Apple processor family (A4, A5, A5X, A6 and A6X)

Analyst reflects on Apple’s options regarding chip manufacturing [atualizado]

With all the buzz related to the abandonment of Samsung to manufacture Apple processors, analyst Amit Daryanani decided to put on paper what are the possibilities of Apple.

Apple processor family (A4, A5, A5X, A6 and A6X)

For him there are four, the first two being the most likely:

  1. Move all of your production to TSMC.
  2. Make a new partnership with Intel, now involving the manufacture of mobile chips.
  3. Invest in Global Foundries, which is already working on chip manufacturing with the ARM architecture (20 nanometers).
  4. Produce these chips on your own.

Undoubtedly the first scenario is the most plausible and commented on by everyone – it would be the natural path of the thing. The second is unlikely and would give Apple a lot of work. As Intel invests in another type of architecture, a transition to it would be complicated and painful.

The third option is still viable, but many investments would need to be made for it to be put into practice, involving even the construction of new factories to exclusively meet Apple’s demand – something that TSMC can do more easily, since is a company with more resources. The fourth, on the other hand, would further increase Apple’s control over the components of its products but, in my opinion, it is a concern that Apple does not need – and does not want – to have. It is much easier / simpler to hand this over to a third party than to build a factory, buy machinery, hire employees, etc.

Sure, Apple has more than $ 100 billion in cash and may well make an offer and buy a manufacturer like that, but it never hurts to remember that it has already tried to invest in TSMC and failed – sometimes money doesn’t work.

In addition, even opting for the easy way (partnership with TSMC), things are not simple. Daryanani believes that a transition at this level takes between 12 and 18 months; that is, in one way or another, Samsung would remain connected to Apple until at least 2014.

[via AppleInsider]

Update

Analyst Doug Freedman of RBC Capital said that Apple is talking to Intel about the possibility of it making the processors for iPads, iPhones and iPods touch. According to him, Intel would accept to manufacture the chips using the ARM architecture as long as Apple adopted the x86 architecture in iPads in the future.

Honestly, it doesn’t make any sense. Just exchange iPad for Intel chips and keep iPhones / iPods touch with ARMs? Either change everything or not change, at least that’s what I think.

[via Fortune Tech]