Apple’s long standing rivalry from Samsung hasn’t ended their professional relationship which involves Samsung making chips for the renowned A series of chips based on ARM (A4, A5, A5X etc). Expectedly, Apple has been eagerly wanting to shy away from Samsung and look towards other chip makers to fulfill its demands. And TSMC was one such manufacturer said to be in the running to take over the reins from Samsung. And now it is being reported that the switch could be made sooner than we all expected.
TSMC makes its chips using the 20 nanometer process which is much more efficient than Samsung made chips, so the switch in manufacturers seems like a viable option for more than one reason. The early rumors claimed that the switch would be made in late 2013 so as to accommodate for iOS devices launching in 2014. But according to a report generating from Taipei Times, Credit Suisse analysts have apparently mentioned that Apple is in full motion to switch chip makers as early as in Q2 2013, which aligns well with the next iPhone launch. However, the chip used here would be made with the 28 nanometer process and not 20nm as previously rumored.
It was reported that Apple was in the running with Qualcomm to get an exclusive chip making deal with TSMC, which apparently failed as TSMC wanted to be more open. This new report, if true, could mean that Apple will finally shy away from Samsung as its professional partner which I’m sure is what the company wants. No doubt, Samsung will be deeply hit by this as Apple is one of its biggest consumers accounting for millions of its revenue. TSMC chips have been claimed to be more efficient as well, which could mean better cost to performance ratio as well as lesser battery consumption.
All of this is hypothetical for now of course, and we would like to see Apple’s approach in the coming months. There’s possibly no iPad launching this March as the model was just refreshed, but we could all be surprised. Barring that, the next major device announcement from Apple would have to be the next gen iPhone. So going by the report, we should see a faster and efficient TSMC made chip in the next iPhone. Is Apple headed in the right direction? It probably is.