Samsung may take-over Apple M1 chip production


A few days ago, Apple held the “One More Thing” where the company released a couple of devices. Apple released the Apple Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro that uses the new M1 chip and comes with the new macOS Big Sur out-of-the-box. Reports out of South Korea claim that due to TSMC’s tight production schedule, Samsung maybe Apple’s option for the M1 chip. If this happens, Apple will be using Samsung for the first time in five years.

Apple M1 chip

South Korean media, Business Korea, reported that Apple initially handed over all M1 processors to TSMC. However, analysts pointed out that TSMC is currently unable to meet all of Apple’s needs. We all know that Samsung and TSMC are the only two manufacturers in the world that can produce 5nm chips.

A researcher from NH Investment & Securities pointed out that Apple’s M1 chip orders account for about 25% of TSMC’s 5 nm process capacity. However, TSMC already moved most of its 5nm capacity to Apple’s foundry (iPhone 12’s A14 chips). There are expectations that Apple will transfer orders that TSMC cannot satisfy to Samsung’s foundry for processing.

Apple has stopped entrusting chip orders to Samsung’s foundry since 2015 and is completely dependent on TSMC. Some analysts said that TSMC’s packaging technology is better than Samsung. Apple also feels uneasy about entrusting the chip to its smartphone rival.

Apple M1 chip has a lot to offer

According to Apple, this chip is the first chip designed by Apple for the Mac. This chip boasts of low power consumption and small size. Apple said that the M1’s performance per watt has made a “great leap”.

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The M1 chip comes with an eight-core CPU with 4 high-performance single-threaded cores and 4 high-performance cores. This chip also uses an 8-core GPU. Furthermore, the Apple M1 comes with a 16-core neural engine. According to Apple, the M1 is the first PC chip to use industry-leading 5nm technology, with 16 billion transistors.

In terms of I/O, the Thunderbolt/USB4 master built into the M1 chip. Also, this chip has a unified memory architecture that integrates GPU and NPU. Apple believes that this chip comes with “the world’s fastest CPU core.”

The use of this chip for Macs marks the shift from Intel-based MacBooks. This transition will take place over the next two years. After that, we will not have any new MacBooks with Intel chips.

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