Apple is moving away from TSMC and back to Samsung to manufacture the chip that is the power house behind the iPhone, reports Recode.
The report notes that Apple had “hoped” to rely more heavily on TSMC for the next-generation A9 processor – probably, you know, because Samsung is a huge rival – but things didn’t work out that way because of TSMC’s limits in manufacturing.
Samsung will be building the A9 chip using the 14nm process, which allows the chip to run cooler and draw less power from the iPhone’s battery. TSMC is unable to manufacture anything smaller than the 20nm process that is currently used in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
It’s worth noting that while Samsung will be manufacturing the chip, the Cupertino technology giant still designs the chip in-house with its engineer teams. Hilariously, Samsung doesn’t make its own chips either for the Galaxy line, and instead makes use of Qualcomm chips manufactured by TSMC.
Recode reports Samsung has invested a staggering sum — $21.4 billion — to ramp up capacity in its semiconductor and display businesses over the last year, and plans to spend even more in 2015 – presumably to appease Apple.
“Samsung LSI hasn’t directly confirmed Apple as its 14nm customer. But the company sounded confident about 14nm FinFET ramp in the second half of this year during its Q4 2014 earnings call,” said Strategy Analytics analyst Sravan Kundojjala.
Not all is bad for TSMC. There’s been rumors floating around that TSMC will remain the manufacturer behind the A9X chip for Apple’s iPad, however it’s definitely not as lucrative as manufacturing the iPhone chip.