Samsung for its mobile devices under contracts that were likely signed more than a year ago, Apple presented a huge pile of evidence that Samsung was attempting to copy at least some of the secret sauce that made its iPhone and iPad so successful. So Apple very likely sees moving production to a non-competitor as a strategic business move.

Dan Heyler, a semiconductor analyst with Merrill Lynch in Taipei, told the China-based Commercial Times newspaper on Friday that TSMC will most likely be producing "A6" processors for Apple, a next-generation ARM-based design, in 2012. That jibes with what Ars has heard from a plugged-in source -- that the chatter on the foundry grapevine about an impending Apple/TSMC deal is growing deafening.

Apple has surpassed Sony to become Samsung's biggest customer, making for an uneasy relationship that has seen Apple and Samsung have a strong reliance on each other even as Apple has been pursuing legal action against Samsung, claiming that Samsung has copied Apple's designs with its own products.

Top Rated Comments

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119 months ago
I can see it already...


Suck it

Steve
Sent from my A6-powered iPad 3

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

One thing that isn't often mentioned is that Apple's chips A4/A5 aren't that much different than other ARM based chips in the same generation. They just have a cooler name. We have to remember than when the A6 is released, there will be multiple other ARM chips with roughly the same capabilities being produced by Nvidia, TI, Samsung, and Qualcomm.

Sitting back on the sidelines, this whole saga is pretty entertaining. Huge corps with huge cash reserves are battling it out, while we get excited and impassioned. Little do we understand is fact that is what is going on is most likely par for the course. No wonder these businesses have so many lawyers. This just gives them something to do all day.

There is a huge different. Apple have NOVA SIMD extensions in A5. That takes 30% of the die area on the chip.

Tegra 3 will get NOVA extensions.

Since Apple has control over the graphical layer in the OS, they can accelerate it with SIMD code. That is why Apple beats other ARM chips in real world benchmarks. Single core A4 is only 3-8% slower then others 1.2 dual core in web browsing and so on.

Android will never be able to accelerate its graphic since they don't control that layer.

But people are stupid and just look at mhz and how many megapixel a camera have. Both un relevant in real world.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago
They're chosing TSMC because that company's logo is clearly superior to Samsung's, right?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago
Samsung was in a win-win situation. But now with losing Apple as a customer, along with the fact that Android sales are starting to level off due to Apple expanding onto new carriers like Verizon and staying competitive with innovations such as free iCloud services, they are soon going to start feeling the hurt. Especially if they end up having to actually make their own phone designs following the court ruling, lol.

But they will still have their TV market, am I right?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago

I can see it already...


No...

I have altered the deal, pray I do not alter it any further.

Steve
Sent from my A6-powered iPad 3

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

Quote:



Suck it

Steve
Sent from my A6-powered iPad 3

Reply


Don't let the door hit ya in the ass

CEO & Vice chairman of Samsung yoon woo lee
Sent from my Exynos powered SG3

Samsung was in a win-win situation. But now with losing Apple as a customer, along with the fact that Android sales are starting to level off due to Apple expanding onto new carriers like Verizon and staying competitive with innovations such as free iCloud services, they are soon going to start feeling the hurt. Especially if they end up having to actually make their own phone designs following the court ruling, lol.

Android is still the fastest growing OS by far and Iphone on Verizon has been an embarrasment for everyone involved so far, but lets not let facts get in the way of your delusional Apple worship.

New to forums? Please use the quote tag properly and then misguide people with false facts.

Regards

deth
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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