Apple has reportedly chosen Samsung to help develop its next-generation M2 chips. Apple revealed its M1 chip in 2020 on three different devices – the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. Apple is currently using various versions of the M1 chip in MacBooks, Macs, and some iPad models as well.
The Apple M1 SoC is an ARM processor. It uses a different architecture compared to the x86-based processors made by AMD and Intel. However, the main advantage of using an ARM-based chip is high efficiency. The Apple M1 SoC offers among the highest per-watt performance on the market. More powerful variants of the M1 chip including the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and the M1 Ultra take this already impressive performance to an even higher level.
Related: The M2 Mac mini Could Release A Lot Sooner Than We Expected
Apple is now working on its next-generation M2 SoC. According to a report by South Korean publication ET News, Samsung Electro-Mechanics is working with Apple to develop the M2 chips. Samsung beat LG Innotek to become Apple’s processor packaging partner by supplying a high-specification substrate for the M1 SoC, which turned out to be a huge success. The publication also confirms previously reported news about Apple launching at least nine Mac computers featuring the upgraded M2 SoC, which is expected to be announced in the first half of 2022.
Samsung Wins The Bid A Second Time
Samsung Electro-Mechanics will reportedly develop a Flip-Chip Ball Grid array (FC-BGA) for Apple M2 processors. It is a particular form of ball grid array that utilizes a flip-chip also known as a controlled collapse chip connection. Simply put, it is a semi-conductor substrate responsible for connecting the semiconductor chip to the main array. Some of the advantages of using Flip-Chips include high moisture resistance and improved thermal conductivity.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics is the biggest player in the semiconductor package substrate business in terms of technology and market share. As per ET News, the chipmaker invested KRW 1.3 trillion ($1.04 billion) in its Vietnamese production facility in 2021 to boost production. Samsung Electro-Mechanics also bank-rolled an additional KRW 300 billion ($241 million) into FC-BGA substrate in March 2022. However, in an official statement regarding its collaboration with Apple, a spokesperson said “We cannot confirm our customer information.”
Apart from Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Ibiden and Unimicron, based in Japan and Taiwan respectively, are the other companies that manufacture the FC-BGA for Apple. LG Innotek, based in South Korea, is another new manufacturer that recently entered this space. It is currently not participating in the development of the M2 chip, but a recent report revealed that Apple is collaborating with LG Innotek to manufacture the iPhone 15’s periscope lens. Apple will likely reveal the M2 processor at its upcoming virtual WWDC 2022 event in June.