Apple Reportedly Signs Deal with Samsung for 14-nm A9 Chips Starting in 2015

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Korea Economic Daily reports that Apple and Samsung today officially signed an agreement that will see the two companies working together on future A-series chips for Apple's iOS devices, with the deal specifically covering A9 chips based on a 14-nanometer process node starting in 2015. The claim comes just weeks after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) confirmed a deal with Apple to begin producing A-series chips in 2014.
    A previous report about Apple's agreement with TSMC had indicated that it was a three-year deal covering not only Apple's future A8 chip but also A9/A9X chips. The Wall Street Journal's report had indicated that Samsung would remain Apple's primary supplier through next year as TSMC began ramping up its production.

    As a result, it is unclear whether today's deal will see both TSMC and Samsung producing A9 chips for Apple or if Apple has already shifted gears to return to Samsung as its primary supplier as part of its long-term roadmap.

    Apple has reportedly been seeking to reduce its reliance on Samsung as a component supplier as the two companies have become fierce rivals in both the mobile marketplace and in the courtroom. The two companies have, however, continued working together in several areas, particularly where Samsung's competitors in the component market are unable to match its technology, production capacity, or pricing.

    The shift to TSMC for production of the high-profile main chips for Apple's iOS devices had been viewed as breaking one of the most significant remaining ties between Apple and Samsung, but it appears that Samsung has been able to bring Apple back into the fold by leading the charge to 14-nm chips. With partnerships with both Samsung and TSMC, it appears that Apple should be well-positioned to take advantage of whichever company takes the lead in developing the latest technologies.

    Late last week, it was reported that Apple had bought into a fab, perhaps with an eventual goal of producing its own chips for its mobile devices, although any such move is almost certainly years away given the need to ramp up expertise and facilities for such production.

    Article Link: Apple Reportedly Signs Deal with Samsung for 14-nm A9 Chips Starting in 2015
  2. Dreamer2go macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" I guess...
  3. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009

    It appears that Apple will be using TSMC, Samsung and Global Foundries (the latter - according to CNET) to produce chips. Something is messed up here. Perhaps Apple is just pretending to negotiate with all semi foundries (and this list pretty much includes all foundries in the World, there are some smaller one out there but those are out of the question anyways) trying to improve their negotiating position.
  4. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    This is smart. They know TSMC is no where near ready for the amount of chips Apple requires.

    Keep using Sammy until TSMC is full grown. Sounds good to me.
  5. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
  6. AppleVsAndroid macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2012
    Keep on signing the new deals and kick them out when there is a sound option! There is no need to showoff or speculate unless you are ready!!!
  7. HobeSoundDarryl, Jul 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    I speculate that TSMC just can't do it as well as Samsung. Apple tried and TSMC disappoints. So Apple goes back to the company that can do what they need.

    It's not that hard to imagine an event where Samsung is showing working prototypes at 14nm and TSMC is having trouble with the next generation's stuff (and is not even really close to dealing with 14). Maybe the rumor of Apple buying a FAB is related to such a disappointment and Apple doing a "if you want something done right..."?

    NO particular love here for Samsung but they are quite good at what they do (existing Apple stuff built with Samsung hardware works very well). TSMC? Every time I hear about Apple & TSMC, I wonder if the TSMC generation of Apple hardware will have beta- or alpha-testing experiences on huge scales. Hopefully not, but I'd personally rather have Samsung hardware underpinning new Apple gear than "plan B". If the latter, I hope they positively surprise vs. my own expectations.
  8. Amacfa macrumors 65816


    May 22, 2009
    Probably because with the low cost iPhone they are going to be pushing more volume.

    TMSC for the cheaper iphone
    Sammy for the Premium

    Now which one will sell more, that is the question.
  9. PrayForDeath macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2012
  10. HangmanSwingset macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2011
    Everett, WA
    Apple probably guesses 2015 is the year people realize Samsung's phones suck, and this will be their way of keeping them afloat as they sit there and watch Sammy suffer.
  11. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Companies are not people. Stop assigning them feelings as if they have temperaments like one.
  12. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Apple has way too much interest and dealings with chip manufacturers lately. Something's amiss. It Seems like they are loading up on capacity. But for what? What is it they think will drive demand to such an extent that they need all these firms cranking out chips.
  13. theOtherGeoff macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    no... more "Business.... Always Business"

    The contracts are tighter now, the competition with TMSC is there now... Samsung needs high volume customers.... Apple needs sub 15nm etching.

    It's 20 months away... 3 generations of chips away (new generation this fall, another new generation next year... it's over the horizon for everyone but those that don't buy state of the art... but those who _DEFINE_ state of the art.)

    If true, it's just a realization that Intel won't etch someone else's chips at their level, TMSC is not getting up to speed for the next generation.... and Samsung's VP of Fab came crying to Apple and said... "HELP me make my bonus!!!!"
  14. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    If this story is true about Apple signing a new deal with Samsung, then I'd say Apple needs Samsung more than Samsung needs Apple.

    My guess is Apple realized TSMC couldn't meet Apple's demands/needs/requirements for the A chips and realized they better have Samsung pick up the slack.
  15. theOtherGeoff macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    My simple assessment is that you'll start to need a hex+ core SoC (4 CPUs 2 GPUs) to power a fully voice controlled iPad with Retina (local heuristics). If you need that kind of compute power, at 14 hours battery life... you too will have a lot of interest in chip manufacturing... as they are the limiting factor for what you can do.

    iOS, Android, and Win8 are now competing for the fastest response time possible.
  16. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    Whoa, either Apple was looking for a better deal with Samsung or Apple wants to have TSMC manufacture the low-end chips and have Samsung handle it's next gen. chips.
  17. Christian 5G macrumors 6502a

    Christian 5G

    Jun 16, 2010
    Orange County, CA
  18. YesILoveTech macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2010
    What in the delusional fanboy hell did I just read? LOL!!! Dude at the end of the day Apple made a business decision in their best interest and it just so happened to be with Samsung. That's it and that's that. Gosh these explanations are so entertaining.


    Apple and Samsung are successful companies that have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship. Yes they are competitors and marketing will tout their respective products as superior to their counterparts...but at the end of the day you better believe there is a level of respect between the two...fanboys/girls are just too emotionally invested to realize this.
  19. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    So are the A4, A5, and A6 chips in your iOS devices.


  20. iapplelove macrumors 68040


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    Apple caved . But I would have too it was the right choice for right now.
  21. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    Well then you better go put on your Apple cape and go fight the evil galactic empire!

    What are you waiting for go!!!!!!!!!! Apple's under attack!!!!!!!!!!!

    YouTube: video
  22. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    That's possible, but I think they are secretly working together and pretend to fight for appearances.
  23. iapplelove macrumors 68040


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    They are definitely not working together . This is just business that's it.
  24. macs4nw macrumors 601


    A sensible strategy. Business is business. Leave emotions out of it, and procure the best possible components.
  25. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
    As long as Apple produces the best product it matters not one whit who they use. And the Apple fan should be happy that Apple as a company does not have a fragile ego. What's the point of going thermonuclear if it results in Mutual Assured Destruction

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