Rumors circulate once again about the Taiwan-based company clinching majority of Apple’s order for A8 chips.
Apple and TSMC have been linked since 2012, but despite rumors Samsung has continued to be the sole provider of mobile chips to Cupertino. If the latest reports out of Taiwan are correct, then Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company may already have started producing the A8 chip for Apple.
The A8 chip, presumably a quad-core, is going to find its way into the mobile devices that the company is going to release later this year. All new iPhones, iPads and even the iPod touch are going to be powered by this chip, which is said to be based on the 20nm process. Last we heard about a deal between TSMC and Apple was back in January when it was said that the former is expediting the production of its 20nm process just so it could start fulfilling Apple’s order. Rumor has it that majority of the A8 chips will be supplied by TSMC whereas the rest will be sourced from Samsung.
It has been rumored multiple times that Apple wants to move its chip business away from Samsung. The popular belief is that Cupertino simply wants to do this as Samsung is its arch rival, both in court and the global mobile market. But that may just be a sensational headline. Its quite likely that Apple is diversifying its supply chain, not wanting to rely upon just one supplier. There have also been concerns about TSMC’s ability to handle the bulk of Apple’s order, which very well translates into millions and millions of mobile chips. In order to ensure that no demand supply gaps are created just because there’s a hold up in production, the logical thing for Apple would be to have two suppliers on hand, with orders split between them.
All mobile devices that Apple is expected to release this year aren’t expected at least until Q3, 2014. That means that if TSMC really has started production, it still has a lot of time to get chips ready before Apple starts selling millions of new iOS devices.