Beginning with the first generation iPad, Apple has made quite a bit of effort to let you know that the chips inside their hardware are made by Cupertino engineers. The A4, which was in said first generation iPad, later found itself as the heart of the iPhone 4, current generation iPod touch, and the second generation Apple TV. The successor to the A4, aptly called the A5, first showed up in the second generation iPad, and there are very high expectations that it’ll be inside the next iPhone. Both the A4 and A5 share two very important properties: They’re both made by Samsung, and they’re both based on a 45 nanometer process. According to reports from Taiwan Economic News, the A6 is set to not only be Apple’s first 28 nanometer chip, but it’s also going to be made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, more commonly referred to as TSMC. Said A6 chip will end up in products due to hit the market in Q2 2012. So, why is this important?
First, Apple and Samsung aren’t exactly what you would call the best of friends. Despite Apple relying on Samsung for many of the components inside their hardware, Apple has taken Samsung to court to try and get their tablets and smartphones off the market; they’ve succeeded too. You can only imagine what sort of uneasiness Apple folks must feel when they ask Samsung to build them a processor that will end up in future iPads and iPhones. It’s practically giving away the roadmap. Second, what if Samsung is having trouble keeping up with Apple’s demand? Samsung is growing quarter after quarter and pretty soon they’ll have to admit that they need all of their parts for their own devices. Third, TSMC might just have more advanced facilities, which Apple needs if they want to make the A6 either the same as the A5, but cheaper thanks to the new 28 nanometer process, or a more powerful quad core beast. We’ll assume it’s the latter.
[Via: Boy Genius Report]