Sources say Apple reducing Samsung's role in chip production

Expect fewer Samsung chips in the iPhone 6
Expect fewer Samsung chips in iOS devices

A new report once again points to Apple wanting to put more than just an arm's length between the Cupertino company and bitter rival Samsung as the firm's primary chip provider.

According to The Korea Times, Apple has already reduced its involvement with Samsung, though it's still relying on the manufacturer for the A6 chips powering its latest idevice, the iPhone 5.

"There are three kinds of chip clients," an anonymous Samsung source allegedly told The Korea Times.

"Some want us to handle everything from chip design, architecture and manufacturing. Some want us to just design and manufacture. Some want us to just make the chips. Apple is now the third type."

"Samsung's agreement with Apple is limited to manufacturing the A6 processors. Apple did all the design and we are just producing the chips on a foundry basis," the source added.

Change is in the air

Since the A6 processors used in the new iPhone were entirely designed by Apple, the firm is free to take its production elsewhere without running into another patent face-off with Samsung.

Recent reports indicate that Apple is courting Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for future chip production.

TSMC is capable of building chips for Apple using its advanced 20 nanometer manufacturing process, which would create chips that are 30 percent faster and 25 percent more efficient than the current 28nm chips found in the iPhone 5.

Another Samsung official commented on the possible shift to TSMC chips, telling The Korea Times, "Samsung has already acknowledged that Apple has an appetite to carry out its own central processing unit (CPU) design."

Losing Apple as a client would surely mean a big loss for Samsung, but the firm reportedly isn't worried as the unnamed Samsung official went on to cite increased custom CPU orders coming in from Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments.

In the meantime, Apple can't afford to completely cut Samsung out yet, forcing the two rivals to continue a deteriorating partnership.

However, when Apple is finally ready to announce its next-generation A7 processor (or whatever it will be called), don't expect to see Samsung's name anywhere near it.

Via The Korea Times