Apple’s already relying on Samsung to supply the OLED displays for the iPhone 8, and it appears the two will be working together on yet another component of the handset. As per DigiTimes, the US-based company is in a crisis mode of sorts over 3D NAND chips and has turned to its South Korean rival to help it out.
This unexpected course of events has come about because SK Hynix and Toshiba are both apparently experiencing lower-than-expected yield rates for its 3D NAND technologies. Industry insiders claim that the overall supply of these chips for Apple’s 2017 iPhones has fallen short of demand by a huge 30% margin.
It seems Apple had no choice but to strike a deal with Samsung as the latter has relatively stable yield rates for 3D NAND technology. Sources say global supply of these chipsets is set to remain tight till the end of 2017 as most major suppliers are still going through disappointing yield rates for their 3D NAND technologies.
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3D NAND chips require a much more delicate manufacturing process than standard flash memory options. Apple switched to the former last year, stuffing 48-layer NAND chipsets into the iPhone 7. Word on the street is that it plans to take things a step further with the iPhone 8 by utilizing 64-layer chips.
Samsung, Toshiba, and Micron Technolofy are all notably transitioning to 64-layer 3D NAND flash. SK Hynix plans to leap ahead of the pack by jumping straight to 72-layer 3D chips. The main advantage with these chipsets is that they pack more storage into a smaller space.