Apple to Seek TSMC for Chip Production, Trial Production Begins Early This Year

2 Jan

Even without putting things bluntly, Apple’s behavior in recent months has shown that it’d rather seek elsewhere than to continue to have a manufacturing reliance on Samsung. And from what various news sources are currently saying, the Cupertino company may have finally found the ideal replacement candidate for the production of its next-gen mobile chips: TSMC.


As the original report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times indicates, the Taiwan-based chip manufacturer has agreed to help Apple produce theA6X chips that are currently used in its 4th generation iPad. While the actual terms of the partnership have not exactly been clarified (nor confirmed by either company, for that matter), the belief is that an initial set of trial productions will commence during the first quarter of 2013, and that the 28nm manufacturing process, rather than 32nm processknown to be utilized by Samsung, will be used to manufacture the initial set of processors.

With the patent drama and competition between Apple and Samsung showing little signs of waning and growing more intense by the month, the Cupertino company’s gradual plans to split away from its rival isn’t all that surprising at this point. Looking at the actions of Apple and TSMC in the past few months, some have also rightfully predicted how the two would eventually become major partners within the industry. Not long ago, TSMC invested in ASML to strengthen its chip making technology, and reportedly contemplated about the possibilities of building another plant in the US, a gesture which, WSJ suggested, hinted at Apple being its future client. The Cupertino company’s interest in the Taiwan-based chip maker, likewise, was largely evident when the former reportedly tried—but failed— to gain exclusive “access” to its chips in exchange for a large investment amount.

As various news sources have recently suggested, TSMC’s role within Apple’s supply chain will only grow more crucial as the trial productions prove to be successful. The Taiwanese chip maker, according to 9to5mac, may begin making quad-core chips for a variety of Apple products, including the rumored Apple “iTV” and future lines of MacBooks. As stated by AppAdvice, TSMC will also be expected to produce chips for both the fifth generation iPad—which speculations say will utilize the A7 processor— and the second generation iPad mini. The A7 chip is expected by the Commercial Times to go into the initial production phase during the second half of 2013, should all else go well.

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