Samsung Electronics to Build Apple Inc.’s A9 Chips


Published Date : Apr 07, 2015

It was being said some time back that South Korean technology giant Samsung had lost a major part of Apple Inc.’s next A9 chips’ manufacturing orders and that Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. was the one to manufacture the future lot of A9 chips for Apple. However, it was speculated in 2014 that Samsung would be returning as the manufacturer of the A9 chips regarding with the 14 nm FinFET manufacturing process.

According to the most recent news in this regards, Apple has finalized to use Samsung’s fabs for building the entire lot of the A9 chips. The decision has been made after Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. allocated an estimated US$12 billion for pushing its 16nm FinFET processing technology further. The A9 chips will be built at Samsung’s South Korea-based Giheung plant.

Apple had spend an estimated amount of US$25.8 billion only on its product’s chips, accounting for a big 7.6% share of the entire technology market’s chip investments last year. Apple’s decision last year to consider a partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co and forego Samsung would have been a loss of nearly US$1 billion for Samsung. Now, the newly sought partnership will help the South Korean tech giant in gaining business of another billion dollars this year.

Remaining bookings, if any, will be managed by the US-based semiconductor Global Foundries, the company that licenses an identical 14nm processing methodology used by Samsung. Samsung will gain the permission to use the factories of Global Foundries based in New York, South Korea, and Texas. 

It is also being speculated that Qualcomm Inc. will incorporate Samsung’s 14nm FinFET processing technology for its renowned brand Snapdragon 820. It is also anticipated that the technology will be used in a number of other low-end processing chips of Qualcomm in future.