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The Rumors Continue: Apple’s ‘A7’ Chips to be Built by TSMC

The Rumors Continue: Apple’s ‘A7’ Chips to be Built by TSMC

A new report has added fuel to the long-burning rumor bonfire saying that Apple’s future chips, the “A7” among them, will be built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) once the Cupertino company’s existing contract with Samsung expires.

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


The details come from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, and were highlighted by Japanese blog Macotakaraon Tuesday. The report claims that Apple plans to utilize a so-called “A7” processor built on a smaller 20-nanometer process next year.

The new chip is rumored to be built by TSMC, who has developed the new 20-nanometer process. Samsung is currently the producer for all of Apple’s A-series chips, including the A6 used in the iPhone, and it’s more powerful sibling, the A6X which drives the fourth-generation iPad.

TSMC officials have pinned their hopes on the forthcoming 20-nanometer chip process, with company CEO Morris Chang predicting that the smaller chips, which are due to premiere in 2014, will sell better than the company’s existing 28-nanometer chips in the first two years of production. His comments have fueled rumors that Apple plans to use the new TSMC chips for its iPhone and iPad beginning next year.

Apple has long been rumored to be working to move its mobile chip production away from Samsung and over to TSMC, but no firm plans have been announced. While Samsung has been a major supplier to Apple, rumors have floated for quite awhile that the Cupertino company is making moves to drop the Korean firm as the companies have become bitter rivals in both the mobile device market, and in court.