TSMC Begins Trial Manufacturing of Apple A6 Processors

tsmcReuters reports that Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC has already started a trial manufacturing of the A6 system-on-chip for Apple, Inc.

Apple has been reported to be shifting its chip manufacturing from Samsung to a "non-competititor" such as TSMC. Whether TSMC actually wins the contract from Apple will depend on their ability to produce a high enough yield of the A6 processors.

"TSMC has got all the authorization and details ready. Whether Apple puts in a formal order will depend on the yield rate," the source said.

Such a shift to TSMC would be a significant loss to Samsung. Apple has become Samsung's biggest customer with over $7.8 billion in product contracts this year. The two companies, however, have had an increasingly uneasy relationship with lawsuits and accusations that Samsung has been copying Apple's iPhone and iPad products.

The A6 will be the successor to Apple's A5 system-on-chip which presently powers the iPad 2. Like the A4 before it, the A5 contains an ARM processor, graphics processing unit and RAM for Apple's mobile devices. The A5 is also expected to power the upcoming iPhone 5.

It's not clear what additional improvements we'll see with the A6 chip, but one possibility is the incorporation of the latest PowerVR Series 6 GPU which promises a significant graphical performance boost to the current implementation. The A6 chip has been previously rumored to be shipping in 2012.

Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
124 months ago

not really. You need to remember that the void Apple would leave for a client would be very easy to replace. Much easier than Apple replacing Samsung. There are advantages to shortages in ARM and silcon parts. Supplier hold most of the cards.

LOL. Idle fabs are incredibly expensive things. It will raise the cost of even Samsung's own products.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
124 months ago

This "move" is a bigger headache for Apple than Samsung, that much I can assure you. Apple is a Samsung customer and is reliant upon them. Samsung never has and never will be reliant on Apple. Their silicon goes into a LOT of products that don't have :apple: tattooed on them.


how on earth is it a "headache?" They no longer have to contend with a non-standard process, their EDA tools and flows will be much happier, and they likely will pay less per wafer.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
marksman Avatar
124 months ago

not really. You need to remember that the void Apple would leave for a client would be very easy to replace. Much easier than Apple replacing Samsung. There are advantages to shortages in ARM and silcon parts. Supplier hold most of the cards.


You are always joking around. Stop it or someone might think you are being serious one of these times!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RalfTheDog Avatar
124 months ago

You are telling me that they could not find another client/clients that would fill Apple void.
I was implying that the fabs would not sit idle for very long if at all. So back to my orginal point.

Apple is a big chunk of the total market. When your best customer walks away and gives his money to the competition, it is never a happy day.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
124 months ago

Hopefully this happens soon so Samsung would lose their one of their largest customer and a significantly source of revenue.



Currently new process.

That means:
- experimental, won't be ready for years
- high defects
- low yield


Yea, that would be great if Samsung went out of business. I'm hoping for the day when Apple is the only company on earth and and that one day it will make all consumer and industrial products. I'm talking cars, airplanes, supermarkets, gasoline, electricity, etc. Apple will have all of the money in the world, and then everyone here will finally be happy.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
124 months ago

Haha yeah. I didn't think you had any examples to offer either. ;)


You've got to be joking. You're seriously stating that you have never seen any examples of the blind, Apple rules, Steve is god, etc posted on this site? Please. :rolleyes:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...