Trial phase of next-gen Apple chips underway
Apple is looking to diversify its supply line. Samsung was the only supplier Apple used for the A5 chips which are used by the iPad 2
Taiwan-based TSMC has begun trial manufacturing Apple's next generation of mobile device-aimed chips. The chips, which may be known as the A6, are destined to power Apple's forthcoming mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone.
Most hardware manufacturers run through trial manufacturing periods in order to test the production process, assess quality and examine functionality of new silicon such as processors or chips. If a trial run is successful a manufacturer can move into volume production.
Apple has traditionally used Samsung as its sole supplier for mobile device chips. The A5 chip which powers the iPad 2 and may potentially power the forthcoming iPhone is produced solely by Samsung.
There are a number of potential reasons as to why Apple is looking to diversify its supply line. The most obvious is because of the ongoing legal dispute Apple is engaged in with Samsung over patents. Another potential reason for wanting to diversify its supply line is to meet the growing demand for its products. Since Apple launched its iPad 2 tablet earlier in the year, the company has been struggling to meet with global demand.