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iPhone 7 Processor To Be Built By Samsung, Globalfoundries

iPhone 7 Processor To Be Built By Samsung, Globalfoundries

The iPhone 6 is roughly a year away, but that hasn't stopped chipmakers from gearing up for the following generation.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has gained a fair amount of praise for its A7 processor, which can be found within the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display.

Samsung (OTC: SSNLF), a long-time supplier of Apple processors, may have been caught off guard by the A7's features. This could be because Samsung's manufacturing division is separate from its product development business.

In any case, it seems that the Samsung/Apple alliance may continue for a couple more years.

According to DigiTimes, Samsung and Globalfoundries plan to "team up to vie for A9-series chip orders from Apple." If the two companies are successful in their mission, Samsung will reportedly provide "related patents," while Globalfoundries will handle the actual production of the wafers. The deal will allow Samsung to earn royalties for every chip produced.

Samsung may assist Globalfoundries in other ways as well, including the wafer's production.

Related: Apple Already Working on iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 Processors

Interestingly, Samsung and Globalfoundries are not on the list for Apple chip suppliers in 2014. Samsung may continue to build older chips for Apple products, but the A8 processor -- which is expected to accompany the iPhone 6 next fall -- could be built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM).

TSMC's manufacturing duties have not yet been confirmed, but DigiTimes reported that the company is "believed to have secured contract manufacturing orders" with Apple.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) was rumored to become an A-series developer this year, but it seems that Apple went in another direction.

Last month, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich compared the company's Bay Trail processor to A7.

"If you take a look at things like transistor density and you compare, pardon the pun, apples-to-apples and you compare, say, the A7 to our Bay Trail, which is a high density 22 nanometer technology, then our transistor density is higher or more dense than the A7 is," Krzanich said during an earnings call, as quoted by CNET. "It's a good product...but we do see the Moore's Law advantage from 28 to 22 nanometer as an example, when you compare dense technologies to dense technologies."

The iPhone 6 is expected to arrive in September 2014. Apple's first large-format iPhone is rumored to debut in the second or third quarter.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ


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