iPhone 7 will include A9 chip from Samsung, claim reports

Apple is going to use Samsung to supply the processor chips for use in the iPhone 7

Conflicting reports are claiming that Apple is going to use Samsung to supply the processor chips for use in the iPhone 7, while others are claiming that Apple will be bringing its processor chip manufacturing in-house.

Apple has, apparently, signed a deal with Samsung for the latter company to produce so-called A9 chips based on a 14-nanometer process. These chips are not likely to appear in a phone until the second half of 2015, according to Korea Economic Daily sources.

A report from SemiAccurate claims that Apple has bought into a chip fab plant. The tags on that article (which is behind a paywall) appear to suggest that Taiwan-based chipmaker United Microelectronics Corporation is the company Apple has teamed up with, notes 9to5Mac.

Cnet notes that the SemiAccurate report indicates that Apple may purchase a purchase a portion of Globalfoundries Fab in New York.

According to Cnet, Globalfoundries is in the running because it provides a US-based alternative via its New York state foundry.

Earlier reports claimed TSMC will be providing the next generation of A8 chips for the iPhone 6, and reports had suggested that contract would last three years.

A trial run of manufacturing the 20-nanometer A8 chip destined for an upcoming iPhone could begin as soon as July, we wrote in June.

According to a Digitimes report that cites anonymous industry sources, TSMC and Global UniChip will supply Apple with A-series chips built on 20-nanometer, 16-nanometer and 10-nanotmeter process nodes over the next three years, starting with a 20-nanometer A8 chip that will begin limited trial runs next month. Production of the A8 chip is expected to ramp up in December, with a new iPhone featuring the A8 chip launching early 2014.

By the end of the third-quarter of 2014, TSMC will begin mass production of Apple's A9 and A9X processors, which will be used in new iPhone and iPad models respectively, those sources said.

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Karen Haslam

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