Project Azalea – Apple’s Top Secret Chip Fab Potentially Confirmed

Sources in Oregon suggest Apple may start producing its own iPhone chips

By on December 19th, 2012 14:21 GMT

Apple has been heavily rumored to build factories to make its own chips and now chatter in Oregon, USA apparently confirms these plans, amid speculation of Apple reducing its chip orders with Samsung.

It was previously though that Apple would deploy this chip fab somewhere in or around the state of New York.

However, Oregon’s economic development agency, Business Oregon, confirms that it’s “recruiting a company that goes by the codename ‘Azalea,’” according to The Oregonian.

The details are scarce, as the firm has a non-disclosure agreement with its employer, which is believed to be Apple.

This belief stems primarily from the money involved with this top secret project, which is said to be “in the billions of dollars.”

High profile figures within the chip industry speculate that “the fab would be a contract facility to build microprocessors for Apple’s mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad,” according to the report.

Why stop at iPhone and iPad? If there’s anything we know about Apple is that the company loves to take control of its own destiny, both in hardware, and in software. But especially in hardware.

While Apple will almost certainly break away from Samsung – the sole A-series chip maker – in the near future, the company may also use its rumored fab to create custom x86 processors for Macintosh computers.

A pull from Intel has also been speculated, though it’s not very likely that Apple will start producing all its computer chips at once.

At the rate Apple’s devices sell with each passing generation, it will be next to impossible for a single fab to handle the processor making for iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, iMac, etc.

And, of course, there’s also the possibility that the oddly-dubbed Project Azelea isn’t even Apple’s. After all, the Cupertino giant isn’t the only company capable of throwing around a few billions, is it?

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