Back in May, we heard reports that the transition of Apple’s chip manufacturing from Samsung to TSMC will not happen this year, but in 2014. However, considering the growing tensions between Apple and Samsung in the last few months, nobody would have guessed that Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor in its latest flagship smartphone will still be manufactured by none other than its arch rival Samsung (via iFixit).
Chipworks has discovered in its iPhone 5S teardown that contrary to all previous speculations, the A7 SoC is indeed made by Samsung.
“We have confirmed through early analysis that the device is fabricated at Samsung’s Foundry and we will confirm process type and node later today as analysis continues. That being said, we suspect we will see Samsungs 28 nm Hi K metal Gate (HKMG) being used. We have observed this same process in the Samsung Exynos Application processor used in the Galaxy S IV. Our engineers will be deprocessing the Apple A7 as soon as they can to confirm this or to provide different information.”
Earlier rumours had also claimed that Samsung’s exclusive contract to manufacture Apple’s processing chips is about to expire in mid-year and that Apple will need to extend the contract. While it appeared questionable in the light of ongoing patent litigation between the two technology giants, it seems the two may have decided to look past their differences for a little while longer.