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Apple A6 Chip in Early Production Stages at TSMC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments

TSMC could score yet another contract for a fancy chip.

Samsung is Apple's chip partner with its ARM-based A4 and A5 that have been the brains of the latest iPod touch, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices. Of course, the two companies aren't friends in the legal realm right now, so perhaps Apple is just looking for a new friend with a factory.

The Taiwanese Economic News reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) has allegedly started trial production of Apple's A6 chip, which will likely be used in future generations of Apple mobile devices.

TSMC is lending its 28nm process with 3D chip stacking technology to Apple's A6 chip, with plans to be taped out in Q1 2012. The A6 could hit real products as soon as Q2.

Sadly, there are not any details yet regarding the chip, but hopefully it'll give Nvidia's quad-core Kal-El a run for its money. Yay for competitive progress, right?

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  • 16 Hide
    brickman , August 22, 2011 12:13 AM
    Apple is such a whore. They sue Samsung and drop them from making any chips for the apple. If I was TSMC I wouldn't get too comfortable.
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    brickman , August 22, 2011 12:13 AM
    Apple is such a whore. They sue Samsung and drop them from making any chips for the apple. If I was TSMC I wouldn't get too comfortable.
  • 1 Hide
    JeanLuc , August 22, 2011 12:13 AM
    Nvidia's Tegra 2 is so far behind Power VR's SGX543 series Kal-El needs to great just to make up for lost ground on the older technology let alone trying to compete against the A6. I just wish Google with its Android OS would ditch Nvidia's Tegra 2 and go with the hugely superior Power VR solution.
  • 1 Hide
    mister g , August 22, 2011 12:22 AM
    Huh, that's why TSMC ditched the 32nm node, or am I mistaken in that that was only a GPU node?
  • 4 Hide
    HansVonOhain , August 22, 2011 12:47 AM
    Apple will sue TSMC eventually for breaking patent rights..
  • 6 Hide
    walter87 , August 22, 2011 12:48 AM
    brickmanApple is such a whore. They sue Samsung and drop them from making any chips for the apple. If I was TSMC I wouldn't get too comfortable.

    I wouldn't be suprised if we see Intel be the next target. Apples is filing patents for the MacBook Air and very soon could start suing Intel cause they want to help introduce Ultrabooks for the PC manufacturers.
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 22, 2011 1:19 AM
    Isn't it kind of late to start early production of A6 now, when the next iPhone is set to launch October?
  • 1 Hide
    jecastej , August 22, 2011 2:41 AM
    walter87I wouldn't be suprised if we see Intel be the next target. Apples is filing patents for the MacBook Air and very soon could start suing Intel cause they want to help introduce Ultrabooks for the PC manufacturers.


    Apple is one of the companies behind INTEL's ultrabook project, if not the only one right now. But I imagine INTEL wants more clients aboard.
  • 0 Hide
    Maximus_Delta , August 22, 2011 2:43 AM
    Looks like the 28nm TSMC process is all good, so why no word yet on the next gen graphics cards ??
  • 0 Hide
    kingkuei , August 22, 2011 2:53 AM
    Maximus_DeltaLooks like the 28nm TSMC process is all good, so why no word yet on the next gen graphics cards ??


    Yield rates are probably still low compared to larger, but more mature processes.
  • 2 Hide
    neoverdugo , August 22, 2011 2:55 AM
    I would love to see "Crapple" suing Intel for patent violation, only to get real butthurt by Intel. These patent allegation are nothing more than dramatic soap operas that in the end the she... I mean the customers gets the worst end. It would be much simpler if "all" of us boycott Apple into start acting like a well civilized corporation, I mean no greedy-capitalistic behavior, Or else: no more money for its products.
  • 4 Hide
    kingkuei , August 22, 2011 2:55 AM
    EddieroolzIsn't it kind of late to start early production of A6 now, when the next iPhone is set to launch October?


    Next iPhone gets the A5 chip. This A6 is for the generation AFTER that, likely debuting in the next iPad first given its larger size and battery, it can better handle heat dissipation and power draw, which are much more difficult engineering issues to deal with when you get into the smaller form of the iPhone.
  • 1 Hide
    anastasios912 , August 22, 2011 3:12 AM
    walter87I wouldn't be suprised if we see Intel be the next target. Apples is filing patents for the MacBook Air and very soon could start suing Intel cause they want to help introduce Ultrabooks for the PC manufacturers.


    And that certainly wouldn't surprise me. Apple has a great business model (obviously because they make BOAT loads of cash) and I like some of their products, namely mac os (I don't use it, but a lot of the features are very nice) but this kind of shit really pisses me off. They have so much power it is ridiculous, and their followers remind me of lemmings, they'd follow them to the ends of the earth. Anything that has an Apple branding on it deserves complete worship and all other products are horribly designed because Steve Jobs didn't oversee production. Complete BS

    (and I know people like this lol, it's a PRODUCT people. We're just dollars and cents to them, pick the one you like best, no need to argue over which mobile phone operating system is superior, give me a break. It amazes me how people can adopt consumer products as a part of their identity)
  • -5 Hide
    ericburnby , August 22, 2011 3:15 AM
    brickmanApple is such a whore. They sue Samsung and drop them from making any chips for the apple. If I was TSMC I wouldn't get too comfortable.

    TSMC has nothing to worry about. Unless they want to start making products that copy Apple.

    I'll say it again: I bet the person in charge of Samsung's Electronics division is pissed at whoever is in charge of the phone/tablet division for causing them to lose $7.8 billion in sales because they couldn't come up with their own designs.
  • 0 Hide
    tramit , August 22, 2011 3:25 AM
    ericburnbyTSMC has nothing to worry about. Unless they want to start making products that copy Apple.I'll say it again: I bet the person in charge of Samsung's Electronics division is pissed at whoever is in charge of the phone/tablet division for causing them to lose $7.8 billion in sales because they couldn't come up with their own designs.


    There is nothing wrong with having a little pride in what you own ;P

    It's our differences in tastes that make us unique no matter if you hate or love a product line with a passion.
  • 1 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , August 22, 2011 7:37 AM
    Good for competition... So Apple can check how its products will perform through another company & also it gives other companies the chance for stable income for a certain contract time period.
  • 2 Hide
    The Greater Good , August 22, 2011 7:52 AM
    I don't care if Apple had a 24 core phone with 3 day battery life. I wouldn't buy it anyways.
  • 2 Hide
    DaveUK , August 22, 2011 9:05 AM
    kingkueiNext iPhone gets the A5 chip. This A6 is for the generation AFTER that, likely debuting in the next iPad first given its larger size and battery, it can better handle heat dissipation and power draw, which are much more difficult engineering issues to deal with when you get into the smaller form of the iPhone.


    I expect the real reason we may see it in the next iPad first would simply be product cycles. I wouldn't expect power draw and heat dissipation to be the main concerns as they are moving to a more efficient manufacturing process (28nm). They just need to get the yield down to an acceptable level, and hopefully it will be ready in time for the retina display iPad. Certainly before iPhone 6 emerges.
  • -3 Hide
    rb420 , August 22, 2011 12:42 PM
    Quote:
    What does that make people who blindly hate the items such as yourself?


    Awesome!
  • 0 Hide
    ferncba , August 22, 2011 3:05 PM
    A6 for the 2012 iPhone 6 and Ipad 3 revamps?
  • 1 Hide
    ferncba , August 22, 2011 3:25 PM
    Anyway, that 28nm process A6 sounds sweet...
    Powerful yet sipping power!
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