Apple chip partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, (TSMC), posted record profits for Q4 2014. The company’s financial picture was almost certainly improved by having grabbed around 60% of the orders for Apple’s A8 processor, used in the new iPhone 6/6 Plus and iPad Air 2.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker by revenue, said Thursday that net profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 was 79.99 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$2.51 billion), up from NT$44.81 billion a year earlier.
TSMC’s ability to use a 20-nanometer fabrication process allowed Apple to look to the company to reduce their reliance on Samsung for the A8 chip. The chip maker says it plans to invest even more in advanced chip-making technology in 2015, upping its capital expenditure to $11.5 – $12 billion, up from $9.53 billion in 2014.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said yesterday that he expects TSMC to take over the entire production run of the A9X chip, which is expected to be used in the next-generation of Apple’s popular iPad, as well as production of all A10 chips used in the “iPhone 7.” Kuo also believes the company will make all the S2 chips for a second-generation Apple Watch.