Originally Posted by JeffDM
Who manufactures the masks?
There are both in-house mask shops from the foundries and 3rd part merchant mask shops. (Wikipedia list ~15 merchant shops for 65 nm lithography alone from a 2006 survey.) There's a sub-industry for basically every step in the foundry business, from the silicon ingots, the tooling, to the ceramic packaging. One stop factories where the silicon and semiconductor materials go in and a packaged chip in a box comes out don't really exist anymore. They probably never really existed in the first place.
This is basically secret and patented information, Apple is going to control it, and control any sample hardware or pilot production hardware. Every single mask will be controlled and tracked. Every single wafer that's etched for Apple will be tracked. No system is perfect, and things do get lost, and people can steal things, but the perspective is totally different from it'll be really easy for Samsung to find out.
If it was easy to find out at the foundry, the information would have leaked in 2012 when samples were produced was occurring. There was no rumor for it until August of 2013 (from 9to5mac). A rumor that late meant the "64-bit" rumor was leaked somewhere not in the production chain. It may have been from benchmarking leaks or software leaks. I doubt that 9to5mac rumor leaked from the foundry.