Apple usually relies on Asian OEMs for its parts, but Reuters reports that the A5 processor is manufactured in a sprawling 1.6 million square feet factory in Texas owned by Samsung.
Insiders who know about Apple’s manufacturing habits will agree that most of their parts are sourced and assembled by low-cost Asian manufacturers. Reuters’ insiders are claiming that a relatively new Samsung factory in Austin, Texas is outputting A5 chips for Apple. The ARM-based dual-core A5 processor powers the iPad 2 and the new iPhone 4S. Reuters reports.
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.
Neither Apple nor Samsung commented on these claims, stating that they will not disclose information on supplier/customer relationships.
Despite all of the patent litigation going on between the two, it appears as though Samsung is still the manufacturing partner in charge of processors for Apple. Rumors in August claimed that Apple was looking at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for its upcoming A6 processor, though later there were claims that Samsung will continue to manufacture the processors for iOS devices.
Now, because of this new information, there seems to be more support for the rumor that Samsung will be the one to produce Apple’s upcoming A6 processor, which will power the iPad 3, next generation iPhone as well as the Apple-branded TV that are expected to be launched in 2012.