February 4

February 3

January 26

Korean news site MK Business News (via Reuters) is reporting that Samsung will make 75% of the A9 chip for the next iPhone. This matches an earlier detailed prediction by KGI Research, which stated that the balance of the chips would be made by Global Foundry, and is in line with a statement by Samsung which last year confirmed it as a major supplier of the new chip.

The Samsung-fabbed chips will, says the report, be made in the USA …  expand full story


January 16

As we reported earlier this week, often reliable KGI is predicting that Apple will bring its in-house designed A-series processor to an entry-level Mac sometime in 2016 with TSMC and Samsung expected to fab the potential A9X and A10X chips, respectively. As the move to put non-Intel chips in the Mac lineup would be a departure for the company, CNBC asked Intel CEO Brian Krzanich about the chip-maker’s business plans with Apple… expand full story

January 14


Is an A-series chip destined for a future model of the 12-inch MacBook Air?

A KGI report predicts that Apple will begin using its own processors for Macs “in the next 1-2 years,” with a specific prediction of a Samsung-fabbed A10X chip powering at least one Mac made in 2016. The wording appears to suggest an entry-level machine–possibly a future model of the 12-inch MacBook Air.

Apple may launch Mac products that use own AP [Application Processor] in next 1-2 years. This prediction is based on the assumption that Apple’s self-developed AP performs at a level between Intel’s Atom and Core i3 and is good enough for Mac. Using self developed AP can help Apple better control the timing of Mac launches and Mac product features.

With performance between an Atom and Core i3, the chip would not be suitable for mid- to high-end Macs.

An accompanying table (below) shows an A10X chip made with a 10-nanometer process to be made by Samsung at some point during 2016 …

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December 12, 2014

Production by Samsung of the A9 chip destined for next year’s iPhones and iPads is underway, according to a report in Korea’s Electronic Times.

According to industry insiders on December 11, Samsung Electronics began production of Apple’s A9 in the Austin plant in the US using the 14nm FinFET technology. Samsung has production lines capable of FinFET process production in Austin, US and Giheung, Korea, but began to produce A9 only in Austin as it is in the initial stage.

It had been reported back in July that Samsung had received some orders for the chips, which the company effectively confirmed in October when the president of the company’s chip-making division said that profits would improve once it began supplying its latest-generation chips to Apple …

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November 19, 2014

In the aftermath of GT Advanced filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the sapphire maker reached a $439 million settlement with Apple in which the supplier will repay the iPhone maker up to $290,000 per furnace sold. GT Advanced creditors aren’t happy with the proposed settlement, however, arguing that the sapphire company may have received too little in the deal. expand full story

November 17, 2014

Korea Times is claiming that a deal has been struck with Apple for Samsung to supply 80% of the chips for next year’s iPhones and iPads, with TSMC picking up the balance of orders.

Samsung Electronics agreed with Apple to produce application processors (APs) from next year for iPhones and iPads, sources said Monday.

The agreement means Samsung will become a primary supplier of APs to Apple, pushing its chief Taiwanese rival TSMC back to second place. From 2016, the company will supply 80 percent of APs used in Apple devices, and TSMC the remainder.

The paper suggests that Samsung will split production of the A9 chip across its Korean and Texas plants, partnering with New York-based GlobalFoundries for additional capacity …
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October 11, 2014

Ahead of next Thursday’s Apple event, new images purportedly showing parts for the new, full-sized iPad have emerged. Photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw show a full logic board for the new iPad Air as well as parts for the new Home button, glass screen cover, and audio control components. At first glance, the new iPad Air logic board does not reveal too much new, but adjusting the colors of the image shows a fairly unexpected addition: an A8X system-on-a-chip:

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October 2, 2014

At a press conference, ZDNet says that Samsung president of the company’s semiconductor arm is looking forward to reversing its profit forecasts when it starts producing chips for Apple using its next-generation technology.

Kim Ki-nam, president of the Korean electronic giant’s semiconductor business and head of System LSI business, told reporters at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul that once the company begins to supply Apple with chips using its latest technology, profits “will improve positively”.

Samsung is expected to start producing application processors (APs) for clients such as Apple, Qualcomm, and AMD, using its 14-nanometre process around the end of the year.

Effectively, Samsung has all but confirmed that it is signed up to manufacture Apple’s next-generation SoC for iPhones and iPads, likely named ‘A9’, probably using a 14 nanometer process. The current A8 chip is produced using 20 nanometer fabrication, with most orders being taken by TSMC.

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July 10, 2014

July 1, 2014

May 12, 2014

The court battles between the two companies doesn’t seem to have harmed Samsung’s position as a key supplier of components to Apple. DisplaySearch figures show that Apple switched from LG to Samsung as the primary supplier of its display panels for iPad Air and iPad with Retina display last quarter, reports CNET.

Samsung Display reclaimed its position as the top iPad display panel supplier, shipping 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048×1,536, accounting for 62 percent of total shipments of that display size and resolution […]

LG Display […] saw its share of that display size/resolution plunge to 38 percent in the first quarter from about 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 …

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February 17, 2014

Image via iFixit

Two new reports out today are offering a bit of early insight into what to expect from Apple’s next A-series SoC, or system on a chip, that powers its iPhone and iPad devices.

The first tidbit from Fudzilla says Apple will once again rely on Qualcomm for LTE chips in the next round of iOS devices rather than an A8 chip with LTE integrated. So what does this mean? It’s probably safe to assume Apple will save a SoC which includes the LTE modem in a future iteration.

Generally, the fewer chips required in a mobile device, the better optimized for battery life the device is. Apple, of course, must strive to engineer battery life parity, if not improvements, as our devices get more powerful each generation.

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January 27, 2014

January 10, 2014


December 19, 2013

Just like in 2011 and 2012, 2013 was an exciting year for 9to5Mac in terms of leaks, exclusive stories, and breaking news. This year was interesting however because there was considerable doubt cast at many of the stories we’d broke which added some entertainment into the mix. Below, we break down our biggest stories of the year by product type:

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November 11, 2013

globalfoundries-logoA report from Times Union newspaper today claims Apple could be looking to GlobalFoundries to make chips for the iPhone and iPad at its “Fab 8” plant in Malta, New York (via MacRumors). It’s unclear if the move would be to reduce its dependence on Samsung, its current manufacturing partner for the iPhone and iPad system-on-a-chip, but Times Union says Samsung will go to Fab 8 at least initially to assist GlobalFoundries in preparing to build the chips:

Samsung Electronics, which currently makes the logic microprocessors used in Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad devices at its Austin, Texas fab, will help with the start-up of the Apple program, ensuring that Apple will have a second U.S. source for chips for the popular smart phones and tablets. Logic chips are the workhorse chips that are essentially the brains of a smart phone… It’s unclear if  GlobalFoundries will be making the chips with Samsung as the customer on behalf of Apple, or if Apple will be the direct customer, with Samsung helping set up the operation to mirror what it does in Austin. Either way, Apple will be the ultimate customer.

There have been rumors for years that Apple is attempting to reduce is reliance on Samsung, one of its top supplier of parts for the iPhone and iPad but also its biggest competitor in the smartphone space. Most of those rumors have pointed to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., but reports back in July claimed Apple was in talks with TSMC competitor GlobalFoundries. expand full story

September 20, 2013

Images via Chipworks

Back in July, Mark reported that some code in iOS 7 showed that the 64-bit A7 would be made by Samsung.  If that weren’t enough, Anandtech reported that they also believe that Samsung made the A7 last week after their iPhone review.

The evidence was pretty strong but we now have what appears to be definitive evidence from iFixit/Chipworks.

There was mighty speculation among the internet as to the manufacturer of Apple’s new A7 processor. We uncovered it last night during the iPhone 5s teardown, but now Chipworks has taken it one step further. Through the magic of decapping an IC, their internal shots revealed the A7 to be made by Samsung. Die photos of the A7 are coming.

Chipworks goes further and identifies what Apple calls the M7. It actually is a non-descript chip called the LPC18A1 made by a company called NXP. That’s marketing!

Finally, Sony looks like it has another win on its hands with the improved 15% bigger pixel camera sensor, a feat it has had since it first got the iPhone 4S camera contract two years ago.

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September 19, 2013

The 64-bit A7 chip used in the iPhone 5s is ‘only’ dual-core, rather than the quad-core most had assumed, according to chip review site AnandTech – and it has the same 1GB RAM as the iPhone 5. But no need to feel short-changed: the review concludes that dual-core is the optimum solution at present, and that real-life performance is better than anything else on the market.

All the benchmarks we’ve seen point to the iPhone 5s being the fastest phone out there by some considerable margin.

In a phone interview with CNET, Anand said:

 The tools that count cores query the [operating system] and the OS returns the number of logical CPUs and they only returned two. The quad-core card was kind of forced. It’s definitely not the only way to arrive at the ideal performance-power for a phone …  expand full story

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