'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
109 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
109 months ago
Bye bye Samsung!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Technarchy Avatar
109 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
109 months ago
Nothing but good can come from this.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SockRolid Avatar
109 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
109 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 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
apple music

Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream

Friday April 16, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music. The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about ...