Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) is said to have begun shipping A-Series chips to Apple for future iOS devices.
In years past Apple has relied on Samsung to produce its A-Series chips for the iPhone and iPad product lines, but considering the legal tussling the two companies due with one another over patents, it isn’t too surprising that Apple would want to begin looking elsewhere for a supplier. Reports have been circulating for some time that TSMC was going to pick up at least some of the production for the A8 – the chip assumed to power the upcoming iPhone 6 – and now it appears that not only has it begun to do so, but it is also shipping the finished products to Apple.
According to sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, TSMC began shipping the new chips to Apple in the second quarter of this year. The company won’t be picking up the entire production run, but this will certainly give Apple a lot more negotiating power since it will no longer be working with just one vendor.
While the iPhone 6 and rumored iPhone Air are never named specifically in the report, it seems likely that this is indeed the devices the chips are bound for. With Apple reportedly looking to produce 68 million iPhones for the first shipment alone, that is a heck of a lot of chips for any one company to produce.
The inclusion of a new manufacturer does not mean, however, that Samsung is completely out of the game. TSMC is said to be producing the chips with its 20-nanometer process, and will be working with Apple for 16-nanometer designs for the future. Meanwhile, Samsung is reportedly working on next year’s A9 processor already which is said to use a 14-nanometer design. The thinner the chip, even when speaking in nanometers, the thinner the phone can be.