In the light of growing tension between Apple and its custom ARM-based chips supplier Samsung in the courtrooms, the Cupertino giant is reportedly is looking into an alternative supplier for its custom A-series processors, with certain rumours pointing at Taiwan-based TSMC, a company Apple tried to secure exclusive access to earlier this year (via MacRumors).
Apple is apparently planning to switch to TSMC’s more efficient 20-nanometer process by late 2013 for introduction in the 2014 generation of iOS devices, according to the Taipei Times. The source claims that Apple’s rumored timeline for shifting chip production to TSMC may be accelerating, with Credit Suisse analysts noting that Apple may make the jump as soon as the second quarter of 2013.
The projected timeframe would come “earlier than expected,” Manish Nigam, head of the brokerage’s non-Japan Asia technology research division, said in note to clients on Friday, citing their recent checks with several equipment suppliers and other companies in Japan, Taiwan and China.
Previously, Credit Suisse said it expected Apple would seek a second source for its chips other than Samsung Electronics Co by either late next year or early 2014.
Back in July, a report by Reuters also claimed that TSMC has already started trial manufacturing of Apple’s next generation custom ARM-based processors. If TSMC can prove to Apple they can become a viable replacement for Samsung, it will be massive blow to the South Korean conglomerate.