Instead of having to depend on third-party manufacturers like Samsung or TSMC to build its chips, a recent rumor says that Apple has placed a buy-in to a unnamed chip fabrication plant.
According to AppleInsider, SemiAccurate published a report regarding Apple’s chip making future. Even though the full report costs $1,000 to view, the site deduced from the accompanying tags that Apple’s partner might be United Microelectronics Corp.:
UMC is a Taiwan-based chipmaker that has been around since 1980 and currently trades on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s name has been connected to Apple rumors in the past, but none at the scale of building CPUs for the iPhone maker.
A few years ago, SemiAccurate was the source of one high-profile Apple-related rumor that failed to bear fruit. In 2011, the site claimed that Apple planned to transition its Mac lineup from Intel to ARM processors by early 2013, which never came to be.
However, the site did accurately predict that Apple would switch back to Nvidia graphics processors for its 2012 MacBook lineup. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display launched last year with an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, switching from the AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU found in the late 2011 model.
Making a move to produce its own chips would be a major shift for Apple. After exclusively depending on sometimes-rival Samsung for iOS device chips, Apple has apparently signed a deal with TSMC.
As we reported late last month, TSMC will begin to supply Apple with chips starting in 2014.