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Apple's A5 processor now manufactured in Texas

Chris Rawson, @@rawsoncj
December 16, 2011
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"Designed by Apple in California" -- you'll find that on virtually every Apple product. While it's well-known that the brains of Apple's outfit are indeed housed in California, it's almost as well-known that Apple's products are almost wholly manufactured overseas. Indeed, Apple has been a target of criticism in the past because of how much it relies upon labor outside the US.

However, according to a new report from Reuters, apparently at least one major component of Apple's portable devices is in fact manufactured in the States -- in Texas, to be more specific. Reuters reports that the A5 processor that powers both the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S is built in a Samsung-owned, 1.6 million square foot factory in Austin, Texas.

The A5 production line in Austin reportedly reached full production earlier this month, and Reuters' sources say nearly the entire factory's non-memory production is geared toward cranking out A5 chips for Apple. Previously the only source of A5 chips was Samsung's factory in South Korea.

Austin's A5 production line has created 1100 new jobs in the Austin area, Reuters says. Reports from earlier this year indicated that rival production firm TSMC may produce the next-generation A6 processor instead of (or possibly in addition to) Samsung. While Samsung is the main supplier for many of the central components of Apple's iOS-powered devices, it is also one of Apple's chief competitors in the smartphone market. The two companies have also been embroiled in a knockdown-dragout patent battle across multiple continents for several months, so it's not clear just how long this Samsung production line in Texas will be doing business with Apple.

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