Sunday, August 14, 2011

TSMC begins trial production of Apple's next-generation A6 SoC

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has begun trial production of the A6, which will be Apple's next-generation SoC (system-on-a-chip). It had been reported in June that Apple would move away from Ssmsung for its next processor; Samsung had manufactured Apple's previous A4 and current A5.

Save up to 30% at your favorite stores.The A6 is expected to show up in Apple's upcoming iPhone 5. With a move to TSMC, Apple is seen as wanting to divest itself from its relationship to Samsung, which has become contentious.

Apple has sued Samsung over similarities between several Samsung devices and iDevices. Apple recently won a preliminary injunction in Europe against the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung also recently said it would halt advertising and not sell the device in Australia until a similar lawsuit is settled.

The A6 is expected to ship in Apple products beginning in Q2 of 2012. That timing, of course, would mean if Apple chose to release the iPad 3 this year, as has been rumored, rather than next year, as would be more typical, the device would have to use the current A5.

This new report came from the Taiwan Economic News, and contradicts earlier rumors that said that TSMC had begun its first trial run of A6 chips in July. Either way, it seems that the development of the A6 is well underway. TSMC is the world’s largest contract microchip manufacturer, and also manufactures chips for NVIDIA and Qualcomm.

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