Samsung is the leading company in the world in terms of manufacturing its own components for its smartphones. And with time it has also become one of the leading manufacturers of phone parts of its rival company Apple. Samsung was the company that manufactured the A9 processors used on Apple’s iPhone 6s. But that was the last time Samsung made any chips for Apple.
Since then the chip making contract of Apple has gone to TSMC and it is responsible for mass producing the A12 chips that will be used in the upcoming Apple devices. But if DigiTimes’ report is to be believed Samsung is hopeful of being back to manufacturing chips for Apple next year.
Presently, TSMC is using the 7 nanometer process to manufacture the A12 SoC for Apple. But it intends to introduce the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV) technology in the third quarter of this year which is a more precise method of etching the designs on the wafers. But there are certain risks currently involved in the use of this technology which is why TSMC is holding off the full integration of this technology until the 5 nanometer process is introduced in the later half of 2019.
This gives Samsung a big chance to swoop in and take this opportunity because it is plans to integrate the EUV technology into the 7 nanometer manufacturing process. Besides this Samsung apparently has a better InFO (integrated fan-out) packaging technology than its competitor in the works.
This bodes well for Apple because it gets options and can spread out the costs of acquiring the processors between the competitors by guaranteeing a certain percentage of the shipment.