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Apple reportedly is working with TSMC to fab its A7 chip

Plans one final move away from Samsung
Thu Apr 11 2013, 11:35
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GADGET DESIGNER Apple reportedly will avoid asking Samsung to fab its upcoming A7 processor, opting instead for the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

Apple's legal battles with Samsung all over the world have led the firm to increasingly look at alternative suppliers for components such as displays. Now Korea Times is reporting that Apple is working with TSMC to fab its A7 chip, instead of bitter rival Samsung.

While Samsung has become increasingly known for its smartphones in recent years, the firm's electronics manufacturing is built on semiconductors and it is second only to Intel in market share. Therefore it is not surprising that Apple has been tapping Samsung's chip making facilities for years, but if the Korea Times' report is correct, it has finally been able to find the capacity it needs at TSMC.

According to the newspaper's source, Apple is sharing information with TSMC on its A7 chip to be fabbed on its 20nm process node. TSMC is known to be close to starting up its 20nm process node, with AMD having told The INQUIRER last week that it was waiting for TSMC's 20nm fab to come online. AMD has a long history of tapping TSMC to print its chips.

Despite Samsung's size in the semiconductor industry, TSMC is considered the gold standard as a customer-driven foundry, though last year it faced stiff criticism for being unable to meet demand on its 28nm process node. However the Taiwanese chipmaker apparently has sorted out supply issues that would be the main stumbling block to any deal with Apple. µ


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