Samsung have been a long time partner with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), despite also being rivals in several extremely important and strategic marketplaces to both companies; most notably smart-phones and tablets.
Apple’s own A4 processor was actually a joint development project between Samsung and AAPL, which Apple forked off to produce a cut down power efficient processor with reduced IO capabilities for their own iOS devices. But in essence both Apple’s A4 and Samsung’s Hummingbird are based around an identical ARM Cortex-A8 CPU core.
Prior to the advent of Apple designing its own custom chips, and having Samsung partner with them on the manufacture, Apple was a key customer of Samsung for “off the shelf” silicon. And as well as using them today for manufacturing of their customs SoCs, they are also an important customer for Flash and LCD display panels.
AppleInsider are quoting a report from the Korea Times which details that Samsung has now agreed to ramp up chip production to 20,000 sheets of chips per month from around 5,000 last year – specifically for Apple. That’s a four fold increase in production.
Analysis of those figures makes it very clear that exactly half of Samsung’s entire chip production capacity is now dedicated to producing silicon for Apple. It is unclear if those chips are more of Apple’s existing A4 processor or the eagerly anticipated next gen SoC the “A5”, or Hummingbird II.
There are also rumours that Samsung are building yet another chip fab in Austin Texas to exclusively service Apple’s growing requirement for mobile silicon.
It is clear that Samsung’s future is extremely bright, whether or not they end up taking market share form Apple in the mobile market place, and that the two companies are extremely close partners in this growing global business. Their collective futures are very closely intertwined.
So much so that it would make sense that if Apple ever produced a TV, Samsung would most likely be their partner of choice.. You heard it here first. And Samsung do make great TVs!
Apple and Samsung too close? Or a match made in silicon heaven? Share your thoughts in the comments…