Manufacturing of Apple’s next generation mobile processor has begun on a trial basis at TSMC in Taiwan, according to a Reuters report.
Previously Apple’s A5 system-on-chip chip, which bundles a dual core PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics core and a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, had been manufactured by Korean electronics giant Samsung. It’s thought that the ongoing patent battle between Samsung and Apple has soured the firm’s relationship so the iPhone-maker has turned to rival chipmakers instead.
Reuters quoted an unnamed source claiming that ‘authorization and details’ were complete but actual orders for the upcoming processor, possibly called the A6, will be dependent on the yield rate of manufacturing. The yield ultimately has a large impact on the cost of each chip that will likely find a home in upcoming versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.
However the production of the A5 chip was a joint effort between Apple and Samsung which ultimately makes a switch to another chipmaker more problematic. The A5 is at least partially covered by some of Samsung’s own patents.
The popularity of iOS devices is particularly lucrative for component maker Samsung. In February the Wall Street Journal report that Apple had placed an order for $7.8 billion worth of components including the A5 processor.