Apple and Samsung have signed a deal for Apple A9 processor chips that will be put in the 7th generation Apple iPhones, despite an Apple iPhone 5S or Apple iPhone 6 being announced yet.
Samsung gained Apple’s business again because they have irreplaceable technical expertise for developing 14-nanometer chips.
Samsung’s largest competitor is Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC). Apple has deals with TSMC as well.
The average sheet of paper size is about 100,000 nanometers thick. The A9 chip can fit over 7,000 components in around the thickness of a page. Interestingly, scientists believe that this degree of miniaturization hits a theoretical maximum according to VentureBeat. Going smaller than this will result in a quantum tunneling effect that renders calculations unstable. Currently 20-nanometer chips are being used for smartphones.
If TSCM can hit the 14-nanometer fabrication process, Apple will likely sign a deal with them for A9 chips also.