Skip to main content

Apple's A7 processor is reportedly made by Samsung, at least for now

Apple's A7 processor is reportedly made by Samsung, at least for now

Share this story

The battle for mobile dominance between Apple and Samsung is as fierce as ever, but it looks like Apple is still reliant on its biggest rival. According to an inspection by Chipworks, the new A7 chip found inside the iPhone 5S is made by Samsung, just like last year's A6 processor. It's a bit of a surprise, as there were signs throughout the year that Apple was going to try to move away from relying on Samsung to get chips for its iOS hardware — most notably, Apple signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) earlier this year.

At the time, TSMC was set to start producing chips for Apple in 2014, but noted Apple blogger John Gruber cited speculation that Apple's A7 was being produced by TSMC as a reason for cuts in Apple orders at Samsung's chip fab facility in Austin. While it's certainly possible that TSMC will take over production of the A7 at some point, it doesn't look like we're quite there yet. (Gruber posted a note this afternoon saying "so much for that speculation" while linking to Chipworks' A7 analysis.) As for the mysterious M7 "motion coprocessor" that Apple added to the iPhone 5S, Chipworks indicates that it's built by NXP Semiconductors, a chip fab company located in the Netherlands. If you want to see what else is inside the iPhone 5S, iFixit posted their typically in-depth breakdown late last night.

READ MORE: iPhone 5S review

iPhone 5C review