TSMC Could Secure Contract to Build 20 nm Chips for Apple

Indications are, Taiwan's biggest contract manufacturer of complex semiconductor devices, TSMC, could bag a deal with Apple, which sees the company manufacture next-generation systems-on-chip (SoC) for the latter, on its spanking new 20 nanometer silicon fab process. Apple's high-volume iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, each use in-house design A-series SoCs, which were previously made by Korean foundry Samsung, before it had disagreements with the Cupertino-based company. The report by Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes comes hot on the heels of Apple striking a deal with Unimicron post its fallout with Samsung.

To prove its credentials as a company that, for example, makes 4+ billion-transistor devices for the likes of AMD and NVIDIA, TSMC is reportedly working on engineering samples of Apple's SoCs on the current 28 nm process, although Apple's first orders for these chips are unlikely to materialize in the greater part of this year.

TSMC could achieve 20 nm bulk-manufacturing capabilities by the end of 2013, followed by a new 16 nm FinFET node.