Yesterday saw a report from The Times Union claiming Apple would soon begin A-series chip production at semiconductor maker GlobalFoundries factory in upstate New York. Samsung was said to be helping to set up the facility.
AllThingsD now shares a bit more information on the arrangement, noting that Samsung will remain the primary manufacturer of Apple’s A-series chips, with a GlobalFoundries facility to be used as a secondary factory on an “as needed” basis when Samsung’s Austin, Texas facilities are unable to meet demand from both Apple and Samsung’s own handset division.
Sources tell AllThingsD that it looks as if Samsung will be using GlobalFoundries for what is known as “flex capacity.” This is a practice well known in the industry where a chip manufacturer pays to use another company’s facilities when demand is running high on their own factories. In other words, the added capacity for chip production is there when they need it.
GlobalFoundries will be basically hired by Samsung as a subcontractor, and the Korean firm will continue to manage the relationship with Apple. All of this would happen with Apple’s blessing.
Apple has long been reported to be attempting to move away from rival Samsung as a supplier, and a report earlier this year claimed Apple had indeed signed a deal with with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to begin producing A-series chips, however Samsung continues to remain involved heavily in Apple’s A-series chips, the latest of which is the A7 found in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini.