updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
TSMC gets indirect connection to Apple
TSMC may have at least some involvement in Apple's device supply chain based on claims by Taiwan's Economic Daily News. The business newspaper asserted that the contract manufacturer had landed deals for power management parts designed by Dialog Semiconductor for future Apple hardware. TSMC had supposedly already involved itself with iPads and iPhones by manufacturing Broadcom, CSR, Cirrus Logic, and Qualcomm.
On the record, TSMC hadn't attached Apple to the project, but did say that Dialog was using TSMC's 0.13-micron manufacturing to build new power management chips that would be in shipping products "by the end of the year."
Rumors have surfaced of TSMC making Apple A6 chips. Some had suspected it would show for the 2012 iPad update, but the finished new iPad ended up using a Samsung-built A5X chip that at least postponed and may have called into question whether TSMC was involved.
Despite perceptions that Apple might try to actively distance itself as much as possible from Samsung due to ongoing lawsuits and competition, the two have so far remained committed to existing supply deals. Both are mutually dependent, as Apple is often one of Samsung's largest customers, while few manufacturers outside of Samsung have the high technology and production scale needed to match Apple's demand.