Most, if not all, of the components in your precious iPad or iPad 2 came from Asian factories, which are able to supply Apple with low-cost equipment and labor. That’s set to change, at least in a small way, because Apple has a new supplier for one of the major components in the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S – good ol’ Texas.
That’s right, from now on, the A5 processor that powers the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S comes from the great state known for oil, cowboys, and downright tasty barbecue.
The core component of two of Apple’s most popular devices is being manufactured in Texas because Apple nemesis Samsung recently acquired an enormous 1.6 million square feet factory in Austin. That’s the size of nine football fields!
Apple’s A5 processor is being constructed by Samsung in a brand new $3.6 billion non-memory chip production line with 1,100 employees, which finally reached full capacity earlier this month. Almost all of the square footage in the factory is used to produce the chips for Apple. Samsung began supplying processors to Apple from the Austin factory earlier this year, though both Apple and Samsung declined to comment on the arrangement.
Austin is a hot spot for semiconductor companies, thanks to plenty of well-educated employees trained by the University of Texas’ engineering school. Freescale Semiconductor, ARM, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices all have operations in the city.
Apple was rumored to be shifting business away from Samsung, given the legal trouble between the two, but with this new factory dedicated to producing Apple’s processors, that may not be the case. It was rumored that Apple’s A6 and A7 chips might be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, but recent information suggests that Samsung is already producing the A6 at the Austin plant. With Samsung’s new factory, let’s hope that Apple will be able to meet demand for its next generation devices without the long waits we’ve become accustomed to.