Apple has been relying on its Asian manufacturers for production and assembly of its popular gadgets. But Apple’s A5 chip, which powers the new iPhone 4S and the iPad 2, is now being manufactured in the United States of America, specifically Texas, according to reports.
Apple’s dual-core processor, named the A5, is now made in an Austin factory operated by the Korean company Samsung Electronics. The number of people employed at Samsung’s Austin plant that makes only the A5 is about 1,100. The 1.6-million-foot plant will require an investment of $3.6 billion from the total amount of $9 billion needed for the facility.
It was in March that the A5 chip made its debut on Apple's iPad 2. Subsequently, it was also used in the iPhone 4S. Compared to the previous A4, also made by Samsung, it is twice as fast. The main reason why semiconductor firms are attracted to Austin is the presence of the engineering school of the University of Texas, which has been instrumental in providing educated employees. In addition, there is an Apple customer call centre based in Austin which deals with customer complaints in North America.
It was in 1996 that Samsung began the U.S. plant with the intention of making its NAND flash memory chips. The production of those chips along with the A5 continues. There will be more job opportunities if the SoC for the iPhone 5 is produced in this facility by Samsung, considering the high interest already generated by this Apple device.