TSMC Confirms Deal with Apple to Produce A-Series Chips for Future iOS Devices

tsmcThe Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to produce some A-series chips for Apple's iOS devices starting in 2014. The article confirms a report from Digitimes published earlier this week regarding the deal.

This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple's speed and power standards, TSMC officials said.

The report states that TSMC plans to start producing the chips in early 2014 using 20-nanometer technology, which would make chips smaller and more energy efficient. The two companies have been discussing their arrangement since 2010, with serious discussions on the process of creating the chips starting in 2011.

TSMC executives told the WSJ that Apple had asked to either invest in the company or to have TSMC set aside a factory specifically for Apple chips. Executives said they had denied both options because they wanted to keep TSMC's independence and manufacturing flexibility intact.

Apple has so far used Samsung to exclusively manufacture the A-series chips for its iOS devices, but with the two companies becoming rivals in the mobile device market, Apple has been trying to reduce its reliance on Samsung for components.

As the WSJ notes, Apple and Samsung's relationship as far as components goes back to the early days of the iPod as Samsung won some business from Apple after the company became unhappy with original iPod processor supplier PortalPlayer. While Apple was aware that Samsung planned to compete with it in the mobile device market, Samsung had told Apple that it kept its component business separate from the mobile device business and promised to keep its executives from sharing information with each other.

Some Apple executives didn't like the arrangement, and in 2008 Apple began an effort to shift away from Samsung for its flash memory supplies. In 2010, Apple made a similar move with its iPhone displays, shifting production from Samsung to Sharp and Toshiba, although Retina display iPads continue to use Samsung displays.

And while Apple is trying to rid itself of its reliance on Samsung, the Korean company understandably would still like to keep Apple as one of its customers, with an estimated $10 billion of Samsung's reported $59 billion in component sales coming from the Cupertino company.

Tag: wsj.com

Top Rated Comments

duffman9000 Avatar
97 months ago

Apple has a storied history establishing new relationships with chip manufactures, using them, then squeezing them to reduce pricing. After a run of a few years Apple picks a fight bashes them in public so as to make the manufacturer the villain only to be replaced by their next target.

Going way back to the beginning all Macs were equipped with Motorola chips until Apple used them up and spit them out. All the while the Apple devotees used the derogatory term ~ Wintel~ to describe PCs comprised of Windows running on Intel chips.

Once Apple divorced Motorola, only a spin master like Steve Jobs could convince the Apple Faithful that suddenly the chip maker... Intel... they bashed was now going to be used in Macs.

One thing that Apple's great at is remaining a very polarizing company.

There's nothing quite as entertaining as reading the adventures and fables of Apple Inc. :D



You don't have a clue. We are now less intelligent from reading your post.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
komodrone Avatar
97 months ago
Was hoping that TSMC would score a deal where Apple would redesign their logo.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maxosx Avatar
97 months ago
Apple has a storied history establishing new relationships with chip manufactures, using them, then squeezing them to reduce pricing. After a run of a few years Apple picks a fight bashes them in public so as to make the manufacturer the villain only to be replaced by their next target.

Going way back to the beginning all Macs were equipped with Motorola chips until Apple used them up and spit them out. All the while the Apple devotees used the derogatory term ~ Wintel~ to describe PCs comprised of Windows running on Intel chips.

Once Apple divorced Motorola, only a spin master like Steve Jobs could convince the Apple Faithful that suddenly the chip maker... Intel... they bashed was now going to be used in Macs.

One thing that Apple's great at is remaining a very polarizing company.

There's nothing quite as entertaining as reading the adventures and fables of Apple Inc. :D
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
duffman9000 Avatar
97 months ago

Apple has a storied history establishing new relationships with chip manufactures, using them, then squeezing them to reduce pricing. After a run of a few years Apple picks a fight bashes them in public so as to make the manufacturer the villain only to be replaced by their next target.

Are you talking about Motorola? Apple took way too long to jump ship.
Are you talking about Samsung. This was a unique relationship where a "partner" turned direct competitor.
Furthermore, isn't a company supposed to get it's components at the lowest possible cost?


Going way back to the beginning all Macs were equipped with Motorola chips until Apple used them up and spit them out. All the while the Apple devotees used the derogatory term ~ Wintel~ to describe PCs comprised of Windows running on Intel chips.

Apple used Motorola and spit them out? Hahahahaha... Where is Motorola after Apple dumped them? Where are their CPUs?



Once Apple divorced Motorola, only a spin master like Steve Jobs could convince the Apple Faithful that suddenly the chip maker... Intel... they bashed was now going to be used in Macs.

It's called marketing. Have you heard of the term?


One thing that Apple's great at is remaining a very polarizing company.

This is the only logical statement in your entire post.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rog210 Avatar
97 months ago
Congratulations to the company with the worst logo in the world!

Seriously, call me.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
97 months ago

Was hoping that TSMC would score a deal where Apple would redesign their logo.

The logo represents _exactly_ what TSMC is doing. Apart from that, they don't have any customers who care the slightest bit what TSMC's logo looks like.

Chances are that an actual avg consumer sees that logo is literally zero.

The average customer of TSMC is someone highly experienced in the design of processors or other chips, and can see on first sight that the logo shows a wafer with a few hundred chips, with a remarkably large percentage of good chips. You are not their customer.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...