Apple Shuns Samsung, Begins Testing A6 Chip with TSMC [Report]

Apple Shuns Samsung, Begins Testing A6 Chip with TSMC [Report]

Though the iPhone is still yet to benefit from Apple’s latest dual-core A5 chip, the company has already begun testing its successor, according to a Reuters report. However, it may not be produced by Samsung like its predecessors.

Instead, production of the A6 could be shifted to TSMC, a “non-competitor.”

Whether TSMC actually secures a contract with Apple will depend upon the company’s capacity to produce the number of A6 processors necessary to meet the huge demand of Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, according to sources:

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

Rumors that Apple would shift production of its processors away from Samsung began shortly after the two companies entered a collection of legal spats. Apple initiated the battle by suing Samsung for allegedly copying the iPhone with its Galaxy smartphone. Samsung then launched a counterattack which could cost the company dearly. If Apple’s deals with TSMC does come to fruition, it will be a massive loss to Samsung.

Apple is currently Samsung’s biggest customer, with over $7.8 billion in product contracts in 2011 alone. In addition to Apple’s mobile ARM processors, Samsung also supplies touchscreen displays and flash memory to the Cuperino company.

The A6 processor is expected to begin shipping in 2012, and will no doubt be introduced in Apple’s 2012 iPad. Although its technical specifications remain a mystery, the chip is rumored to boast the latest PowerVR Series 6 GPU — which promises to improve graphical performance significantly over the A5.

  • lwdesign1

    Oh Samsung! A basic rule of business is to never try to rip off your best customer’s ideas (i.e. the iPhone and iPad). Being a Korean company, I’d have thought they understood the principle of karma. Good on Apple for sticking up for its design innovation rights, finally. Until the iPhone came along, nothing else looked or operated like it. Same with the iPad. Now whole batches of wannabe manufacturers have copied the entire physical look of these 2 products, and the basic GUI as if it’s a free for all.

  • techgeek01

    Well, if Apple doesn’t want to use Samsung components any more its their lost.  Last I heard, Samsung was the only company that is able to make the best components at the volume apple needs. 

    This will end up hurting Apple more, because Samsung could just switch the production from Apple to themselves.  And how popular Samsung devices have been becoming, that will just help them more. 

  • mai duc chung

    The usual idea is that you would use NFC to set up the link between the two devices and then do an automatic hand over to a different protocol for doing the actual transfer of data – eg Bluetooth,iphone 5

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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