The EETimes is reporting that Apple is tightening its relationship with Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) in what may be a blow to Samsung.
With little or no fanfare, Apple and TSMC have recently entered into a foundry relationship, sources said. As reported, TSMC will make the A5 dual-core processor on a foundry basis for Apple’s iPad 2. Apple will use TSMC’s 40-nm process for the A5, according to a source. ‘’Apple will also work with TSMC on 28-nm’’ processes, according to a source.
This could be seen as a setback for Samsung. Samsung is making the A4 processor on a foundry basis for Apple’s original iPad. Samsung is also making the processor for the iPhone. It’s unclear if Samsung will make the A5 for Apple.
Citing a source familiar with Apple’s plans, Apple is moving towards TSMC for a number of reasons. First, Samsung is increasingly becoming an Apple competitor. Samsung not only competes with the iPhone but is now an iPad competitor as well with the Galaxy Tab. Moreover, Samsung is also coming out with an MP3 player/ Internet device designed to compete with the iPod Touch. Second, TSMC has the highest yielding 40-nm process in the foundry world. And third, TSMC has the most 40-nm capacity.
On a tangential note, EE’s source notes that iPad 2 production is coming along faster than expected and that component suppliers are anticipating production of 7.2 million units during the Q2 of 2011 and 45 million units during the 2011 calendar year.