The reports of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) being the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A8 chip might not be entirely accurate and well founded, a recent article from ZDNet (Korea) suggests.
Citing unnamed sources from the industry, the article claims that the Cupertino giant will be relying on both Samsung and TSMC for the manufacturing of its next gen iPhone and iPad’s processor, and asserts that the Korean company has already reached an agreement with Apple to mass produce the A8 chip at its Texas, Austin plant.
This somewhat goes against all that’s been said about TSMC lately, which is that the Taiwanese company has managed secure the “entire” A8 chip orders given the superiority of its 20nm production yield over Samsung’s. One possible reason why Apple might still want to divide the work between TSMC and Samsung could be that the former’s 20nm yield rate—currently at 60%—isn’t improving at a pace that the Cupertino company finds satisfactory. This makes sense considering the massive production demand that would be expected for the iPhone 6 and future iPad devices.
Another possibility, as stated by ZDNet, is that Samsung has never really experienced any major problems with its 20nm production to begin with. ZDNet’s sources have notably gone on the record accusing early reports of Samsung’s “manufacturing issues” as being “over exaggerated,” Apple rumor site Macrumors said.