Apple Shifts A6X Processor Manufacturing Deal From Samsung To TSMC

By Shailesh Shrivastava email: | Jan 03, 2013 01:29 AM EST

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The fight between Apple and Samsung has resulted in one more loss for Samsung. According to a new report in a Taiwanese newspaper, Apple has given contract of producing its A6X processor to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

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So far, Samsung had been the main supplier of Apple, producing screens, processors, and memory drives for its iDevices. The Cupertino-based tech giant's renowned A4, A5, and A6 processors were also coming from Samsung's Austin-based manufacturing unit.

Apple launched its most sophisticated processor, A6X, with the fourth generation iPad. Based on an ARM reference design, the quad-core A6X chip delivers a maximum clock speed of 1.4GHz with graphics processing supplied by a PowerVR SGX554MP4 graphics processing unit.

According to the report in Taiwanese newspaper, The Commercial Times, the new contract to manufacture 28nm A6X will kick-off with a three-month trial production period during the current quarter.

This is not the first time the reports of Apple shifting its processor and chip manufacturing deal from Samsung are surfacing. In September last, reports suggested that Apple had been reducing its orders from Samsung as it tried to looking for other options for its lines of supply for memory chips.

There were rumors that Apple had picked Japan's Toshiba Corp, Elpida Memory and Korea's SK Hynix to supply DRAM and NAND chips.

According to an earlier Reuters report, "Samsung is still in the list of initial memory chip suppliers (for new iPhones). But Apple orders have been trending down and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung's handset business."

In October last, there were talks about the Apple-TSMC deal. However, a KoeaTimes report set all the speculations aside saying: "Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner."

"The manufacturing process at TSMC hasn't been stabilized. Considering Apple's previous patterns of adopting qualified technologies, Apple isn't taking risks. Samsung offers better pricing and capacity commitment for the A6 mobile APs," an official from a different Apple supplier said backing Samsung's pricing policy and commitment.

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