TSMC begins trial production on Apple’s upcoming A6 chip

Fri, Aug 12, 2011


A few weeks back, reports surfaced suggesting Apple, on account of their dispute with Samsung, wanted to tap Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to manufacture its A6 chip. In addition to Apple’s beef with Samsung, it’s also been reported that Apple is interested in TSMC because they have the highest yielding 40-nm process in the world and that they’re also working hard to move to a 28-nm process.

That said, the Taiwan Economic News is reporting that TSMC has already begun trial production on Apple’s A6 chip which is expected to appear in Apple’s iOS products beginning in 2012.

Accordingly, TSMC has applied its newest 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies to produce the next-generation processor A6, which is based on the ARM architecture and will undergo TSMC’s cutting-edge silicon interposer and bump on trace (BOT) methodologies…

In fact, the sources said, TSMC has been capable of handling processor production for Apple, but didn’t build the business ties with the customer in the past due mainly to limited production lines, which were almost fully booked by existing customers, including Nvidia and Qualcomm. But, the industry has been experiencing a depression, making TSMC stand the chance to collaborate with Apple on processor production this year.

The report notes that the A6 chip will debut during the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest, which would suggest that Apple’s next-gen iPad will be the first product to include it. Interestingly enough, though, there have been a number of rumors suggesting Apple will release a third iPad model sometime this fall to further shore up its commanding lead over a slew of tablet competitors who, try as they might, still can’t compete with Apple.


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