The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is reportedly in the running to fab Apple’s next-gen ARM-based processors, which include the indigenously designed A6 and A7 chips.
Indeed, TSMC may have already signed a foundry agreement with Cupertino to build chips based on its 28-nanometer and 20-nanometer process technologies.
Additional reports indicate that TSMC recently kicked off trial production of next-gen Apple mobile chips last July.
Nevertheless, despite a number of rumored moves towards TSMC, Cupertino’s primary chip supplier remains Samsung – at least for now.
As AppleInsider’s Slash Lane notes, rumors have long suggested that Apple is seeking a closer alliance with TSMC in an effort to move away from Samsung, as both companies are currently embroiled in a number of patent-related lawsuits.
Nonetheless, Samsung is still one of Apple’s primary suppliers for ARM CPUs, flash memory and LCD displays.
As such, it comes as little surprise that Apple is showing signs of moving slowly away from Samsung, which seems to have been illustrated by Cupertino’s decision to select TSMC to manufacture power management integrated circuits for future iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
Of course, TSMC already provides iPhone and iPad chips via foundry services for Broadcom, CSR, Cirrus Logic and Qualcomm. But, as mentioned above, the latest deal will see the Taiwanese-based company securing orders from Dialog Semiconductor to build advanced power management chips for Apple’s iOS devices.
To be sure, TSMC and Dialog recently signed a joint venture for the design of new bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) technology, which is expected to arrive in time for Apple’s iPhone 5 this fall.