For now months, TSMC, the on-demand founder producing 28-nm engraving chips mostly for AMD and NVidia, keeps talking about its forthcoming 20 nm technology. In a press release, the company seems to rely heavily on this promising but challenging technology and transition. According to rumors, TSMC might have approached Apple for producing Ax ARM CPU at 28 nm, but difficulties to being able to product in large volume prevents the deal to be concluded; and Apple ended up working with Samsung and its 32 nm engraving. TSMC indicates its commitment to speed up the transition to 20 nm technology, and expect to be able to produce in volume in 2014, expecting to capture the huge market represented by all iOS devices (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone and Apple TV, while waiting for new comers). For sure such transition will require heavy investment by TSMC, and could be financed by an massive investment by Apple, giving to the californian company priority access to production lines and discounted prices.
It does not really sound unrealistic to imagine that apple might want to invest some cash in such deal with TSMC knowing its strong wish to become as independent as possible from its best competitor on the smartphone market: Samsung.
Intel prédit la fin des fabricants de puces sans usines