Apple designed the A6 chip without Samsung

Apple designed the A6 chip without SamsungLast month, we heard that Apple was looking to spread the Asian component supplier love, and ultimately become less dependant on sworn enemy Samsung.

On a similar note, an anonymous Samsung bigwig has said that the South Koreans had nowt to do with the design of the A6 processor found in the iPhone 5.

That’s the story according to The Korea Times, running with the fantastic headline: “Moving from love-hate to hate-hate”.

Historically, Samsung has played a part in the design and manufacture of Apple’s processors, but Team Cupertino supposedly worked on the A6 chip without the wisdom of the South Koreans.

The anonymous “senior” Samsung official says: “Samsung’s agreement with Apple is limited to manufacturing the A6 processors. Apple did all the design and we are just producing the chips on a foundry basis.

“There are three kinds of chip clients. Some want us to handle everything from chip design, architecture and manufacturing. Some want us to just design and manufacture. Some want us to just make the chips. Apple is now the third type.”

The two have somewhat of a strange relationship, with Apple claiming that Samsung has ripped off the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy range, while remaining one of Sammo’s biggest clients.

Apple was recently awarded $1 billion in damages for software and design infringement, but the battle rages on with skirmishes across several continents.

Read more about: Apple iPhone 5iOS

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7 comments

barrybarryk  Oct. 16, 2012 at 12:32

The A6 isn't a processor, it's a PoP SoC. The processor is licensed from ARM, the GPU is licensed from Imagination Technologies. Apple designed the package and Samsung just manufacture it. Same with all the Ax SoC's (Samsung haven't designed any of them)

Jim988  Oct. 16, 2012 at 13:24

The A6 isn't a processor, it's a PoP SoC. The processor is licensed from ARM, the GPU is licensed from Imagination Technologies. Apple designed the package and Samsung just manufacture it. Same with all the Ax SoC's (Samsung haven't designed any of them)

Actually, Samsung collaborated with Intrinsity to develop the Hummingbird core used in the Apple A4. So they did have some design work done on the Ax Soc's.

barrybarryk  Oct. 16, 2012 at 15:50

You mean Intrinsity developed an ARM core very similar to the one in the A4 FOR Samsung, before they got bought by Apple. But either way, an ARM core is not an SoC. Samsung have never designed any of Apples SoCs. It's just another non-story doing the rounds because someone mentioned Apple and Samsung

eddyday  Oct. 16, 2012 at 19:16

This is very good news. It's a big positive that Apple is uncoupling themselves from a thieving, conniving company like Spamsung.

anirenb  Oct. 16, 2012 at 23:05

The A6 isn't a processor, it's a PoP SoC. The processor is licensed from ARM, the GPU is licensed from Imagination Technologies. Apple designed the package and Samsung just manufacture it. Same with all the Ax SoC's (Samsung haven't designed any of them)

Actually, while you're right that the A6 is an SoC not only a processor, the CPU is not licensed from ARM. The architecture is (that being ARM V7), but the design and layout of the processing units themselves were done entirely by Apple (unlike the previous A series chips, which did license ARM cores). The GPU is indeed from Imagination.

socialjeebus  Oct. 17, 2012 at 00:01

Wow SPAMSUNG...that makes your post sound like you're not just Ignorant of the facts but also pretty childish too.

The late Steve Jobs made his thoughts on stealing ideas and technology very clear when he said "we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas". Funny how his attitude changed once Apple were on the receiving end.

Samsung "stole" rounded corners, a box for the product and bounceback. Only one jurisdiction in the world found in Apple's favour, perhaps unsurprisingly in its own backyard.

Apple tried and failed, spectacularly to rip~off proview using proxies and dodgy lawyers (why would anyone use a law firm based in Taiwan and Hong Kong which didn't have anyone, apparently, who could read Chinese characters), plus the whole Xerox thing, the fact that they've never paid a cent for 3G or 4 and the whole Foxconn business which took another turn today.

KJ77  Oct. 17, 2012 at 08:01

Samsung still manufactured all A6 chips. Taiwanese company, TSMC, seems to be the company which will manufacture A7 chips though. BTW, judges decided that 1Billion dollars award was contradictory to their findings and announced Samsung didn't copy Apple. Look it up.

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