It has emerged that Apple is sourcing at least one major component of its latest iPad and iPhone from within the US.
Sources speaking to Reuters claim that the A5 chip which powers both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S is being produced in a Samsung facility in Austin, Texas. Traditionally Apple looks to the East for the components and assembly of its mobile devices.
The $3.6billion facility in Austin is a non-memory chip production line which ramped up to full production in December and is almost exclusively producing the A5 chips. The plant itself is around the size of nine American Football pitches. Samsung also has a NAND flash memory production line in Austin.
Both Apple and Samsung have declined to comment on the situation but a spokeswomen for the South Korean manufacturer has said that the company expanded the Austin factory to include a production line to make logic chips. The A5 is one such chip.
The dual-core A5 chip, which uses technology licenced from British-based ARM Holdings, is only clocked at 800MHz but promises seven times the graphical performance of the A4 chip, according to Apple.
Samsung has added about 1,100 jobs to support the new non-memory chip production in the factory, which produces 40,000 silicon wafers every month, a Samsung spokeswoman said.
The rest of Samsung’s total 2,400 employees in Austin work in its NAND flash memory factory located near the logic chip factory, she added.