Its ongoing court cases with Samsung have made Apple go shopping for a new chipmaker for the iPhone and iPad. The Cupertino company has settled on Taiwan Semi-conductor Manufacturing Company as the makers for the next-gen Apple A7, A8 and A9 series of chips to be used in devices starting from early 2014.
TSMC will be supplying 20nm, 16nm and 10nm chips to Apple in a three-year agreement, according to sources who spoke to Digitimes. Neither TSMC nor Global UniChip, its IC design partner, commented on the development, which comes after Apple cut ties with Samsung for the production of the A7 chip.
Some future iPhones, iPads will get TSMC-made chips
According to the report, the Taiwanese chip maker will start to manufacture Apple's A8 chips in July 2013, but this will be in small volume with an up in production expected to come after December. The new 20nm fab equipment will be capable of processing 50,000 wafers in the first quarter of 2014. The 20nm Apple A8 processor will be used in the 2014 iPhone and iPad.
A portion of the 20nm production line will most likely be upgraded to process wafers used to build 16nm chips. TSMC is scheduled to mass produce the Apple A9 and A9X CPUs starting the end of Q3 of 2014.
However, it must be noted that Apple in the past has often had more than one manufacturer for its components. So it is very much possible that TSMC is just one of the chipmakers slated to be working on chips for future iDevices.