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Apple Planning to Make A6 Processor at TSMC

Despite being tangled in a rather tense legal battle right now, Apple and Samsung are still partners in the chip manufacturing business. Apple orders a huge amount of A4 and A5 chips for iPhone, iPod and iPad products, and Samsung builds them.

It may seen rather odd that Samsung is lending a hand to Apple, a big competitor in the personal device space, but the South Korean company is still pocketing some money regardless whether a customer buys an iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The word in the industry right now is that Apple is seeking another manufacturing partner for the next-generation ARM chip that's believed to be called the A6. Reuters reports that Taiwan's massive TSMC, which has likely made at least one of the chips inside your gaming desktop, is currently in trial production of the A6 for Apple.

If the yields come back to Apple's satisfaction, then Samsung may no longer be privy to Apple's CPU. Of course, analysts predict that Samsung will do everything in its power to extend its contract with Apple – perhaps by entering into a bidding war against TSMC.

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.