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Apple A6 Chip in Early Production Stages at TSMC

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?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • 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.
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  • JeanLuc
    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.
    Reply
  • mister g
    Huh, that's why TSMC ditched the 32nm node, or am I mistaken in that that was only a GPU node?
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  • HansVonOhain
    Apple will sue TSMC eventually for breaking patent rights..
    Reply
  • walter87
    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.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    Isn't it kind of late to start early production of A6 now, when the next iPhone is set to launch October?
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  • jecastej
    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.
    Reply
  • Maximus_Delta
    Looks like the 28nm TSMC process is all good, so why no word yet on the next gen graphics cards ??
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  • kingkuei
    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.
    Reply
  • neoverdugo
    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.
    Reply