According to a report from Electronic Times in Korea, Samsung has already started production of the A9 chip that will be used inside the next-generation iPhone(s) and iPad(s) next year.
The next-generation A9 chip from Apple will be based on 14nm FinFET fabrication process. While Samsung already has production lines capable of manufacturing 14nm FinFET chips in its factories in Austin and Giheung (Korea), it has only started the initial production of the A9 chips in its former factory.
Samsung had earlier stated that it would start the production of 14nm FinFET based chips by the end of this year, so it looks like the company has simply managed to stick to its original timeline. However, this will provide Samsung’s semiconductor business with a chance to win back the majority of the production share of the A9 chip.
While Samsung has remained a constant producer of Apple’s Ax chips, it lost the lion’s share of the production of the A8 chip to TSMC, which greatly affected its revenue and profits in Q2 and Q3 of 2014. Kim Ki-nam, president of Samsung’s semiconductor business, had earlier remarked that once the company started supplying the latest generation chips to Apple, its profit “will improve positively.”
On the other hand, TSMC is yet to start the production of chips based on the 16nm FinFET plus fabrication process.