Did you know that every single iOS device Apple has ever made, all 250+ million of them, have a processor inside that’s made by Samsung? Sure, Apple may have designed the A4 that first went inside the iPad and then showed up in the iPhone 4, but Samsung made the chips. Same thing for the A5 that currently lives in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. Knowing how much Apple and Samsung hate each other, going so far as to try and get each other’s products banned in numerous countries, it’s kind of ironic that Apple uses Samsung components. Earlier this year we reported on a rumor that said Apple was looking to dump Samsung for the upcoming A6 processor that’s likely going to end up in the third generation iPad and the sixth generation iPhone (read: iPhone 5) and go with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Now there’s a fresh rumor from DigiTimes that says TSMC “has sent a 60-member team, which includes staff from its IC design service partner Global UniChip, to Silicon Valley-based Apple for more talks about its upcoming A-series processor.”
Why such a large entourage? The A6 is supposed to be made using a brand spanking new 28 nanometer process. Because it’s so new, Apple wants to make sure that TSMC can deliver a healthy amount of chips. That and we assume Apple and TSMC are working through some additional kinks that naturally spring up when doing something as complicated as designing a system on chip. The current A5 chip uses a 45 nanometer process, as do most of the high and mid end smartphones on the market. Qualcomm, who designs chips but doesn’t make them, will also use TSMC for 28 nanometer chips, so it’s in their best interest that TSMC perfects the new manufacturing technique so that they’ll be able to feed both Apple and Qualcomm’s numerous customers.