Apple is said to be already meeting with chip suppliers as it looks toward production of its next-generation A6 mobile processor in 2012 and moving its chip production away from Samsung and looking to TSMC for foundry services and SPIL for back-end services. TSMC and Apple allegedly started running trials for this new chip, expected to be ready for mass production later this year and the move to TSMC has been a major blow to Samsung, the sole supplier of A4 and A5 processors thus far………….
Apple recently conducted a visit to SPIL’s assembly line and both parties discussed opportunities for cooperation. SPIL stands a chance of becoming the first packaging and testing service provider designated by Apple and cutting into the supply chain of the vendor’s processor line. Apple is in talks with packaging firm Siliconware Precision Industries to produce its next generation of A-series silicon, reports Digitimes. The publication states that industry sources are saying that Apple is looking at SPIL to produce the A6 chip, the next version of the A series processor preceded by the iPhone 4′s A4 and the iPad 2′s A5. Apple paid a visit to SPIL in order to discuss an opportunity for the company to become the A6 chip’s packaging and testing provider. This would mark a first for Apple who normally deals directly with a vendor rather than a company that outsources the components and then packages them itself. Samsung currently provides Apple with the A4 chips that power its iPhone 4 and iPad, but Apple is apparently moving on from them for the A6. A report late last month indicated that Apple was going with rival silicon maker TSMC for the production of the A6 and was as far along as performing trials. Talks with SPIL could indicate that it is looking for a company to handle the sourcing of parts and assemble them itself. The A6 chip is slated to go into production in the first quarter of 2012, most likely too late to appear in the iPad 3, which should show up some time in the first quarter as well.