After having lost out to TSMC in 2013, Samsung is back manufacturing chips for Apple. The Investor is reporting that the two have inked a deal that will see Samsung back to manufacturing Apple’s A12 line of chips built on a 7 nm process.
According to sources, one of Samsung’s three co-CEOs was instrumental in closing the deal. Kwon Oh-hyun, who oversees Samsung’s parts and chips business was able to persuade the top brass at Apple about Samsung’s technical know-how on OLED tech and how it could be useful in the chip-making process. With Apple going for OLED panels with its upcoming iPhone 8, handling the new kind of display would be a mandatory requirement for the new A12 CPUs. Samsung is awaiting approval from Apple on its chip-manufacturing tests and will start producing as soon as it receives the same.
Samsung has become a dominant player in the chip-making business with revenues from its semiconductor business reaching $5.6 billion in Q1 2017. With almost all of the major smartphone manufacturers either using OLED tech or planning a switch (Xiaomi is looking at incorporating OLED displays as well), Samsung’s dominance and advantage in this field is poised to stay on for a long while now.