A product teardown of both the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus devices last week confirmed earlier reports that Apple is indeed opting for TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) to produce the 20nm, second generation 64-bit A8 chip that drives the new iPhones. Research firm IHS, however, has shared a teardown analysis report with Re/code that claims Samsung is still responsible for a fraction of Apple’s A8 chips produced.
Rassweiler said the processor he saw during the teardown was manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the massive chip-factory-for-hire based in Taipei. […] Rassweiler says TSMC is manufacturing about 60 percent of the chips for Apple, while Samsung is still turning about about 40 percent.
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Which company Apple chooses to produce the chip that powers its iPhones and iPads has long been the center of attention for many observers, especially as competition and litigation between Apple and Samsung continues.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that TSMC would produce Apple’s A8 chip, which we’ve now seen in each teardown of the new iPhone thus far. Apple relying on TSMC for producing the processor that powers its popular iOS devices is crucial to distancing itself from smartphone rival Samsung, but IHS’s claim that Samsung is still responsible for four out of ten A8 chips shows that Apple is still largely dependent on its competitor in 2014.
Early reports on the next generation, likely 16nm “A9” chip expected from Apple in 2015 have claimed TSMC will again produce Apple’s chip for another year, although several reports share the same prediction for Samsung.