updated 09:00 pm EST, Wed December 26, 2012
Taiwanese 'flip-chip' maker Unimicron to ramp up to meet demand
According to reports in a Taiwanese electronics-industry trade publication, Apple is shifting orders for the base ARM chips on which the company builds its Ax line of in-house processors away from Samsung-owned SemCo and towards Taipei-based Unimicron Technology Corporation. If true, it would be yet another move away from using Samsung as a supplier, presumably due to the latter's copying of its technology and litigious SEP abuse.
Unimicron is said to have passed a smaller-scale test in the current quarter for supplying the "chip scale package" or basic ARM foundation for Apple's processor line, and will increase production once a new plant is up and running, reports China Times. Apple has been seen to be actively withdrawing as much of its business away from Samsung as it can, though the Korean manufacturer remains a major supplier of chips and other technologies that go into Apple's iOS products.
Apple is also said to be farming out some production on its Ax-class chips to TSMC, also in Taiwan. Currently, most Ax processors are actually made in the US, by a Samsung facility in Austin, TX. The iPad maker is also thought to have dropped Samsung as a battery supplier for its iPad and MacBook batteries, and has diversified its display providers in order to reduce its dependence on Samsung.