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Analyst: Intel in Talks to Build ARM Chips for Apple

Intel is reportedly in talks with Apple to take over Samsung's role to manufacture iPad and iPhone processors. Even if Apple is not using Intel's x86 CPUs in its mobile products, it would be an attractive deal for Intel to fill the capacity in its own fabs and take away business from its most significant chip manufacturing rival in the market.

Such a relationship could build on the existing product relationship between Intel and Apple, in which Intel has earned Apple's trust as a reliable processor supplier. While it would be a big step for Intel to support the production of ARM processors, Intel has recently expanded its options as a foundry by agreeing to build chips for Netronome, Tabula and Achronix. The addition of Apple's processors would add more than 100 million processor units per year to Intel's output.

According to Freedman, Apple's demand could reach 415,000 12-inch wafers, each generating revenue of about $5,000. It's unlikely that Intel would turn down a $2 billion per year business opportunity.

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