Intel courting Apple in bid to produce chips?

Earlier in April, rumors began to shed light that Apple had begun to qualify TSMC as a manufacturer partner for their A5 dual-core processors (using the 40nm process, and possibly 28nm in the future) for the iPad2 and other devices using this processor (iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, and Airport Wireless Devices, according to AppleInsider).  Apple has been using Samsung to produce their A4/A5 processors, which are currently being produced at 45nm.  Speculators believe that since Apple and Samsung compete in the mobile sector, Apple has been looking to qualify an alternate producer of their chips, or to perhaps secure a second source to help prevent delays in production. 

Fast forwarding a month, Intel is reportedly looking to enter into a production arrangement with Apple according to Gus Richard, an analyst with Piper Jaffray and Co. (a global investment bank).  Richards stated, "Based on a number of inputs, we believe Intel is also vying for Apple's foundry business", and that, "It makes strategic sense for both companies. The combination of Apple's growing demand and market share in smart phones and tablets gives Intel a position in these markets and drives the logic volume Intel needs to stay ahead in manufacturing". 

Though this is likely not a done deal with Intel producing Apple's A5 chips, Apple's current patent litigation against Samsung for "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad is certainly not helping Samsung's relationship with Apple, which may explain why Apple is looking for another chip producer.  Richards further commented that, "Intel's manufacturing lead gives Apple an additional competitive advantage in these markets and distances it from Asian competitors that are knocking off its products".  The only question remaining is that if Intel can keep up with the demand (even with it's recent agreement with Achronix Semiconductor Corp), as Apple needs about twenty-three thousand wafers per month, according to Richards.

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