According to sources within Apple's supply chain, Samsung Electronics has just signed a contract as a minor supplier for Apple's next-generation smartphone application processors to be used in 2015 using 14/16nm FinFET processes.
The sources reiterated that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is believed to be the main foundry for 20nm A-series chips for Apple's 2014 iPhone series, has already gained a portion of the 14/16nm FinFET chip orders from Apple.
Samsung will use its 14nm FinFET process to manufacture a portion of the A-series chips for Apple's 2015 iPhone series, and the remainder of the chips will be built using TSMC's 16nm FinFET technology, the sources indicated. TSMC should land 60-70% of Apple's total 14/16nm chip orders, with the remaining 30-40% to be taken over by Samsung, the sources said.
At an Analyst Day event held on November 6, Samsung Electronics announced that it would apply 14nm and 10nm microfabrication processes to its foundry business. These are a couple of generations ahead of TSMC’s 16 nm process.
During the event, Wu Nam-seong, president of the System LSI Business Unit of the DS Division of Samsung Electronics stated, "We are currently working on the 10nm process and will provide our foundry customers with advanced technologies such as FinFET and 10 nm." This is probably why Apple is keeping the door open for Samsung processors.