Samsung to build Apple Watch S1 processor, says report

Apple has reportedly signed up rival tech firm Samsung as the lead manufacturer for its Apple Watch processor chips.

According to Digitimes, Samsung is setting up to build several thousand 12-inch wafers per month using a 28nm manufacturing process (read: a shedload of chips).

The processor in question will be part of Apple’s fledgling S1 system-in-package. That last bit basically refers to a type of chip design that sees multiple chips stacked on a single module, providing a package that handles most of the device’s functions.

In the package will be mobile DRAM, NAND flash and, of course, the Samsung-built processor.

It’s worth mentioning that the actual SiP module itself will be provided by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering; Samsung is only tied to the actual processors at this point.

What’s more, analysts have also revised Apple Watch shipments to as low as 10 million units for this year, down from previous estimates of around 30 to 40 million.

This revision could be a result of the fact that Samsung now only has two months to produce the chips for the Apple Watch, scheduled for release in March.

The report also revealed that Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company are already going head-to-head over who’s going to build processors for the second-gen Apple Watch.

Related: CES 2015: What’s happened at the Las Vegas tech expo so far?

We first heard that Apple was courting Samsung in regards to processor production for the Apple Watch back in November.

No deal had been finalised at the time, but Apple had reportedly ‘asked Samsung’ to provide application processors in advance of the device’s 2015 launch.

The Apple Watch is Apple’s virginal offering to the wearables market, and will see the fruity firm go head to head against a raft of rival smartwatches, many of which belong to Samsung.