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

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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.

[via MacRumors]