Apple has started the trial production of its new A6 processors and won’t be using the services of its traditional partner, Samsung, but instead will depend on TSMC for the new processors. The release of this fast paced and efficient processor won’t be any time soon. Reports state that the new processors will only be coming before 2012.
Apple's A5 Processor.
Currently Samsung is the sole manufacturer of the A5 chips, which are used in the iPad 2 and iPod Touch. CNET reports that the head of the Linley group, Linley Gwennap stated that Apple will continue production of the A5 processor through Samsung and will switch to TSMC to develop smaller fab processors. This endorsement with TSMC will most likely help Apple's relationship with them to move forward. Reports from TheMacFeed stated that 'TSMC has got all the authorization and details ready’. Whether Apple puts in a a formal order will depend on the yield rate.
With the A6 processor likely to make its debut in 2012, a 3rd generation iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch will follow up months later with the same chip. Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richards said that Intel being another large chip manufacturer is aggressively searching for business with Apple as well. Reports have stated that TSMC may have been given the go-ahead to mass produce Apple’s new processor in high quantities with minimum defects. Sources also indicate that the new processor may not necessarily be called the A6, despite it being the successor of the Apple's A5 chip.
Sources have stated that despite the move from Samsung, the two companies will still maintain a close and competitive relationship with one another.