TSMC to start trial manufacturing Apple’s next generation A6 chip

Reuters is reporting that Apple is conducting trials with Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC for its next generation A6 processor; according to sources familiar with the matter.

TSMC has got all the authorization and details ready. Whether Apple puts in a formal order will depend on the yield rate, said the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media. The source did not provide further details of the orders.

This could be a significant development in the ongoing “copy-cat” lawsuit between Apple and Samsung. Samsung is currently the sole supplier of the current generation A5 chip which is used in the iPad 2. The A5 chip is also widely rumored to be the chip of choice for the next generation iPhone 5 too. It appears that Apple may be looking to sever its ties with Samsung for its future chip production.

The A6 processor will likely debut in the iPad 3 when it is launched next year. Apple tends to introduce new processors to the iPad line of devices first, then introduces them to the iPhone and iPod touch when they are updated.



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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

TSMC to start trial manufacturing Apple’s next generation A6 chip


Go go go. Hopefully it's a dual-core Cortex A15 w/PowerVR 554MP2 or Series 6 GPU with 1 GB RAM on top. A Gobi chip stacked in the package would be great too.

So how do you think this will impact the performance of the SoC. Since they'll most likely have to change some things around to avoid patent infringement with these.

Isn't the specific setup of the A4/5 in conjunction with Samsung? I could be wrong, but I thought it was. If their contract is ended, wouldn't that effect that?
I don't know myself...so that's why I was asking.

Highly doubtful that Samsung has anything to do with Apple's A5. The only thing they do is fab the parts, and Apple basically owns the whole design.
The Cortex-A9 CPU cores are licensed from ARM Holdings. Apple is likely just licensing the transistor, circuit masks (how the circuits, transistors are laid out on the silicon) from them. Apple tells Samsung to build to said masks.
The PowerVR GPU cores are likely similarly licensed from Imagine Tech.
The logic glue is likely all Apples.
The memory chips (RAM) in the package can be swapped out at will between various vendors.
I don't know where the chips are assembled into the packages that you recognize as the A5 SoC.

Oh okay, cool. Well yeah, I think they should split. It will be a hit for
Samsung, but better in the long run.

Bye bye Samsung! Guess you're going to have to come up with your own tech instead of stealing it from everyone else!