'Project Azalea' - A TSMC Chip Factory Dedicated to Building Processors for iDevices?

ifixit a6xAccording to The Oregonian, Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, and officials in New York may both be competing to attract a massive chip manufacturing company, which uses the code name "Azalea."

Business Oregon -- the state's economic development agency -- confirms that it's recruiting a company that goes by the codename "Azalea." The department declined to discuss details of the effort, citing a nondisclosure agreement with the unnamed company.

However, officials in New York have been actively pursuing what's known there as "Project Azalea." Documents obtained by The Business Review, an Albany, N.Y., weekly, describe that project as a 3.2-million-square-foot semiconductor factory that would employ at least 1,000 people.

The cost of building and equipping a new semiconductor factory -- a fab, in the chip industry's parlance -- runs in the billions of dollars. That's attracted great interest to the chatter around Azalea, which at this point is largely speculative.

Within the chip industry, the theory is that the fab would be a contract facility to build microprocessors for Apple's mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad.

The EETimes believes that this mysterious "Azalea" chip factory is none other than the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which appears to be waffling between creating a new factory in New York or Oregon.

There have been several rumors over the last two years linking Apple to TSMC, pegging the semiconductor company as Apple's likely partner as Apple moves away from Samsung because of the ongoing dispute between the two companies.

Samsung currently builds all of the custom A-series processors that Apple uses in its iOS devices in an Austin, Texas plant, including the newest 32-nanometer process A6 chip used in the iPhone 5 and the A6X chip used in the fourth generation iPad. Rumors have, however, suggested that Apple is interested in making a deal with TSMC instead, both to cut ties with Samsung and to take advantage of TSMC's 20-nanometer process for use in late 2013.

Earlier this year, TSMC turned down both Apple and Qualcomm, who placed bids for exclusive access to TSMC's chip production, but the company did indicate that it might possibly devote a factory to a single customer. This suggests that if TSMC is indeed behind "Project Azalea," then the upcoming U.S.-based chip factory could potentially be used to create chips for Apple's iDevices.

Top Rated Comments

ThunderSkunk Avatar
106 months ago
Will buy US-made anything at this point.

After reading up on quantum computing, it'd be pretty wild to see Apple spend the $ and do something under their own roof that just up and blew everyones doors off .
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMikeT Avatar
106 months ago
Bye bye Samsung!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Technarchy Avatar
106 months ago
In the Arab world, stealing gets your hands cut off.

In this case Samsung just lost a lot of business.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stridder44 Avatar
106 months ago
Nothing but good can come from this.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SockRolid Avatar
106 months ago

...suggested that Apple is interested in making a deal with TSMC instead, both to cut ties with Samsung and to take advantage of TSMC's 20-nanometer process for use in late 2013.

And cutting ties with Samsung isn't just sour grapes. By ordering specific components from Samsung, Apple is tipping off Samsung with future iDevice specs (and possible new products).

Apple is also developing their own advanced chip designs, which they would obviously want to hide from competitors. Apple was just awarded a patent on SoC package-on-package technology used in its AX chips. That kind of technology is best kept away from Samsung, patents or no patents.

Source:
http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/12/18/apple-secures-system-on-chip-patent-protecting-future-a-series-processors (http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/12/18/apple-secures-system-on-chip-patent-protecting-future-a-series-processors)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
106 months ago



First you need to actually get your facts straight before people can attempt to "defend" anything. It's $8-12 MILLION, not BILLION. Nice attempt at being falsely hyperbolic.

Image (http://fortunebrainstormtech.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/375906410380.png)

The chart goes up to 12,000 million.

That's 12 billion.

Yes... Samsung spends nearly 12 billion on marketing.

FORTUNE -- One of the reasons Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets seem to be everywhere these days may be that the company is spending a fortune -- nearly $12 billion a year, according to Asymco's Horace Dediu -- on advertising, commissions and sales promotions.

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...