Apple and GlobalFoundries: Chipping Away at the Chip Rumors



GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor foundry with facilities in several cities around the world, is expected to begin manufacturing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone and iPad chips at its Fab 8 facility in Malta, New York. Albany’s Times Union reported that preparations were underway, and that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (SSNLF.PK) will be assisting the program initially.

Last week, the paper stated that Samsung would utilize GlobalFoundries’ Technology Development Center upon its completion. After the article appeared, GlobalFoundries contacted the Times Union to say there was no plan involving outside companies running or operating the new center.

The paper reported Monday that there has been no denials of Samsung working with GlobalFoundries as a partner. The contacted source said that Samsung was going to bring the “‘recipes’” for Apple chips to Fab 8 in order to assist in setting up GlobalFoundries capabilities to produce the technology. The rumors have been swirling for months now. In July, CNET spoke with a source in the semiconductor industry. At that time, Apple and GlobalFoundries had been discussing matters, but there was no firm deal.

Also in July, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer added fuel to the fire when he announced he had been working to foster a relationship between the two companies. ”I have been urging Apple to consider developing a manufacturing and research partnership with GlobalFoundries,” Times Union reports Schumer said. “This would be show-stopping news in the Capital Region, and I am doing everything I can to make this a reality.”

One reason people can see how Samsung could impart its chip making wisdom on GlobalFoundries is because, along with International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM), the companies use “Common Platform,” a collaborative approach to research and development.

But like Lee Corso disputing a College Game Day pick, AllThingsD says “not so fast, my friends.” The outlet has spoken to sources who expect that Samsung will continue to be the main provider of Apple’s chips. Instead of GlobalFoundries having a primary role in operations, it will instead be called upon as needed. For example, if Samsung finds itself operating at max capacity, it may send the overflow of work to GlobalFoundries.

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