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Apple inks agreement with TSMC for new A-series chips: Report

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It looks like Apple has found a replacement for Samsung to produce chips for its devices.

If a new report by DigiTimes is to be believed, Apple has signed a three year agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and its partner Global UniChip to make its new A-series chips built through 20nm, 16nm and 10nm process nodes.

The website cites industry sources to inform that TSMC will commence production of the Cupertino giant's A8 processor in small quantities in July 2013, and increase production capacity after December. The site goes on to inform that TSMC's facility will add fresh 20nm equipment in order to have a capacity to produce 50,000 chips by Q1 2014. It further says that out of this, a capacity of 20,000 chips could be deployed for producing new Apple A9 and A9X processors, that are built using 16nm process nodes, starting Q3 2014. The report also suggests that the chips will be produced in TSMC's 12 inch fab in South Taiwan.

It's not clear if TMSC would be the sole manufacturer of the chips.

According to the report, the Apple A8 processor will power a new iPhone which is expected to release in early 2014, while the A9 and A9X chips will power new iPhone and iPad products.

Earlier this year, it was reported that TSMC would soon start making microchips for Apple as the US tech giant reduced manufacturing contracts with its South Korean rival Samsung, as Apple and Samsung have been locked in a series of patent lawsuits, across the world.

Another report had suggested that Apple was planning to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoC (system on a chip) in its purported low-cost iPhone whose manufacturing is expected to commence during the second quarter of the year. It had indicated that Apple plans to use TSMC's 28nm process to build cheaper iPhone's Snapdragon SoC.

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