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Apple Planning to Make A6 Processor at TSMC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 38 comments

Apple changing fabs?

Despite being tangled in a rather tense legal battle right now, Apple and Samsung are still partners in the chip manufacturing business. Apple orders a huge amount of A4 and A5 chips for iPhone, iPod and iPad products, and Samsung builds them.

It may seen rather odd that Samsung is lending a hand to Apple, a big competitor in the personal device space, but the South Korean company is still pocketing some money regardless whether a customer buys an iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The word in the industry right now is that Apple is seeking another manufacturing partner for the next-generation ARM chip that's believed to be called the A6. Reuters reports that Taiwan's massive TSMC, which has likely made at least one of the chips inside your gaming desktop, is currently in trial production of the A6 for Apple.

If the yields come back to Apple's satisfaction, then Samsung may no longer be privy to Apple's CPU. Of course, analysts predict that Samsung will do everything in its power to extend its contract with Apple – perhaps by entering into a bidding war against TSMC.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    torque79 , July 25, 2011 3:38 PM
    It's convenient to blame leftists and democrats for the loss of manufacturing in NA. The reasons unions started is because everyone wanted a reasonable share of a company's profit for their hard work. In principle that sounds pretty reasonable. The reality is the company's purpose is to make money, so it's cheaper to manufacture in a place where the employee costs less (Korea, Taiwan, China, etc). People love to blame the evil union, but if YOU were employed by x manufacturing company, I guarantee you would be screaming for top dollar, just as I'm sure you do at whatever employment you have right now. Because we all do this (demand top salary, demand cheapest goods), it's impossible to do both in the same country. In the past people were far more dedicated to "buying American" and willing to save up and pay more for a quality product that lasted a long time, with an excellent warranty and service. Now our true nature as greedy self-serving creatures has re-asserted itself on such a scale that there's no turning back.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 25, 2011 6:29 AM
    Well that's to be expected. It seems like Apple is intent on further suing Samsung, so to be relying on Samsung only would spell disaster for them if Samsung ever decides to halt shipment.
  • 0 Hide
    henydiah , July 25, 2011 7:10 AM
    TSCM seems to be new hope after the issue, and Samsung certainly will not stay silent lho
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 25, 2011 7:30 AM
    I wonder how Apple coming into the picture will change TSMC. Will they get better ... or worse?
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , July 25, 2011 7:45 AM
    Samsung will do anything in their power ? like sueing them ?
  • 8 Hide
    wintermint , July 25, 2011 8:08 AM
    spentshellsSamsung will do anything in their power ? like sueing them ?


    Only Apple been trying to sue everybodys' asses off: HTC, Samsung, etc.
  • 4 Hide
    stingstang , July 25, 2011 12:37 PM
    ReggieRayToo bad we can have some chip plants in the US. Oh thats right, the leftists in the EPA would over regulate every detail of the plant (Fascism) and the politicians on the left (Democrats) would want to tax them to death. Then the blood sucking unions (more Democrats) would move in and suck it dry until it went bankrupt.Never mind, your better off overseas.

    No one's ever going to argue with you that shipping business overseas won't be cheaper. Don't have to start generalizing political parties and accuse them of ruining our economy.
  • 6 Hide
    BSMonitor , July 25, 2011 12:55 PM
    Quote:
    No one's ever going to argue with you that shipping business overseas won't be cheaper. Don't have to start generalizing political parties and accuse them of ruining our economy.


    Right, no one needs to generalize about it, there are plenty of specific examples of how the political party wars have ruined our economy.
  • 2 Hide
    ansemx324 , July 25, 2011 1:16 PM
    ReggieRay, you troller you. Lets see how fast people can make this whole article a political battle instead. Ready...go!
  • -5 Hide
    papaswedine , July 25, 2011 1:23 PM
    waka waka
  • 8 Hide
    lamorpa , July 25, 2011 1:31 PM
    BSMonitorRight, no one needs to generalize about it, there are plenty of specific examples of how the political party wars have ruined our economy.

    Yeah. We've got to stop people in power from appointing our senators and congresspeople. Oh, wait a minute, I think they are there by popular vote..
  • -3 Hide
    coldmast , July 25, 2011 2:12 PM
    AMD already claimed A6 and A8
  • 1 Hide
    ericburnby , July 25, 2011 2:56 PM
    I bet the guys over at the Semiconductor division are pissed off at the guys in the Cell Phone division, since their "copying" of Apple (and pissing Apple off) is going to cost them $7.8 billion in yearly sales of components Apple buys from them.

    Of course, whether Samsung really copied Apple is up for debate, however the bottom line isn't. Apple thinks they did and is acting accordingly, costing Samsung billions in sales and giving those billions to a competitor.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 25, 2011 3:01 PM
    lamorpaYeah. We've got to stop people in power from appointing our senators and congresspeople. Oh, wait a minute, I think they are there by popular vote..

    Just because they got voted in by the public does not mean they are intelligent, capable or have your best interests at heart.

    The public don't vote for the CEO of Apple, IBM or Microsoft, is there anything more American than those 3 companies?
  • 12 Hide
    torque79 , July 25, 2011 3:38 PM
    It's convenient to blame leftists and democrats for the loss of manufacturing in NA. The reasons unions started is because everyone wanted a reasonable share of a company's profit for their hard work. In principle that sounds pretty reasonable. The reality is the company's purpose is to make money, so it's cheaper to manufacture in a place where the employee costs less (Korea, Taiwan, China, etc). People love to blame the evil union, but if YOU were employed by x manufacturing company, I guarantee you would be screaming for top dollar, just as I'm sure you do at whatever employment you have right now. Because we all do this (demand top salary, demand cheapest goods), it's impossible to do both in the same country. In the past people were far more dedicated to "buying American" and willing to save up and pay more for a quality product that lasted a long time, with an excellent warranty and service. Now our true nature as greedy self-serving creatures has re-asserted itself on such a scale that there's no turning back.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 25, 2011 4:12 PM
    torque79In the past people were far more dedicated to "buying American" and willing to save up and pay more for a quality product that lasted a long time, with an excellent warranty and service. Now our true nature as greedy self-serving creatures has re-asserted itself on such a scale that there's no turning back.

    Please note that quality products that last a long time, with excellent warranty and service also come from China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, etc etc etc.

    Apart from being "Made in the USA" what other factors come into play?
    We have now discounted quality, service and price - what is left?

    The problem is as soon as you start to say "Forget price, just buy American", you are already being slightly Communist, you really can't have it both ways.

    If your country runs on a market economy, as soon as you hit the international scene they all do the same so you have to compete on a level playing field. Typical American workers demand a higher standard of living, higher pay, longer holidays, bigger pensions, cheap food, cheap gas, instant credit, dry cleaning, a hooker on speed dial and the god-given right to rule the world.

    Face it, there is someone a few thousand miles away that is prepared to take a few percent less than you to get the business in a totally cut-throat global market economy. Either compete or die.
  • 4 Hide
    pale paladin , July 25, 2011 4:12 PM
    I'm sorry to jump on the Politics bandwagon, but,

    Greed is what keeps manufacturing overseas. Business owners and executives are greedy and care only for themselves. On the other hand, workers who believe that menial labor somehow constitutes the right to exceptional wages and protections are out of their minds as well. WELCOME TO CAPITALISM AT IT'S BEST. The hard thing to weigh is this. If you want a fair and even distribution of wealth, go to a different country. If you want the opportunity to make yourself one of the powerful and elite: come to America. Don't blame bipartisanism and American democracy. Politicians are cut from the same cloth as the Elite business owners who care only for their own wealth and status.

    It is human to strive to be better, It is American to strive to have more than anyone else. get over it.
  • 2 Hide
    DjEaZy , July 25, 2011 4:15 PM
    ... money talk's...
  • 4 Hide
    jungleboogiemonster , July 25, 2011 4:38 PM
    About the comment about leftists keeping chip manufacturers out of America. The OP should read up on comments Intel made in the last year complaining that the US doesn't subsidize chip manufacturing. Chip manufacturing is going strong in Asian countries because their government's do subsidize it. Something the Right in the US won't do, meaning US companies can't compete with the Asians.
  • 9 Hide
    JamesSneed , July 25, 2011 5:35 PM
    Quote:
    Too bad we can have some chip plants in the US. Oh thats right, the leftists in the EPA would over regulate every detail of the plant (Fascism) and the politicians on the left (Democrats) would want to tax them to death. Then the blood sucking unions (more Democrats) would move in and suck it dry until it went bankrupt.
    Never mind, your better off overseas.


    What do you mean we can't have semiconductor plants in the US? We have plenty here in the US.

    http://www.10stripe.com/featured/map/semiconductor-fabs.php

    Typical tea party Republican. Spewing hate for the Democrats with a load of BS to back it up. I do not associate myself with a party because doing so is moronic as I'm an American not a Democrat or Republican.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 25, 2011 5:35 PM
    @ericburnby

    here's a funny thing, how many good semiconductor fabs do you think is out there they can make the A6 package with decent enough yields, why do you think Apple had to go to Samsung in the first place. TSMC is so damn good that AMD and nVidia is still singing their praise after the 32nm transition, but then again ive been told that the iPad/iPhone is magically and could probably work without a CPU anyways
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