SAN FRANCISCO -- South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will build 14-nm processors for future Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads under the terms of a deal signed over the weekend, according to a report by the Korea Economic Daily.
According to the report, Samsung will build 14-nm A9 processors for Apple with FinFET process technology starting in 2015. The A9 will be used in Apple's iPhone 7.
Apple has used Samsung as its chip-making foundry since it started designing its own custom processors for its smartphones and tablets several years ago. But the relationship between the two companies has become strained in the past couple of years, including several high-profile patent litigations in several countries (see Apple-Samsung trial coverage).
It has been widely reported that Apple chose TSMC as its foundry for 20-nm A8 processors. However, some believe that Apple may have foundry supply contracts in place with both firms (see Samsung, TSMC and the A6: not OR but AND?). Recent reports also indicate that Apple is in negotiations with US-based foundry Globalfoundries on a supply agreement (see Why GlobalFoundries Should Appeal to Apple).
Last month, Digitimes reported that Apple inked a deal with TSMC for 20-, 16- and 10-nm processors (see TSMC signs up Apple for three-year FinFET deal).