The Korea Economic Daily is reporting that Apple and Samsung have signed an agreement that will see the Samsung producing 14-nanometer A-series chips beginning in 2014. This report comes just days after two separate reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) had confirmed a deal with Apple to begin producing A-series chips in 2014, and that Apple was reportedly buying into a fab to produce their own chips.
The Korean Economic Daily, via MacRumors:
Samsung Electronics had supplied the AP [application processor] to Apple since 2007 but lost the contract to supply 20 nano AP A8 chips to Apple to Taiwan’s TSMC last year when it was engaged in patent disputes with Apple. Samsung Electronics developed state-of-the-art 14 nano models ahead of its rival TSMC, regaining the order from Apple.
The TSMC report had indicated that their deal with Apple would be for three years, and would cover not only Apple’s future A8 chip but also A9/A9X chips. Samsung would reportedly remain Apple’s primary supplier throughout the time TSMC was ramping up production.
KED’s report doesn’t make clear if both TSMC and Samsung will be producing A9 chips for Apple, or if Apple will return to Samsung as its primary supplier.
Apple has been working in recent years to reduce its reliance on Samsung, as the two companies continue to battle it out in patent suits around the world.
Late last week, a report said that Apple has bought into a chip fabricating plant, with the eventual goal of producing its own chips. Such a move however would likely take years to ramp up.