TSMC to make Apple's future chips after all - not Intel
Foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will finish the tape-out of Apple's A7 processor in 20-nm CMOS in March in time for volume production in early 2014, according to a report from DigiTimes which referenced unnamed sources.
Completing the design in 1Q13 will allow the chip, expected to be used in forthcoming generations of iPhone and iPad, to begin so-called "risk production" in May or June and lead to high volume production in 1Q14, the report said. TSMC is adding manufacturing capacity at its Fab-14 Gigafab where is plans to make the A7 processor, the report added.
Fab-14 in Tainan, Taiwan is not only set to be TSMC's first fab to produce 20-nm CMOS system chips in volume but it also earmarked as the place where it will bring up its follow-on 16-nm FinFET manufacturing process.
I don't know why people thought Intel ever had a chance to make Apple's next gen chips in their foundries. Apple would never cede so much control to Intel. Getting just one company to make 100% of their chips for both iOS devices and Macs would be illogical for a company like Apple (and don't even get me started on Apple using Atom chips - it's crazy to even think about that).