Rumor: Intel could land 10% of Apple's 'A7' chip orders

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
As Intel gets into the chip contracting business, the company could obtain as much as 10 percent of Apple's next-generation mobile chip orders, insiders believe.

"Institutional investors" cited by DigiTimes on Tuesday believe Intel could be making a play to get a slice of Apple's business for its so-called "A7" chip, expected to power the company's next-generation iPhone. Apple has reportedly been looking to move its chip production contracts away from rival Samsung, which currently handles all of the company's current A-series chips.

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The company expected to take the bulk of the work away from Samsung is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Rumors have claimed for years that TSMC is on the brink of building chips for Apple, but that has yet to happen.

Tuesday's report claimed that both TSMC and Samsung are competing for contracts to build "A7" chips for Apple. It said that production of A-series chips through TSMC is expected to begin in 2014.

Now, institutional investors reportedly believe that Samsung will receive about half of Apple's "A7" orders, while TSMC will take 40 percent, and Intel will grab the remaining 10 percent.

"In the past, Apple's processor orders were unattractive because of low profit margins and Samsung was the only cooperating firm," the report said. "In addition, at the time Samsung's smartphones were no threat to Apple's iPhone. But Samsung has since become the biggest smartphone vendor in the world."

Just last week, a separate report suggested that Intel and Apple were in talks for Intel to potentially build next-generation chips for devices like the iPhone and iPad. Intel may be making a shift to build ARM-based systems-on-chips for companies like Apple after the PC market has struggled in recent years against smartphones and tablets.

Intel's current CEO, Paul Otellini, plans to retire in May, and some market watchers believe a new chief executive could push the company in a different direction. In particular, contracts to build custom chips for mobile device makers could help keep the chipmaker's manufacturing facilities working at full capacity.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,569member
    People still quote/rely on DigiTimes as a credible news source?
  • Reply 2 of 29
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Only 10%? Then it's highly unlikely they'll be the 22nm lithography which would kill what I'd think is the primary benefit of going with Intel.


    Off topic: Ever wonder how a silicon wafer is "grown" or how the [I]exact[/I] same CPU can have performance and thermal variances?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Intel's process is ahead of the others, it would be a shame for the iPhone if Apple and Intel could not come to some agreement.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post



    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.


    Why is it spiting their face when Intel can produce 22nm chips but Samsung can't?

  • Reply 6 of 29
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post



    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.


    Samsung loves taking from those it partners with for parts. The mystery is why US companies partner with it to begin with. 

  • Reply 7 of 29
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jowie74 wrote: »
    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.

    Because protecting IP, becoming less reliant on a single supplier, and getting a contract with the most advanced foundry owners in the world is self-destructive?
  • Reply 8 of 29
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post



    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.


     


    Apple doesn't need Samsung.  There are other vendors that can do what Samsung does and Apple can always go to them.  Samsung is the one that screwed up, they burned their relationship with Apple, and Apple doesn't take that lightly. 

  • Reply 9 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,242member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    Intel's process is ahead of the others, it would be a shame for the iPhone if Apple and Intel could not come to some agreement.


     


    On what? It sure as hell isn't in the ball park for ARM based SoC. TSMC/GF are the global leaders.

  • Reply 10 of 29
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


     


    On what? It sure as hell isn't in the ball park for ARM based SoC. TSMC/GF are the global leaders.



    Well the Ivy Bridge CPU in my gaming box is 22nm, I figured the iPhone could benefit from having it's ARM chip made with such a process. But based on your past posts here you are the expert in this area so if I'm wrong that an ability to produce Ivy Bridge at 22nm implies an ability to produce the A7 at 22nm please correct me.

  • Reply 11 of 29
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    On what? It sure as hell isn't in the ball park for ARM based SoC. TSMC/GF are the global leaders.

    In current ARM chip production, sure, but for large scale chip production at the 22nm process who bests Intel? I don't see why they couldn't easily make ARM chips if they so desired.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    jowie74 wrote: »
    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.

    Apple dosen't love how Samsung blatantly copied and stole their ideas and then lies about it and calls themselves the innovators. I look forward to the day Apple no longer works with Samsung at all.
  • Reply 13 of 29

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post



    I love how Apple are insistant on cutting their Samsung-shaped nose off to spite their face.


     


    More like how Samsung is willing to "sacrifice" Samsung Semiconductor division by losing a major customer (Apple) in order to make more money in the Samsung Mobile division by copying IP (from Apple).


     


    I bet the guys over at Samsung Semi are fuming mad at Samsung Mobile for costing them billions in sales because they couldn't come up with an original idea for their phones.

  • Reply 14 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

    More like how Samsung is willing to "sacrifice" Samsung Semiconductor division by losing a major customer (Apple) in order to make more money in the Samsung Mobile division by copying IP (from Apple).


     


    I bet the guys over at Samsung Semi are fuming mad at Samsung Mobile for costing them billions in sales because they couldn't come up with an original idea for their phones.



     


    Civil war! Civil war!



    Ah, ooh, that's probably inappropriate given the current state of the region.

  • Reply 15 of 29
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dookie Howsre View Post





    Apple dosen't love how Samsung blatantly copied and stole their ideas and then lies about it and calls themselves the innovators. I look forward to the day Apple no longer works with Samsung at all.


    That's right, Samsung are currently making a lot of money with what is essentially a rip off of the iPhone/iPad line. Steve Jobs thought he made a mistake not being aggressive enough patenting the Mac, allowing MS to come in, so with the iPhone he patented all he could. Now Tim is learning that the legal system doesn't protect you even if you *do* patent, so Steve did not make a mistake after all, there is simply no-one who will stand up for the innovators.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    zoffdinozoffdino Posts: 192member


    Samsung has been in the electronics component industry for so long that you almost can't produce phones in decent volume without them. Everywhere you turn, it's unavoidable that you must rely on Samsung for some of the components.


     


    Intel has for years been the king in microprocessor design and manufacturing, but very new in the fab business. Tooling their process to produce ARM chips for Apple is likely the biggest order they've had to date, and both Apple and Intel want to proceed very carefully. Last year Apple sold 130M iOS devices. 10% of that is still a sizable order.

  • Reply 17 of 29

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    Off topic: Ever wonder how a silicon wafer is "grown" or how the exact same CPU can have performance and thermal variances?


     


    I love watching these videos! 

  • Reply 18 of 29

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Because protecting IP, becoming less reliant on a single supplier, and getting a contract with the most advanced foundry owners in the world is self-destructive?


     


    This isn't IBM. It's Intel. They've worked close with apple for years, they are a very reliable producer and they'd love to take on Samsung as much as Apple would. Seems like a good idea.

  • Reply 19 of 29
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dookie Howsre View Post





    Apple dosen't love how Samsung blatantly copied and stole their ideas and then lies about it and calls themselves the innovators. I look forward to the day Apple no longer works with Samsung at all.


     


    Same here. Hopefully it happens within the next few years. 

  • Reply 20 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by saintstryfe View Post

    This isn't IBM. It's Intel. They've worked close with apple for years, they are a very reliable producer and they'd love to take on Samsung as much as Apple would. Seems like a good idea.


     


    So is this the cue for Intel to make its own phones using Apple's chip designs and claim it was their idea?

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