Apple is looking to shift production of its mobile device processors to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company sooner rather than later, according to Taiwan-based newspaper The Commercial Times (via AppAdvice). A new report from the publication claims that Apple will have TSMC, the world’s largest chip foundry, begin production of the A6X (found in the 4th generation iPad) as early as the first quarter of 2013.
While The Commercial Times isn’t always accurate as a source of rumors, a potential shift of processor manufacturing from Apple’s current partner in Samsung to TSMC has reportedly been in the cards for some time now. A report from August 2011 saw Apple kick-off trial production with the Taiwan-based processor foundry, and there were rumblings that TSMC would get a much larger share of Apple’s processor business back in November. Today’s report also agrees with one from December that suggested Apple’s shift to using TSMC’s 28nm process in its chip production (vs. Samsung’s 32nm method) would happen earlier than expected, though at the time the Taipei Times reported that the second quarter of 2013 was a likely start date for the shift.
Other evidence that suggests Apple could be working with TSMC to start building A6X processors sooner rather than later include the construction of a massive new chip factory in the U.S., which was revealed by The Oregonian around mid-December. Apple’s A-series processors are currently built by Samsung in Texas, so replacing that supply source with another U.S.-based production facility makes sense. Apple has also been making other moves that indicate it’s reducing its dependence on Samsung as a chip supplier, including poaching a top Samsung chip designer, and reducing the Korean company’s role in the chip design process.
Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the...
Samsung is one of the largest super-multinational companies in the world. It’s possibly best known for it’s subsidiary, Samsung Electronics, the largest electronics company in the world.
TSMC created the semiconductor dedicated foundry industry when it was founded in 1987. To serve and support our customer’s manufacturing needs, TSMC maintains account service offices in China, India, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United States. In December 2009, TSMC purchased a 20% stake in Motech, for a sum of approximately $193 million.