Apple will soon be contracting with GlobalFoundries in the backwoods of New York to have them produce A-series logic chips for iPhones and iPads, GlobalFoundries sources close to the the Albany Times Union have tipped. This represents a major expansion on the part of Apple to include more companies in its chip manufacturing, all of which it outsources. GlobalFoundries will be added to Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) as Apple’s A-series chip suppliers.
Samsung will be working closely with GlobalFoundries to get them set up to produce the logic chips, which are the processing soul of all of Apple’s mobile devices. As Apple’s chief supplier of chips, Samsung is in a unique position to help GlobalFoundries create the manufacturing processes. Those two supplier companies already have a working relationship, having synchronized four of their fabrication facilities two years ago to increase manufacturing capacity for both companies while maintaining consistent standards and designs for their B2B and consumer customers.
Apple has long sought more manufacturers to assist in its chip production. In June, it added TSM. With GlobalFoundries, its chip-making roster gets boosted to three. Apple’s choice of GlobalFoundries is attributable to three main reasons: GlobalFoundries already works with Samsung, which gives it an instant boost in terms of technical expertise; its main fabrication facilities are based in the US, which is in line with Apple’s desire to shift more and more of its supply origins to US soil; and its fabs are top-notch, its current New York fab being a $2 billion powerhouse and its new one, now under construction adjacent, costing $15 billion.
The Times Union also reports that US Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York had a hand in the Apple-GlobalFoundries partnership. “I have been urging Apple to consider developing a manufacturing and research partnership with GlobalFoundries,” Schumer said this last summer. “This would be show-stopping news in the Capital Region, and I am doing everything I can to make this a reality.” What exactly he did besides “urge” Apple to cast its line into New York is unclear.