Apple May Consider Samsung for the A13 SoC for 2019

Apple is considering either roping in its biggest rival Samsung or PC processor manufacturer Intel for making the Apple A13 SoC for iPhone models in 2019.

The iPhone-maker is likely to stick with 7-nanometer chipset designs for 2019 iPhone and iPad processors.

“Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) enjoyed the benefits of being the go-to pick for chipmaking. But the 7+ nanometer processor with ‘Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography’ won’t be integrated by TSMC so quickly. Samsung could achieve integration sooner and win Apple’s business,” TechnoBuffalo reported late on Monday, citing Taiwanese publication Digitimes.

“The sources noted that Samsung is developing at full throttles InFO packaging technology and it has also claimed to outpace TSMC in kicking off official production of EUV 7nm+ process, set for the second half of 2018, seeking to win back orders from Apple in 2019… But industry watchers said that the EUV 7nm process involves yield-rate issues and quality risks, and even TSMC has yet to completely address the risks and will only fully incorporate the EUV technology in the 5nm node,” Digitimes noted.

It is pertinent to note that both Samsung and Apple have not worked together on a chip in almost three years – since the Apple A9 released in 2015 for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

“Even if Samsung is selected to lead production of the A13, it could be joined by other suppliers. Apple typically gives orders to multiple suppliers to ensure new iPhone models reach the market on schedule,” the report added.

Samsung was once the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A-Series processors for iPhone and iPad models.

Apple migrated to TSMC when the competition and legal battles between the two tech titans increased.

Notably, TSMC now enjoys a monopoly over supply and that could be a reason for Apple to bring Samsung back in, since it could force chip prices down, according to Apple Insider.

The South Korean tech giant, however, already develops OLED panels for the iPhone X and is expected to do so for the 2018 models as well.

Although the display technology is more common now, Samsung seems to be one of the few companies to have mastered the production and the Cupertino-headquartered giant continues leaning on Samsung due to its experience.

As for this year’s models, TSMC would continue to be the iPhone-maker’s primary supplier.

The A12 chip is expected to be 7nm-based chip, and is said to have entered mass production to make its way inside three new iPhone models scheduled to be released this fall.

Written with inputs from IANS

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