Feeds

Apple to drop chip-baking partnership with Samsung?

TSMC said to forge Apple's next-gen 20nm, quad-core ARM chips

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Apple is planning to shift production of its ARM-based microprocessors from Samsung to the Taiwanese chip-baking giant TSMC as early as next year, according to a report by the China Economic News Service (CENS).

The report, spotted by MacRumors, cites CitiGroup Global Markets analyst J.T. Hsu as saying that TSMC will be Apple's sole supplier of 20nm quad-core processors, with volume production to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013. He also noted that Apple began its 20nm chip-verfication process at TSMC in August of this year.

Hsu told CENS that the future quad-core chips were intended for Apple's "iPad, iTV and even Macbook," turning up the heat on two rumors that have been simmering for months: that Apple is planning a move into the television market, and that an ARM-based MacBook is in the works.

The television rumor has cooled in recent months, and the ARM-based MacBook rumor remains just that – a rumor – but Hsu's report of forthcoming quad-core Apple processors may provide one explanation as to why both of those projects have yet to see the light of day: Apple may be waiting until it can provide them with more oomph than it can squeeze from its current 32nm dual-core A6 processor, found in the iPhone 5, and its 45nm dual-core A5X, which powers the current iPad. Both are provided to Apple by Samsung.

When The Reg reported on Thursday that Apple had hired top Samsung microprocessor architect Jim Mergard to be one of Cupertino's growing chip-design team, we speculated that the growing bad blood between the Korean electronics giant and Cupertino might soon result in Apple taking its chip fabrication – currently done by Samsung – off to another foundry, possibly TSMC.

If Hsu is correct, it will turn out that we were right – although making that prediction was not exactly an act of perspicacious genius. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.