|By Maureen O'Gara||
|March 18, 2013 08:00 AM EDT||
Speculation is back in circulation that Apple - enflamed by Samsung's "slavish copying," the ensuring worldwide patent litigation and Samsung's increasing dominance in smartphones and tablets - is weaning itself off its component dependency on Samsung and moving its A7 chip production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Intel.
The Intel part may, of course, just be wishful thinking especially on Intel's part.
DigiTimes, which is spreading the current crop of rumors, says institutional investors figure Intel, which wants to rent out its ovens because of the PC downturn, could get 10% of Apple's next-generation A7 processor orders.
In that case TSMC could get 40% leaving Samsung with the remaining 50%.
Apple has also been shifting orders for DRAM, mobile RAM chips and panels away from Samsung.
Samsung is still officially Apple's sole source for processors.
TSMC production is supposed to start production next year. DigiTimes thinks it's going to tape out a 20nm A7 this month, start pilot production this summer and go commercial in Q1.