Weighing in on recent reports, which suggest Apple could outsource the production of its A5 chip to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, ArsTechnica today reports that news of such a deal is “growing deafening”.
As we reported last week, Merrill Lynch analyst, Dan Heyler, revealed that he believes TSMC has a “good chance of winning orders ” for the chip. If the deal comes off though, it would reportedly not only see Apple switch the production of its A5 processing chip, (currently found in the iPad 2), from manufacturer Samsung, but also its rumored A6 chip, reportedly set to arrive with iPad 3.
While Apple continues to source components from Samsung for its mobile devices under contracts that were likely signed more than a year ago, Apple presented a huge pile of evidence that Samsung was attempting to copy at least some of the secret sauce that made its iPhone and iPad so successful. So Apple very likely sees moving production to a non-competitor as a strategic business move.
Dan Heyler, a semiconductor analyst with Merrill Lynch in Taipei, told the China-based Commercial Times newspaper on Friday that TSMC will most likely be producing “A6″ processors for Apple, a next-generation ARM-based design, in 2012. That jibes with what Ars has heard from a plugged-in source — that the chatter on the foundry grapevine about an impending Apple/TSMC deal is growing deafening.
While it is so far unclear if the recent legal disputes between both firms have had any impact on a decision such as this one, industry whispers now suggest Apple could be looking to move its at least its chip production away from Samsung.
Bad news for Samsung, as with 7.8 Billion in manufacturing and part contracts covering liquid crystal displays, mobile application processors and NAND flash memory chips for the both the iPhone and iPad, Apple is officially Samsung’s biggest customer, leaving Sony to play for second.[via MacRumors]