Samsung and the pitch to stay on Apple’s ARM

ZDNet (via 9to5mac):

Kim Ki-nam, president of the Korean electronic giant’s semiconductor business and head of System LSI business, told reporters at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul that once the company begins to supply Apple with chips using its latest technology, profits “will improve positively”.

Samsung produces about 30% of Apple’s A8 chips (the majority are made by Taiwan’s TSMC).

Sources told ZDNet Korea that Samsung already has a contract in place with Apple to produce the A8’s successor, tentatively named the A9, which will be made using the 14-nanometre process.

Samsung says their 14nm FinFET process will be ramping up by the end of the year. The A8 is a 20nm chip, so 14nm is a big leap in miniaturization. Samsung’s 28nm process was used to produce the A7, and the A6 was produced using a 32nm process.

Samsung’s chip business was clearly hurt by Apple’s shift toward TSMC. Why shift back to Samsung?

Meanwhile, TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, is expected to produce its next-generation chip using a 16-nanometre process.

14 < 16. Size matters.