Apple reportedly reaches deal with TSMC for next-gen chips

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Apple have reached a three-year chip deal, according to an Asia-based report.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
Apple's fastest current chip is the A6X used in the iPad 4.
Apple's fastest current chip is the A6X used in the iPad 4. iFixit

Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company have reportedly reached a deal on next-gen Apple chips, extending all the way to silicon called the A9.

TSMC and its chip-design partner have secured a 3-year deal for Apple's A series chips, according to report on Monday at Digitimes.

"A deal whereby TSMC replaces or supplements Samsung, the incumbent supplier of Apple processors," the report said.

TSMC would be used for Apple's future A8, A9, and A9X chips, Digitimes said.

There is no mention in the article of the expected A7 chip (Apple's latest is the A6/A6X, now used in the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, respectively). The A7 is rumored to be used in the iPhone 5S and future iPads.

That may, or may not, imply that Samsung will make the A7 series of chips. Only future teardowns of Apple products will reveal which company is manufacturing which chips.

The timing of the A8 seems early. Digitimes claims that chip will be used in an iPhone slated for release in "early 2014." That leaves precious little time between a rumored A7 and its expected successor the A8.

Typically, there is at least 12 months between processor generations.

But note that production of a new chip begins at least several months (often longer) before a product is actually delivered with the chip.

The A9 and A9X are set for production in late 2014, the report claims.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

[Via EE Times ]