LONDON – Foundry chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has started making the ARM-based A6 processor Apple on a trial basis, according to a Reuters report that cited an unnamed source.
The move by Apple to TSMC and away from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has been widely expected as relations between the companies at the system level have deteriorated. Samsung with its Android-based tablet computers and smartphones is a big competitor to Apple with its iPad and iPhone.
However, Reuters' source said that TSMC manufacturing is on trial with Apple and orders will depend on the yield the foundry can achieve.
Samsung has been the sole supplier of the previous iterations of the Apple processor, the A4 and the A5. The A6 is rumored to be quad-core processor implemented in a 28-nm manufacturing process.
One possibility is that Apple could seek to qualify both Samsung and TSMC and operate them as mutual second-sources and moving orders to maintain downward price pressure.
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