Apple’s A9 chips are being produced by Samsung and GlobalFoundries

Samsung and GlobalFoundries have reportedly landed orders from Apple to produce the 14-nanometer A9 processor starting next year, according to DigiTimes. These 14nm chips will be created in GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 factory in Malta, New York, which Samsung will also use to produce Apple’s A-series chips. DigiTimes’ source suggests that the two foundries plan to push their initial 14nm LPE process into risk production in Q4 this year, with small volume production in early 2015. The report also states that Apple’s longtime partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will try to secure orders for Apple’s A9 chip by introducing new semiconductor processes by early next year. Apple is additionally considering Intel as a potential partner to produce the A9.

The Samsung Electronics and Globalfoundries team reportedly has landed orders for its 14nm FinFET process from Qualcomm and Apple, with related foundry services to begin in early 2015, according to industry sources in Taiwan. The 14nm products will be rolled out from Samsung’s Fab 8 in New York, said the sources, adding that Fab 8 will have an installed capacity of 60,000 wafers a month for the 14nm process. According to Samsung and Globalfoundries’ roadmap, the two foundries plan to push their initial 14nm LPE (low power early) process, which was verified in February, into risk production in the fourth quarter of 2014 and small volume production in early 2015, the sources indicated. However, it remains uncertain as how Apple would distribute its A9 processor orders to related foundry houses since Intel is also a potential contender for the orders, the sources noted. Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will also exert efforts to retain Apple’s orders, including the A9 orders, by advancing into 16nm FinFET processes, noted the sources, adding that TSMC also plans to roll out a 16nm FinFET Turbo process tailored to Apple’s requirements. TSMC will have a total production capacity of 900,000 and 1.3 million wafers for its 20nm and 16nm processes in 2015 and 2016, respectively, revealed the sources.

By Rocco Penn

A tech blogger, social media analyst, and general promoter of all things positive in the world. "Bring it. I'm ready." Find me on Media Caffeine, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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