Apple Ends Chip Production Deal With Samsung

Samsung HQ

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Based on a new report, it appears that the relationship between Apple and Samsung is coming to an end. That’s because the Cupertino-based company is getting serious about cutting its ties with its fierce competitor.

One-dimensional Apple and Samsung Relationship

Although Apple relies on Samsung when it comes to manufacturing their mobile processors, an unnamed senior official from the Korean tech giant made it clear that the iPhone maker will no longer use its technology. The relationship between both companies is “now about to become one-dimensional.”

There are three types of chip clients. Some want us to handle everything from chip design, architecture, and manufacturing. Some want us to just design and manufacture. Some wants us to just make chips. Apple is now the third type.

Apple did not collaborate with Samsung during the development of the A6 processor for the iPhone 5. However, both companies work together in designing earlier processors for previous iPhone models. The A6 processor marks the first time that the iPhone maker designed its own ARMv7 core.

Moving Away from Samsung

Details that Apple is getting serious about moving its chip production away from Samsung surfaced last week. It was reported that the iPhone maker hired Samsung’s former chip designer Jim Mergard. Before becoming a chip designer at the South Korean company, Mergard also designed and developed chip for Advance Micro Devices for 16 years.

He is known for designing the high-profile AMD processor known as “Brazos.” The processor is meant to be used by low-end laptops. According to AMD Executive Patrick Moorhead, Mergard is an expert in both PC technology and chip systems. In fact, his chip system was used as architecture for Apple’s A-series mobile processors.

There were also reports last week that states that Apple has plans to build its future chips with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. If the rumors are true, TSMC would be building quad-core, 20-nanometer chips for Apple as early as next year.

According to J.T. Hsu of Citigroup Global Markets, the quad-core chips are most likely to be used for the future iPad, MacBook, and rumored Apple TV. The research fellow even cited Apple’s decision to adopt the 20-nanometer process on its new products, while TSMC has incomparable technological capabilities in manufacturing 20-nanometer processors.

However, Hsu indicated that the iPhone will continue using a dual-core chip due to power consumption issues. On the other hand, that move would take away a key component from Samsung.

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