No A6 Chip for iPad Until June 2012 at the Earliest?

a5 ipad 2A pair of reports from July and earlier this month had claimed that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun trial production of Apple's next-generation A6 system-on-chip, with the latter report claiming that the design would be "publicly unveiled" in the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest.

While Apple has only released two generations of the iPad so far, the company has initially appeared to be interested in a yearly update cycle for the device, but the claimed A6 timeline suggested that Apple might be hard-pressed to stick to a March-April release for the iPad 3 should it be based on the A6. But given that April is indeed the beginning of the second quarter, the company could sneak in with its next yearly iPad update if "publicly unveiled" were to refer to a launch inside the next iPad.

CNET now reports, however, that Linley Group analyst Kevin Krewell has issued a research note claiming that full production of the A6 won't begin before the second quarter of 2012, pushing the release of any A6-based hardware out to at least June.

"A final version of the chip will enter production in 2Q12 'at the earliest'... We believe this timing makes sense," Krewell said. "This pace would make the A6 one of the first 28 [nanometer] mobile processors (along with Qualcomm's MSM8960) to enter production. This schedule, however, breaks Apple's annual processor-upgrade cycle and will delay any products using the A6 until at least June 2012."

The report also notes that Apple's A6 chip is expected to sport a quad-core processor and will use "3D" transistor technology analogous to the Tri-Gate technology being used by Intel for its chips.

The rumored A6 is a major step-up in chip design. Not only does it contain four processor cores (the existing Apple A5 has two cores) but will use so-called 3D technology, Linley Group senior analyst Kevin Krewell said this week in a research note, citing a report in the Taiwan Economic News. The 3D tech is roughly analogous to Intel's 3D technology announced in May.

Apple had been rumored to be trying to release an upgraded iPad sometime before the end of 2011, reportedly with a "Retina" display sporting higher resolution than the current iPad. But last week, a report claimed that Apple had pushed back those plans due to difficulty with production on the displays. Days later, The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Apple was working on a new iPad for "early 2012".

Krewell suggests that Apple could release an A5-powered iPad 3 at that time, relying on the upgraded display to drive customer demand. An A6-powered iPad would then come later, although it seems unlikely that Apple would want to wait until 2013 to release an iPad based on the chip.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

alent1234 Avatar
132 months ago
Quad core will be a huge leap. Console like graphics in gaming would be possible and the inclusion of retina will only accentuate this significant advancement in technology.

now they just need to make console like games
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
132 months ago
Not surprising. 32nm and 28nm nodes have been a mess for TSMC.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PJMAN2952 Avatar
132 months ago
Okay here is a lesson for all of us. If you keep on waiting for something good to come out in tech related, you will never get it. So just get the iPad 2 and be happy about it. If you are waiting for like iPad 4 or something, that's ridiculous.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nesto Avatar
132 months ago
The report also notes that Apple's A6 chip is expected to sport a quad-core processor and will use "3D" transistor technology analogous to the Tri-Gate (https://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/04/intels-ivy-bridge-platform-to-utilize-3-d-transistors/) technology being used by Intel for its chips.

Too many analysts are making this error, Intel's tri-gate is a 3D TRANSISTOR technology. TSMC is NOT implementing anything like a tri-gate transistor at 28nm. They WILL be using 3D ROUTING technology (TSV - through silicon vias) - a VERY different technology than trigate transistors. One which is not particularly leading edge BTW.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
132 months ago
Probably with the iPad 3 which was intended for 2012 at the earliest anyway.

Don't get me wrong. I own an iPad 2 and I would have been delighted if Apple released an iPad 3 this year, but nothing about those rumors seemed realistic.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
132 months ago
How does 2nd quarter mean June?

2nd quarter is April 1 - June 30.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
Top Stories 74 Thumbnail

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Nears Launch, Larger Apple Watch?, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Rumors

Saturday August 28, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
August is rapidly drawing to close, which means Apple's annual iPhone launch event is right around the corner. iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 rumors are continuing to circulate, and we're also hearing about Mac updates likely coming a bit later. Apple is also finishing up work on its upcoming software updates like iOS 15, with some late-addition features starting to go live in beta while ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...