The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to produce A-series chips for Apple’s iOS devices. TSMC will begin producing the chips, featuring 20-nanometer technology, starting in early 2014.
This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple’s speed and power standards, TSMC officials said.
The two companies have been discussing such an arrangement since 2010, with serious discussions taking place as early as 2011.
TSMX executives said Apple had asked to either invest in the company, or for TSMC to set aside a factory exclusively for Apple chips The executives said they denied Apple on both counts, as they wanted to keep their company’s independence and flexibility intact.
Samsung has been the exclusive fabricator of A-series chips for Apple’s iOS devices, but as the rivalry between the two electronics giants becomes more bitter, Apple is increasingly looking for ways to wean itself from any dependence on Samsung for their components.
Samsung would unquestionably like to keep Apple as a customer, as an estimated $10 billion of Samsung’s reported $59 billion in component sales comes from the iOS device maker.