Is “Project Azalea” The Codename For Apple’s Massive U.S.-Based Chip Factory?
New York, California, Texas, and Oregon are reportedly competing to host a major semiconductor manufacturer with ties to Apple that will produce chips for Apple iPhones and iPads. The most recent piece of news concerning this comes from The Oregonian, which confirmed this week that Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, is recruiting a company that goes by the name of “Azalea.”
Business Oregon declined to discuss the details of their effort due to a signed nondisclosure agreement.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hinted that Apple would be building a 3.2 million square foot computer chip factory in his state, known as Project Azalea. California and Texas are also believed to be competing for “Project Azalea” and have reportedly been considered by consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu for the company behind Azalea.
A number of reports point towards Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as the company behind Project Azalea, which is rumored to be the company that will take over the mobile chip production for the iPhone and iPad, pushing out Samsung, Apple’s current supplier.
Samsung currently makes Apple’s custom processors, like the A6 in the iPhone 5 and the A6X in the fourth-generation iPad, at a chip manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas. Samsung also happens to be Apple’s rival, as the two companies are competing both in and outside of the courtroom with patent infringement lawsuits. Apple has been rumored to be trying to push Samsung out, which is one of the only companies in the world to make Apple’s custom-designed chips. Apple’s solution is a custom-built “fab” that would make them independent of Samsung.
Oregon is a definite possibility for Apple chips to be produced because Apple is already committed to building a data center in Prineville, Oregon, which began construction in October.