Samsung might finally be kicked the curb when it comes to who gets the lion’s share of Apple’s chipmaking business. According to analysts Olivia and Rick Hsu from Daiwa Securities, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is likely to snap up 70 percent of all Apple’s A9 and A9X orders, leaving rival chipmaker Samsung out in the (relative) cold. The reason for this is reportedly the “superior yield” and “manufacturing excellence in mass-production” exhibited by TSMC, which will get it a large percentage of the A9 orders, and all of the A9x orders for the next generation iPad.
If the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are anything to go by, the sales for the iPhone 6s are likely to be pretty massive, so opting for the company that shows an ability to churn out plenty of chips at high quality without problem makes a lot of sense. Reportedly, the A9 processor will be built using a TSMC technology called “Integrated fan-out wafer-level packaging” or InFO-WLP. While TSMC and Samsung have long competed for Apple’s chip business, this year’s competition seems to have been among the fiercest. Recently, TSMC sued an ex-employee who allegedly leaked R&D secrets to Samsung; thereby allowing it to both catch up in the chip fabrication business.
“We brought the lawsuit because TSMC Chairman Morris Chang and senior management were convinced we needed to send a message to Samsung, employees and other competitors,” the former chief counsel for TSMC told EE Times. Although the iPhone 6s is virtually guaranteed to be a success regardless of who ultimately wins the chip battle, many Apple fans would doubtless like to see the company ditch Samsung altogether. That doesn’t appear to be happening completely, but if today’s news is accurate, we could be one step closer to a Samsung-free supply chain.