Analyst: Samsung to manufacture chips for Nvidia

Oh, what a strange world we live in. Nvidia and Samsung are currently at odds over graphics IP and other patents, and they've gone so far as to ask for the ITC to block shipments of some of each others' products. However, a report from Business Korea suggests the two firms have agreed to work together on chip production.

This juicy tidbit is attributed to Meritz Securities analyst Park Yu-ak, who says, "Samsung's system semiconductor business is going to mass produce and supply chips to Apple, Qualcomm, and Nvidia starting in the second quarter of this year." Yu-ak doesn't specify the fabrication technology that will be used to manufacture silicon for those companies, but Samsung's 14-nm FinFET process seems the most likely candidate.

I'm not familiar with the analyst or the Korean securities firm he represents, so a sprinkling of salt is definitely warranted. But perhaps not too much, because Apple and Qualcomm have been linked to Samsung's 14-nm process before. In October, ZDNet reported that Samsung was gearing up to build 14-nm chips for both companies—and also for AMD.

The ZDNet report mentioned application processors specifically, and the Business Korea piece echoes that sentiment. If Nvidia is getting in on Samsung's 14-nm process, it's likely for SoCs rather than, say, high-end desktop GPUs. The Tegra X1 processor Nvidia announced at CES is fabbed on 20-nm tech, so 14-nm production would presumably be reserved for something else.

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