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Samsung ramps A6 production for Apple

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:A6 processor? foundry service? 28nm CMOS?

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd is ramping its production of Apple Inc.'s A6 quad-core application processor. This is according to a report by Korea Times. The report referenced an unnamed so Apple component supplier that said TSMC, Samsung's rival foundry for Apple chips, has yet to stabilize its own production.

Samsung is making the A6 processors on a 28nm CMOS process out of its wafer fab in Austin, Texas.

Apple's continued reliance on Samsung's foundry operation comes despite an increasingly litigious battle between the companies at the system level where both are seeking to prevent the sale of the others smart phones because of alleged patent infringements.

The A6 processors are destined to go into the next iteration of the Apple smartphone, the report said

"Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor chips to be used in the next iPhone," said the report, quoting but not naming an executive from an Apple parts supplier based in Korea.

"Samsung Electronics will apply its advanced 28nm processing technology to produce qualified A6 mobile APs. TSMC will provide customized chips with designs from Apple, however, the volume will be very small," the report quoted the executive as saying.

The never-ending Apple-Samsung war
Apple and Samsung have been in an escalating legal battle and patent infringement cases have been filed in at least 3 continents. Read more about the legal battle between the two companies:
  • Samsung bites Apple
  • Court bans Samsung's Galaxy Tab in EU
  • Samsung takes Apple battle to the ITC
  • Samsung fights back with countersuit against Apple
  • Apple sues Samsung for iPhone, iPad imitation
  • "Apple isn't taking risks. Samsung offers better pricing and capacity commitment for the A6 mobile APs," the reported quoted an executive from another Apple supplier as saying.

    The same report said Geesung Choi, Samsung's CEO, told reporters that COO Jae-yong Lee flew to the United States to participate in a private memorial service for the late Steve Jobs on Sunday, October 16. Lee will meet with Apple CEO Tim Cook while he is in the United States to discuss several issues, the report said.

    Foundry chipmaker TSMC is reported to have started trial manufacturing of the A6 processor for Apple. But TSMC has also been reported as planning to put the IC through another tapeout for the "production design" in the first quarter of 2012.

    - Peter Clarke
    ??EE Times

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