Samsung and GlobalFoundries have landed orders from Apple to produce the 14-nanometer A9 processor starting next year, according to a report in DigiTimes, a daily newspaper for semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications industries in Taiwan and the greater China region.
These 14nm chips will be created in GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 factory in Malta, which Samsung will also use to produce Apple’s A-series chips.
Apple’s 14-nanometer A9 processors are expected to be used in the company’s iPhone and iPad models starting in 2015.
Media reports from wide-ranging sources are reporting the situation. However a spokesman at the Malta plant said on July 2, “We have a number of customer design wins for our 20nm and 14nm technologies at Fab 8. But beyond that, we don’t provide details on customer products or relationships.”
The DigiTimes report says the two foundries plan to push their initial 14nm LPE (low power early) process into risk production in the fourth quarter of this year, with small volume production in early 2015.
The report also states that Apple’s longtime partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will try to secure orders for Apple’s A9 chip by introducing new semiconductor processes by early next year. Apple is additionally considering Intel as a potential partner to produce the A9.
Samsung and GlobalFoundries announced in April that they would be adopting the same chip production process to prepare for next-gen mobile devices.
Samsung and GlobalFoundries have helped each other over the past year, with Samsung helping set up the Fab 8 factory in Malta last year, and GlobalFoundries providing the backup location when needed, according to media reports.