In the past two years, the foundry manufacturers of the Apple A series chips have been shut out of Samsung Semiconductor and are basically handed over by TSMC. However, according to latest news, Samsung is trying hard to get a share from TSMC in 2019. , strive to recapture some of the A-chip orders.
Taiwan-based DigiTimes, which has a close relationship with the supply chain, said that in order to achieve the goal of A-series chips rushing to single-chip TSMC, Samsung is "fully developing" InFO (fan-out) packaging technology and claims to pass advanced EUV (extreme ultraviolet light) at the 7-nm node. The engraved) technology completely surpassed TSMC. However, for the time being, Apple currently favors TSMC's InFO technology. Therefore, the A12 chip OEM orders for the iPhone will be handed over to TSMC this year.
Samsung seems to be eager for orders for Apple's A-series chips. It is reported that Samsung even reduced EUV's order quotation by 20%. Of course, this price reduction is also aimed at attracting orders from different companies, but it may only be “reactive”. This is mainly due to the consideration of the quality and productivity risks of the 7-nm process under EUV technology. After all, TSMC is also working hard. To solve this problem, but still struggling, at least before 5nm chips TSMC is unlikely to fully integrate EUV into the production line.
Although EUV technology is very attractive to any customer, including Gao Shuaifu Apple, but Samsung's own risk of EUV technology has long been expected, because Samsung initially plans to focus on EUV technology to Exynos Galaxy S10 phone chip.
Previously, TSMC had stated that its InFO technology was excellent in reducing chip package thickness, and it could also improve chip performance and energy efficiency. As a result, TSMC has won Apple's exclusive orders for the past two consecutive years. However, EUV is an advanced technology for printing actual circuits, and mass production is very difficult. Due to various reasons, it is quite complicated. For example, a vacuum environment is required for all substances to absorb EUV radiation.
Samsung was the exclusive manufacturer of A-series processors for Apple's iPhone and iPad products. However, as competition and legal disputes between the two companies continued to intensify, Apple began to switch to TSMC. If Apple continues to choose to re-order orders to Samsung, one of the reasons may be to reduce the price of chip OEM orders.
However, there seem to be no permanent enemies on the market because Samsung still has Apple's order business. The iPhone X model's OLED display panel is exclusively owned by Samsung, but currently Samsung is still the only one capable of meeting Apple's capacity demand. OLED panel makers expect the new iPhone to be launched in 2018 will still be exclusively provided by Samsung. It will be difficult to diversify the OLED display suppliers by at least 2019.