Apple's M2 Chip Is Still In The Works, With Help From Samsung

Samsung and Apple are archrivals in the smartphones space, with both brands in a constant battle for global domination and larger market share. However, both these brands have also been collaborating for nearly as long as the iPhone has been in existence. To cite a few examples, Samsung originally made the chipsets that went into the early iPhone models, and, for a long time now, Samsung subsidiary Samsung Display has been a primary supplier for the excellent AMOLED panels we see on modern iPhone models. 

Additionally, when Apple announced its ARM-based desktop-oriented M1 chips back in 2020, it was another Samsung subsidiary company — Samsung Electro-Mechanics — that supplied Apple with the flip-chip ball grid array (FC-BGA) used on the chip. And if we are to believe recent reports, Samsung will continue to work with Apple to supply them with the FC-BGA for Apple's next-generation Apple M2 chips that are likely to launch later this year.

Samsung FC-BGA and the supply chain

For those of you wondering what the FC-BGA actually is, the simplest explanation is that it is a printed circuit board (PCB) used to connect the semiconductor chip to the main substrate. With Apple seemingly happy with the Samsung-made FC-BGA, they seem to be more than willing to continue working with Samsung and extend the co-operation to include Apple's second-generation ARM-based desktop-oriented chips. We are, of course, talking about the much-rumored Apple M2 chips.

Meanwhile, ET News reports that Apple had already begun working on the M2 chips immediately after it introduced the first generation Apple M1 silicon back in late 2021. Current expectations are that Apple will introduce the first of its Apple M2 chip-based products by the second half of 2022. This timeline aligns with a claim from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman that Apple is working on four different variants of Apple M2 chips which will be spread across nine different devices that Apple could introduce later this year. 

There have also been talks about a redesigned MacBook Air leading the pack as the first Apple product to feature the upcoming M2 chip. As noted by MacRumors, suppliers involved in the production of the Apple M2 chips include TSMC — which will fabricate the chips at its foundry — Ibiden, and Unimicron, which will supply the board for the chip.