Processors from manufacturing company TSMC have been shipping to Apple since the second quarter of 2014, reports the Wall Street Journal. The A-series processors manufactured by TSMC are expected to be in future iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, and the chips are coming from TSMC as the result of a manufacturing deal struck between the companies in 2013.
Apple and TSMC began working together in 2013 so Apple could move away from Samsung’s components. Though Samsung and Apple are still business partners, relying too heavily on a direct competitor is not always good, especially when the processors in question are used for iOS devices.
The WSJ report also notes that by working with another microprocessor supplier, Apple has the ability to better negotiate deals with its other suppliers. Samsung may compete against Apple in the smartphone market, but it doesn’t want to lose all of its business with Apple on the manufacturing side.
TSMC’s current chips employ the 20-nanometer design, though it has been rumored that Apple will use the company for 16-nanometer chips moving forward. Apple has reportedly struck a deal with Samsung to come out with the A9 processors in 2015, and those will use a 14-nanometer design.