Feeds

TSMC sole supplier of Apple's A8? NO WAY, says Samsung, US TOO

Chaebol quashes rumors it will stop fabbing 'iPhone 6' silicon

Security for virtualized datacentres

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may not have the exclusive contract to fab Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A8, after all, as had previously been suggested.

Last week, China's Commercial Times reported that TSMC had ramped up production of the new chip and that it would replace Apple's erstwhile semiconductor partner, Samsung, as the sole supplier of processors for the next Cupertinian smartphone.

But a new report suggests Apple is planning to use chips produced by both companies and that Samsung may not be far behind TSMC in bringing the A8 chip to market.

In fact, industry sources claim Samsung is now in the final testing phases before it begins mass producing the chips at its fab in Austin, Texas, where it has manufactured previous A-series chips for Apple.

The delays have reportedly been due to difficulties the South Korean firm has had getting sufficient production yields from the 20-nanometre process that the A8 design requires. TSMC seems to have had more success with its own 20nm process, leading to rumors that it would handle Apple's entire order.

But a source told ZDNet Korea on Monday that the previously reported problems at Samsung's fab were "exaggerated" and that the South Korean firm was on track to begin mass production of the A8 in time to meet Apple's needs.

Rumors that Apple will drop Samsung for some other chip-baking partner are perennial favorites among gossipy fanbois. Yet while there's no love lost between the two companies' smartphone divisions, Apple so far seems content to let its Korean rival bake its custom silicon.

Exactly what will be inside the A8 package is not known, since Apple tends to be secretive about its processor designs. But an earlier report suggested that the system-on-a-chip A8 would feature a quad-core 64-bit ARM-compatible application processor (as opposed to the dual-core CPU found in the A7), plus a "quad core" GPU, which we suspect might be Imagination Technologies' PowerVR GX6450 in four-cluster configuration.

Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone in the third quarter of 2014, and that both Samsung and TSMC should be running at full production yields on the A8 by the second quarter. In keeping with its habit, Apple itself has announced no details of its forthcoming products. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.