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.

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Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
168 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
168 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
168 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
168 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
168 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
168 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)