Samsung is ramping production of the A6 quad-core application processor for Apple because rival foundry TSMC has yet to stabilize its own production of the same chip, according to a Korea Times report that referenced un-named Apple component suppliers as its sources.
Apple's continued reliance on Samsung's foundry operation, which is making A6 processors on a 28-nm CMOS process out of its wafer fab in Austin Texas, comes despite an increasingly litigious battle between the companies at the system level where both are seeking to prevent the sale of the others smart phones because of alleged patent infringements.
The A6 processors are destined to go into the next iteration of the Apple smartphone, the report said
"Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor chips to be used in the next iPhone," the report said quoting, but not naming, an executive from an Apple parts supplier based in Korea. "Samsung Electronics will apply its advanced 28-nanometer processing technology to produce qualified A6 mobile APs. TSMC will provide customized chips with designs from Apple, however, the volume will be very small," the report quoted the executive as saying.
"Apple isn’t taking risks. Samsung offers better pricing and capacity commitment for the A6 mobile APs," the reported quoted an executive from another Apple supplier as saying.
The same report said Geesung Choi, Samsung CEO, told reporters that COO Jae-yong Lee flew to the United States to participate in a private memorial service for the late Steve Jobs, Sunday (Oct. 16). Lee will meet with Apple CEO Tim Cook while he is in the United States to discuss several issues, the report said.
Foundry chipmaker TSMC is reported to have started trial manufacturing of the A6 processor for Apple. But TSMC has also been reported as planning to put the IC through another tape-out for the "production design" in the first quarter of 2012.
Related links and articles:
Korea Times report
TSMC's A6 processor to respin, says report
Samsung, TSMC and the A6: not OR but AND?
TSMC test runs Apple processor, says report
Samsung fabs Apple A5 processor