Apple's supply chain may be reinvigorated due to a fresh chip supply sourced from the state of New York, potentially lessening the tech giant's dependence on rival Samsung.
According to The Times Union, a source close to chip supplier GlobalFoundries says that the firm will produce chips for mobile devices including the iPhone and iPad, which Samsung currently supplies.
Under an arrangement with Samsung's assistance, GlobalFoundries will be helped in the creation of manufacturing processes at the new $2 billion Technology Development Center (TDC) based in the company's chip plant near Albany, NY. A team sent by the South Korean firm next year will give GlobalFoundries staff the "recipe" for Apple's logic microprocessors -- the control centers in the iPhone and iPad -- in order to refine chip designs before full-scale production begins.
Launched in 2009 through a partnership between AMD and the ATIC, the Silicon Valley-based firm has a large customer base including AMD, Broadcom, Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics. Globalfoundries has fabrication and chip plants in Germany, Malta, Saratoga County, NY and Singapore.
It is unclear whether Samsung will be using the TDC as a customer or in a joint role with Globalfoundries to produce chips for the tech giant. However, both firms have similar chip-making practices due to their alliance in the Common Platform, which shares research and development data for the manufacture of processors and in order to improve manufacturing capacity.
Samsung's chip making facility is based in Austin, Texas. Tensions have increased between Apple and the South Korean company due to long-running patent disputes and the fact that both companies are competing in the same lucrative mobile device market -- which has in turn given life to rumors that Apple would eventually seek other suppliers for the necessary chips in its products.
In the meantime, Apple's products -- including the new flagship iPhone 5s smartphone -- continue to be powered through Apple and Samsung's symbiotic relationship. Apple does not produce the chips required in-house, and so is required to outsource manufacture -- while Samsung remains the world's largest memory chip supplier.