Samsung reportedly nabs 75% of Apple's next-gen 'A9' SoC orders

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
Samsung has won a huge percentage of orders for the production of Apple's next-generation "A9" system-on-a-chip, variations of which are expected to power this year's iOS device lineup, according to a new report.



Citing industry sources, South Korean publication Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Sunday that Samsung's Austin, Texas fab is responsible for a 75 percent slice of orders for Apple's upcoming SoC, presumably dubbed "A9" if the company's A-series naming convention is followed.

Apple is looking to use Samsung's advanced 14-nanometer FinFET fabrication process, sources said, mirroring a report from October that claimed the South Korean tech giant won only 40 percent of A9 orders.

Prior to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Samsung was responsible for fabricating all A-series silicon, but that position changed when Apple tapped Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to handle a portion of A8 production. As demand for iPhones and iPads increases, Apple has slowly diversified its supply chain to cope with unexpected slowdowns like low yield rates on cutting edge technology.

Although final distribution numbers have not been revealed, TSMC is definitely part of Apple's SoC supply chain. Shortly after the latest iPhones hit store shelves in September, a teardown and chip analysis revealed an A8 processor built on TSMC's 20nm CMOS process.

The real winner of Apple's lucrative silicon contract for 2015 remains unclear, however, as reports vary depending on the source. For example, industry observers said last month that TSMC will use a new 16nm FinFET process to handle a majority of A9 manufacturing, disagreeing with a November report that claimed Samsung has the upper hand.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    It's too bad that Apple don't have their own ability to mass produce microchips.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    Translation: Samsung is about to report abysmal numbers.

    This s baloney. Every time the WS shysters release stories like this, you know there is an ulterior motive.i will spell out several scenarios.

    1. Disastrous numbers at Samsung. Samsung will be coy at reporting the numbers for their mobile division. They will stress that the manufacturing business will more than make up for the losses due to the apple 'win'. They will not report any inventory write downs.

    2. Disastrous numbers at Samsung. They will be a little upfront on the numbers for mobile business, but still stress that the manufacturing business will more than make up for the losses due to the apple 'win'. They will not report any inventory write downs.

    3. Disastrous numbers at Samsung. They will come clean and fess up, includie inventory write downs. But they will stress the 'Soc win' will more than makeup for this losses.

    If you believe that these shysters truly have inside info, why then did they not predict that TSMC had won all orders for the A8? This is pure creative writing.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I've actually have been hearing that Samsungs semiconductor division is doing well even without huge orders from Apple. Also Apple still needs plenty of non A8 chips so it isn't like there is zero Apple production at Samsung.

    In any event I really doubt this reporter has inside information. Given that A9 should be very interesting as this should produce a very low power processor or a very high performance one in the same power range.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    ascii wrote: »
    It's too bad that Apple don't have their own ability to mass produce microchips.

    Why? Even IBM sold off their chip business. Practically gave it away in fact.

    I see comments like this all the time and it really makes no sense. It is like a car manufacture needing a custom bearing, they don't build it themsleves they contract it out to a bearing manufacture. It is all about specialization and being able to follow technology trends. Here we are talking about the 14 nm node but who's to say which manufacture will have a handle on a 7 nm node or can incorporate post silicon technology into their process.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    With having this much revue and capital. Apple should make an investment for mass producing chips and Macs in US. Not a campus but a factory is needed for Apple and US.

    What is the point, and how can you compete when you are making your chips to Samsung!
  • Reply 6 of 24
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    With having this much revue and capital. Apple should make an investment for mass producing chips and Macs in US. Not a campus but a factory is needed for Apple and US.n

    What is the point, and how can you compete when you are making your chips to Samsung!

    But according to this rumor these chips will be manufactured in Austin Texas.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    If Samsung is brought back for the A9, then so be it.

    The important thing is that Apple bring back a flagship 4" iPhone.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    South Korean publication claims South Korean company beats out Taiwanese company for part order. News at 11.

    Seriously, I don't believe anything the SK media says about Samsung.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Sounds good. Samsung is very good at mass producing processors.

    Too bad they're no good at designing their own processors.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    ascii wrote: »
    It's too bad that Apple don't have their own ability to mass produce microchips.

    Or someone else at least. Anyone else!
  • Reply 11 of 24
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    Samsung is the best at making these advanced chips reliably. Apple needs Samsung. And since Samsung's mobile business is crashing, Sammy really needs Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    It's too bad that Apple don't have their own ability to mass produce microchips.



    The only reason we think that is because we assume Samsung is stealing Apple’s IP and using it against them. We can’t assume that even if we suspect it’s happening. And Apple would know it too. The simple fact of the matter is that Samsung can apparently produce the product in sufficient quantities at the right price and with the quality Apple demands better than other suppliers. It’s business, not personal to Samsung or Apple. We might also assume that Cook and company have been actively investigating getting into the fab business and have found it not in the best interest of the company. Getting into the fab business would cost many tens of billions of dollars and if just for the purpose of making their own chips might not be profitable for Apple. Remember, Samsung and others have numerous clients besides Apple. Would Apple be willing to produce chips for competitors like Samsung is doing? 

  • Reply 13 of 24
    rs9rs9 Posts: 68member
    I'm curious since Samsung Mobility has taken a nose-dive is the "only" profit they make is what Apple pays them or does the millions they get from Apple factored in other areas such as Samsung foundries, etc.?
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Well congratulations to them I guess, but that's not really surprising. They seem to be one of the best chip manufacturers, regardless of how people feel about their mobile division. I'm sure we'll see a lot more rumors about this as the months go by though. I just wonder if Apple will choose to simply increase the clock speed or if they'll add more cores?
  • Reply 15 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    If Samsung is brought back for the A9, then so be it.



    The important thing is that Apple bring back a flagship 4" iPhone.

    That size is not popular and the market demand is very small. You cannot do stuff effectively on such a small screen.

  • Reply 16 of 24
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    peter236 wrote: »
    That size is not popular and the market demand is very small. You cannot do stuff effectively on such a small screen.

    So what did people do before September 2014?
  • Reply 17 of 24
    peter236 wrote: »
    If Samsung is brought back for the A9, then so be it.


    The important thing is that Apple bring back a flagship 4" iPhone.
    That size is not popular and the market demand is very small. You cannot do stuff effectively on such a small screen.

    Until September, the market demand was 100%.

    I call that popular.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

     

    That size is not popular and the market demand is very small. You cannot do stuff effectively on such a small screen.


    Whatever they did was not done effectively. The fact is that the bigger screen of the iPhone 6 is drawing even more new users.

  • Reply 19 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    So what did people do before September 2014?



    That's a pretty specious argument.

     

    "Computers should never need to get faster, since older computers were used by 100% of people"

  • Reply 20 of 24
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    joelsalt wrote: »

    That's a pretty specious argument.

    "Computers should never need to get faster, since older computers were used by 100% of people"

    'That' size was the most popular phone ever, and was plenty useful.
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