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Rumor: TSMC Signs Deal With Apple to Build 20nm A8 Chips

Rumor: TSMC Signs Deal With Apple to Build 20nm A8 Chips

A new report claims that Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) have inked a three-year deal for TSMC to supply A-series chips for future iPhones and iPads.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd Chairman Chang attends an investors' conference in Taipei


Rumors of an agreement between the two companies have continued to crop up for years, but a report published on Monday by DigiTimes not only claims a deal has been made, but gets into specifics about the terms of the contract. In particular, TSMC and its integrated service partner Global UniChip are said to be planning to supply A-series chips built on 20-nanometer, 16-nanometer, and 10-nanometer process nodes.

The report says TSMC will begin limited trial manufacturing runs of 20-nanometer “A8” chips as soon as this July, however production won’t ramp up substantially until September. Devices using the “A8” would debut in 2014.

The report also stated that TSMC’s phase 4, 5 and 6 facilities at its Fab 14 location in southern Taiwan will be solely dedicated to building A-series chips for Apple.

While it should be noted that DigiTimes is wrong more often than it is correct, Monday’s report does agree with a rumor that surfaced earlier this year that claimed TSMC would build 20-nanometer chips for Apple’s iPhone.

It should also be noted that rumors have floated for years the Apple is looking to cut electronic device rival Samsung out of its supply chain by partnering with other companies for the manufacturing of its A-series chips. Samsung is currently the sole supplier of Apple’s custom A-series chips.

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