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Samsung to manufacture Apple's A9 chip (for the next iPhone)

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Samsung to manufacture Apple's A9 chip (for the next iPhone)
There's been a lot of talk about who would manufacture Apple's A9 chip (which will power the company's 2015 iPhone and iPad line-ups), with TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries all mentioned as possible makers of the new SoC. Bloomberg now has it that Samsung has won A9 chip orders from Apple, with additional orders going to GlobalFoundries, which is a Samsung partner. This means that TSMC, also known as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, will probably not secure any orders from the Cupertino giant this year (unlike in 2013, when it sealed a deal to produce most of Apple's A8 chips).

Since Samsung already has a System-on-Chip made on a 14 nm process (the Exynos 7 Octa 7420, which is found inside the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge), the A9 could also be manufactured on a 14 nm process. This should make it better and more efficient than the A8, which is made on a 20 nm process.

According to Bloomberg, Samsung will start manufacturing A9 chips at the Giheung plant in its home country, South Korea. However, it's not clear when mass production will start. It should happen soon, though, as Apple is likely planning to launch its next generation iPhones, possibly called iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, sometime in September.

source: Bloomberg via MacRumors

59 Comments
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posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:20 6

1. Awesoman64 (Posts: 292; Member since: 18 Mar 2015)


Well, this is a beast INDEED. KUDOS TO SAMSUNG!

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:40 17

6. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


People must realize that Samsung is literally the best company in the world. They have the best products and best executive leadership.

If you don't agree, you can go fill up a bag filled with giant soap bars and hit yourself with it.

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:55 11

10. techperson211 (Posts: 1236; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


It seems by the end of the day apple will still rely with samsung. Kudos samsung.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 01:21 1

33. rd_nest (Posts: 1606; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


I will give everyone some new *leak*, really exclusive.

Next Samsung SOC coming out will probably not use A72, but use a custom core codenamed Mongoose. News from South Korea is that it's clocked at 2.3Ghz, and with a single core Geekbench value of more than 2200 (compared to 1500 for Exynos 7420).

Expected to be used with Note 5.

Note: Don't ask for source, I am sure you will hear more details in near future.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 02:02

34. SuperNova (banned) (Posts: 649; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


Reversed troll.

But any admiration of Samsung is truly acceptable and reflect the fact though :)

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 04:34 1

41. Awesoman64 (Posts: 292; Member since: 18 Mar 2015)


Go suck it man. I respect other OEMs as much as I also respect Apple. Maybe you should the same, Samsung Propagandist

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 23:26 1

17. Awesoman64 (Posts: 292; Member since: 18 Mar 2015)


You guys must be mistaken. Apple is the one designing the chip while Samsung makes it. Since Samsung is the only one that commercially makes 14nm SoC, Apple may consider using this process. Also, 14nm is basically new so dont get your horses up.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 00:04 5

24. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Haha what if Sammy declines that offer.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 01:18 5

32. nodes (Posts: 748; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


Sammy will lost a lot of money.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 09:37

48. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10700; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


No they won't actually. If Samsung refused the order, other chipmakers likely couldn't makes chips fast enough to match the iPhone demand, which would lead to lower stock, which means people will buy the best alternative, which is a Galaxy S or Note or similar.

I can guarantee, Samsung would make more money if they sold an additional 100M phones vs how much money they would make, fabricating 200M processors for Apple.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 02:31 1

39. Iodine (Posts: 1351; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


I can't imagne that company with money insted of brain to refuse an offer to suck up some billions from the biggest bussiness on the planet.
They are probably trying as hard as they can to look as the best choice for Apple, probably even creating rumors like this in desperation.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 09:39

49. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10700; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Yes because Samsung would lie about making chips for Apple, when they have been making Apple's chips since the first iPhone?

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 07:45

45. jack123 (Posts: 194; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


if so, samsung must be stupid to decline the orders when one of big companies offer the money in front of door.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 09:54

54. DnB925Art (Posts: 1025; Member since: 23 May 2013)


They probably couldn't because the semiconductor and mobile divisions are run separately. While the mobile division would love that, the semiconductor division would never do that to increase their bottom line. I think the only way that would ever happen is if the CEO of all of Samsung Oh-Hyun Kwon mandates it, but I doubt that would happen.

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:22 6

2. nctx77 (Posts: 2096; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Samsung is a manufacturer of Apple lol! Thanks Sammy! Now produce them chips!

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:31

3. arch_angel (Posts: 1651; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)


ik its funny right lol

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:41 8

7. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


Not as funny as tim cook's appreciation for Apple bottom.

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:33 9

5. nwright94 (Posts: 194; Member since: 14 Oct 2014)


It's not the Apple iPhone, it's the SamsungLGSony iPhone.

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 23:11 1

14. nctx77 (Posts: 2096; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


No, the iPhone 1+ 4 +6=S6. Did you not listen in math class?

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 23:39

20. phichart (Posts: 286; Member since: 03 May 2014)


Apple need to rely on Samsung, Sony, LG and more...

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 02:10 2

36. SuperNova (banned) (Posts: 649; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


Because Apple is a empty shell without internal components. They can't be on their own, they need Samsung all the way.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 07:51

46. jack123 (Posts: 194; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


You should say Apple is only the brain without the shell, because it's a software base company (which similar to Microsoft).

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 09:45

50. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10700; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


That is false. Are you high? Apple has always been a hardware company. They don't make software. They combined the forces of several OS' to make OS X for their own "HARDWARE"

Apple has always been hardware first software second.
Like any computer, they are basically useless without software.

Apple designs their own hardware, but they build NONE of it. While Samsung both designs and builds.

The money is in the hardware, the profits are in the software. Once you sell someone hardware, you don't make anymore money off the sale. The hardware is sold. If Apple never made an app store after Cydia busted open the OS and made it so you could install apps, Apple would be making far less money.

The money isn't in the hardware, its in the software which is what Bill Gates figured out years ago.

You have to figure this, after paying $600 for a phone, the average person my spend just maybe $30 per month on apps, but may spend double hat on music. That means one person will buy more for the phone in a years time than what it costs for the phone itself. And yes I am including in-app purchases.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 09:46

51. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10700; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Microsoft is software first because they started their business making software for others including Apple

God, how the heck you get that backwards?
Oh that's right, you don't know anything about Apple or Microsoft.

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:32 1

4. vincelongman (Posts: 4576; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Called it

There's was no chance Apple would go for TSMC's inferior 16nm process (20nm FEOL/20nm BEOL) over Samsung's 14nm process (14nm FEOL/20nm BEOL)

And IMO there's no chance Apple would take orders from both (relatively big performance difference)
Unless if Apple use TSMC for cheaper/weaker A9s for the iPad Mini 4

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:42 9

8. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


Not too hard to call. Apple sucks.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 02:28

37. Iodine (Posts: 1351; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


How can you say that 16nm is inferior just because of some numbers ?
Is there an 16nm chip on the market now ? No so how can you judge ?

TSMC has been leading in putting out new nodes over the years that's one of the reasons A8 went to 20nm.
FEOL and BEOL are only density units, where both of those processes have about the same as their 20nm predescessors (because both have 20nm BEOL). Then Apple got some extremelly dense designs and they don't mind adding few mm^2 so I don't think the density will be a big deal in choosing the manufacturer for their chips as both choices offer only minimal improvement in that area.

How good that company implemented FinFet and how much power it will save will matter the most. Apple took years to transition to TSMC and so the A9 has been probably designed and optimized for their 16nm process for few years already. Jumping to samsung just because their transistor is a bit smaller will just throw those optimalizations out of the window so even if samsung process is better (which it doesn't have to be) there would be a worse chip in the end.
Of course Apple could be working on both A9 for samsung and TSMC so they can choose which is better. But again it took Apple years to go to TSMC it will probably take years to go back to samsung.

Whatever, the FinFet A9 chip will just kind of wipe out others.

posted on 03 Apr 2015, 05:27

43. vincelongman (Posts: 4576; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Lets see if they can defy physics

That being said, I do wish TSMC good luck
The more competition the better

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:52

9. Scott93274 (Posts: 5031; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Well, it looks like it's business as usual...

posted on 02 Apr 2015, 22:59

11. DirtyDan23 (Posts: 279; Member since: 12 Aug 2014)


Nifty

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