Today Samsung announced its plans to invest $4 billion in renovations to their chip plant in Austin, TX, where the company reportedly manufactures the A5 and A5X CPU chips for the iPad and iPhone. The planned renovations are intended to boost production of the chips by converting older facilities currently used for memory chip production.
The $4 billion investment means that Samsung will have a total of $13 billion invested in the Austin plant. Samsung also announced in June that it plans to build a new logic chip plant in its home country of South Korea, with a projected cost of $1.98 billion.
According to Samsung, the remodeled line will “mainly produce state-of-the-art mobile SoCs on 300mm wafers at the 28nm process node.” The renovations are set to begin this month, and the project is scheduled to begin mass production within the second half of 2013.
Although Samsung is not saying exactly who it makes the chips for, they are believed to be the sole supplier of Apple’s custom processors found in the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Apple TV. However, there have been persistent rumors that Apple is attempting to distance itself from Samsung, and reportedly signed an agreement with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company last year to produce ARM chips for Apple devices as soon as this year. So far there has been no indication that anyone other than Samsung has received orders from Apple for A5 or A5X chips though.
This news may come as a surprise, considering the current courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung, but as the popularity of Apple’s devices soars, so does the demand for their components. Business is business, after all, and supplying more chips to Apple is sure to improve Samsung’s bottom line.