Samsung to Produce A9 Chips for Apple's Next-Generation Devices

Longtime Apple rival and supplier Samsung will be responsible for manufacturing the A9 chips for Apple's next-generation iPhone and iPad, Re/code confirmed today. Over the past several months, there's been a lot of confusion over whether Samsung or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would produce Apple's A9 chips, but recent rumors suggest that Samsung's technological advances have put it ahead of TSMC.

Apple signed a chip production deal with TSMC back in 2013 with the hopes of diversifying its supply chain sources and reducing its reliance on Samsung because of ongoing legal battles, but it has been unable to break away from Samsung for its A-series processors. Both TSMC and Samsung produced 20-nanometer A8 and A8X processors for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, though TSMC handled the bulk of the orders.

A8

20-nanometer A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, via Chipworks

At a time when Samsung's mobile division is seeing profit loss due to flagging sales, the company's semiconductor business has helped to balance out some of the losses with continued growth. During the last quarter, Samsung's chip division earned 2.7 trillion won, making supplier relationships like the one that it has with Apple highly important to the company.

Samsung is reportedly already manufacturing A9 chips for Apple, built on its 14-nanometer chip process that has outpaced TSMC's production capabilities. As detailed by Re/code, the 14-nanometer process will result in smaller chips that use less power.

That's because Samsung holds a technological edge over TSMC when it comes to the latest manufacturing process. Samsung has managed to shrink the size of the transistors on its chips to 14 nanometers -- effectively packing more processing power into a smaller space and consuming less power. TSMC is still at 20 nanometers.

Samsung has not confirmed that it is producing chips for Apple, but Samsung semiconductor president Dr. Kinam Kim said in October that Samsung is expecting chip profits to grow over the coming year thanks to demand for its 14-nanometer chips.

Little is known about Apple's next-generation iPhone, but based on past releases and upgrade cycles, the new smartphones will use A9 chips and may feature updates to the camera. Rumors have also suggested that Apple may be planning to incorporate an A9 chip into its "iPad Pro," which may debut in the second or third quarter of 2015, and the A9 in some form will undoubtedly also make an appearance in 2015 iPad Air/mini upgrades.

Tags: Samsung, TSMC, A9

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
72 months ago
Good stuff. Samsung's chip production is top notch.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

And so far, there have been little to no comments of the sort. I always find posts like this to be very oddball. This is an Apple enthusiasts board. It's to be expected, and no doubt Apple gets tons of hatred from the Samsung enthusiasts boards. You sound like you're a Samsung supporter saying this. :rolleyes:


Except Apple users used to be held to a higher standard of intelligence. That apparently has slipped significantly over the past decade.

Stories like this serve to remind all those idiots that post "Samsung sucks" and "Samsung just steal from Apple" whenever Samsung announce a new phone, that Samsung is actually a massive collection of engineering and technology divisions with areas of expertise that Apple cannot match. Hard to criticize a story reminding users that it's components are integral to Apple on many levels.

Maybe you need reminding as well. You can actually respect what Samsung manufacture without being labelled a pariah "Samsung Supporter" and also like Apple products too.

Shocking concept I know.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
A9 chip is going to be an absolute beast. The power Apple is getting out of this, with the combination of hardware and software, is pretty staggering -- especially considering the benchmarks are competitive with Android devices running at twice the clockspeed and twice the number of cores.

Apple are definitely in this for the long run. If they continue pushing the hardware it's going to substantially pay off in 5 years.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

Except Apple users used to be held to a higher standard of intelligence. That apparently has slipped significantly over the past decade.

Stories like this serve to remind all those idiots that post "Samsung sucks" and "Samsung just steal from Apple" whenever Samsung announce a new phone, that Samsung is actually a massive collection of engineering and technology divisions with areas of expertise that Apple cannot match. Hard to criticize a story reminding users that it's components are integral to Apple on many levels.

Maybe you need reminding as well. You can actually respect what Samsung manufacture without being labelled a pariah "Samsung Supporter" and also like Apple products too.

Shocking concept I know.


Your post is far too sensible for a substantial % of people who frequent this board.

I'll never understand the fanatical; almost religious, devotion some have for these companies - not just Apple but Samsung, HTC, Sony, etc. As tech. consumers we should celebrate successes from wherever they come - NEWS FLASH: it spurs innovation!!!

A few truths:

* Each of these companies has stolen, borrowed, or copied from someone else.
* In the end, they all are vying for one thing: more profits (ROI) to satisfy shareholders.
* As public companies it's their responsibility to do that.
* Blind devotion doesn't help progress it stifles it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

Neither Samsung nor Apple would comment.


So basically a rumor at this point.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

Apple are definitely in this for the long run. If they continue pushing the hardware it's going to substantially pay off in 5 years.

"in 5 years"??? I believe Apple has already realized "substantial" several times over. They just had the biggest quarter of any company ever. That almost reads like the pay off is still way out there in the future. The way they're going, in 5 years, they might be ruling the world, er, I mean iWorld. ;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Parallels Desktop 16 Brings macOS Big Sur Support, Multi-Touch Gestures, 20% Faster DirectX, and More

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:17 am PDT by
Parallels Desktop 16 released today, bringing some notable new features and performance enhancements to the virtualization software, including full support for macOS Big Sur. When Apple introduced macOS Big Sur, it ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels were built on. That forced the developers to re-engineer the virtualization software from the ...