Feeds

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

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.