updated 10:29 am EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
Claim would put first TSMC A7s in 2014
TSMC is expected to "tape out" an Apple A7 processor with a 20nm process this month, then move into risk production in May or June, claim industry sources for DigiTimes. The sources say that TSMC is expanding its production capacity at Tainan Science Park in Taiwan with a total investment of $16.87 billion, and plans to use some of the extra capacity to build A7s. The people add, however, that the company would only start shipping A7s commercially in the first quarter of 2014.
Apple has been rumored as wanting to hand some or all A-series production over to TSMC, at least partly as a way of distancing itself from Samsung, with which it's embroiled in a number of lawsuits. If TSMC won't be able to ship A7s until 2014, though, Apple will still be reliant on Samsung for some time, since the next iPhone is generally forecast to use an A7 and ship later this year.