Intel, the powerhouse that produces the vast majority of CPUs found inside both PCs and Macs, may have a new partnership with Apple. Russ Fischer over at Seeking Alpha makes the case that Apple may have ditched both Samsung and TSMC to partner with Intel to manufacture the A7 chip:
The Ivy Bridge HE-4 is made on the Intel 22nm Trigate process and has 1.4 billion transistors with a chip size of 160 sq. mm, so a billion transistor logic chip on 22nm should be around 114 sq. mm. “Hand packing” the A7 design might give another 10% size improvement, which would make the A7 chip almost exactly 102 sq. mm. on the Intel 22 nm process.
Fischer argues that neither TSMC nor Samsung have the process to build a chip as small yet powerful as the A7. If he is correct, it’s a pretty massive blow to Samsung, and a huge boon — and shift — for Intel.