Apple's relationship with Samsung is the biggest oddity in the industry. Apple made Samsung contract-manufacture SoCs that run its iOS devices way back since 2007, and over the past couple of years, sought to reduce its dependency on the Korean electronics giant, due to the two companies' patent disputes. To that effect, Apple even announced that it would switch to Taiwan-based semiconductor foundries from 2014, and bought out a significant stake in UMC.
Apple seems to have come around to all that. The company now feels that it can't keep its SoCs competitive with those from the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung, or NVIDIA, without having access to high-volume cutting-edge foundry technologies such as the 14 nanometer FinFET process at Samsung, which will read bulk capacity by 2015. According to a report by a Korean business newspaper, Apple's SoCs in 2015 will be built on Samsung's 14 nm FinFET process. The report throws up many unanswered questions, notably why not bank on TSMC's or GlobalFoundries' 14 nm FinFET nodes, and why the recent purchase into UMC?
|Topics||Samsung, Apple, TSMC, A6X, UMC, Globalfoundries|