Although Apple is trying to reduce its business relations with arch-rival Samsung Electronics, it cannot completely avoid them. According to a new media report, the company has ordered manufacturing of its next-generation A8 application processors to Samsung Electronics in addition to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
ZDNet Korea reports that Samsung Electronics has already produced the first test batch of Apple A8 system-on-chips for next-generation iPhone and iPad devices at its leading-edge semiconductor fab in Austin, Texas, using 20nm process technology. The yields of chips produced using 20nm manufacturing process at Samsung’s factory is unknown, but it should not be significantly below TSMC’s 50 per cent.
It looks like with the A8 chip, Apple will have two supply sources, which should ensure that it gets enough application processors and on time to sell tens of millions of new iPads and iPhones this year. Theoretically, two sources also mean that Apple will enjoy more favourable pricing. At the same time, Apple will not completely depend on one supplier, which is good in general.
Apple, Samsung and TSMC did not comment on the news-story.
KitGuru Says: It looks like Apple will not only avoid any short supply of its next-gen A8 chips, but will get unprecedented amount of leading-edge processors from TSMC and Samsung. Does it mean that it will sell more next-gen iPhones and iPads? Only time will tell…