The dual core A5 processor found within the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S is now being produced in a Texas factory owned by Samsung, according to Reuters. Consider this to be the repatriation of the production of the A5 chip:
The A5 processor – the brain in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 – is now made in a sprawling 1.6 million square feet factory in Austin owned by Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics, according to people familiar with the operation.
One of the few major components to be sourced from within the United States, the A5 processor is built by Samsung in a newly constructed $3.6 billion non-memory chip production line that reached full production in early December.
Nearly all of the output of the non-memory chip production from the factory – which is the size of about nine football fields – is dedicated to producing Apple chips, one of the people said. Samsung also produces NAND flash memory chips in Austin.
According to sources, A5 processors were supplied to Apple from this plant starting this year. Both Apple and Samsung did not comment on the matter to Reuters, although the latter confirmed the Austin factory included production of logic chips, which would allude to the A5 being one of them.
Even though Apple and Samsung are entrenched in a ferocious worldwide legal battle over smartphone and tablet patents, their symbiotic business relationship remains.
There is evidence Apple is moving away from its dependence on Samsung for production of its processors, however. Back in July, it was reported TMSC started trial production of the next generation A6 processor, with a later story in September that noted Apple had signed a manufacturing deal with the company, breaking Samsung’s exclusivity with Apple.