APPLE HAS CUT DRAM and NAND memory module orders from its mobile devices arch-rival Samsung as it tries to move away sourcing most of its parts from its biggest competitor.
As Apple's lawyers do battle with Samsung in courtrooms around the world, the relationship between the two companies is complicated by the fact that Apple needs Samsung's memory chips and fabs, while Apple remains Samsung's largest single customer. Now reports are emerging that Apple has shifted its DRAM and NAND memory orders away from Samsung as it tries to diversify from a single source of silicon.
Apple has tapped SK Hynix and Elpida to supply it with memory modules for its upcoming Iphone 5. According to Reuters' source, Apple has kept Samsung as a supplier for the memory in the Iphone 5 though it didn't elaborate further. It is very likely Apple is still using Samsung as a wafer baker for its A series of system-on-chip (SoC) processors.
Reuters' source said, "Samsung is still in the list of initial memory chip suppliers [for new Iphones]. But Apple orders have been trending down and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung's handset business."
SK Hynix is the second largest DRAM manufacturer behind Samsung and that makes it an obvious candidate to replace Samsung. Elpida however is in the midst of bankruptcy, with shareholders arguing over whether Micron's bid to buy the firm offers a high enough price.
Apple has strongly hinted that it is looking move business away from Samsung, if for no other reason than to ensure resilience in its supply chain. Apple has also been under a bit of pressure to source more components within the US, and should Micron complete its purchase of Elpida, that shift of ownership could sit well with both firms' supporters. µ
Uses 20 percent less power than traditional systems
It's becoming more prevalent in car research and development
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ