Apple has long and oft been rumored to be looking to other companies for the making of its custom silicon chips that are found in its iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices; the newest of which is the A7 and includes an M7 coprocessor. Well, according to a report from Times Union, a company that is now being contracted to possibly make some of these mobile chipsets could be GlobalFoundries; with an unexpected assister: Samsung. The report states that the chips would be made in Malta, New York at the company’s “Fab 8” plant, and that Samsung would assist in preparing the company to properly build the chips.
Samsung Electronics, which currently makes the logic microprocessors used in Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad devices at its Austin, Texas fab, will help with the start-up of the Apple program, ensuring that Apple will have a second U.S. source for chips for the popular smart phones and tablets. Logic chips are the workhorse chips that are essentially the brains of a smart phone… It’s unclear if GlobalFoundries will be making the chips with Samsung as the customer on behalf of Apple, or if Apple will be the direct customer, with Samsung helping set up the operation to mirror what it does in Austin. Either way, Apple will be the ultimate customer.
Apple, as I stated, has long been looking to other companies as a way to try and wane off its reliance of the South Korean company. Samsung has been providing chips for Apple’s mobile devices for quite some, and after the past few years of legal disputes between the companies, Apple has been slowly trying to cut the ties that it has with its “enemy.” One rumor that has been going around for a long time is one that says Apple was in talks with TSMC to take over the chipset production for Apple, however nothing so far has become of that. Apple could be talking to GlobalFoundries as either a backup, or to help keep production going smoothly by having more supply. Who knows.
What do you think? Who will Apple get to make chips? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.