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Apple reportedly taps TSMC's 28nm process node for A6X chip

First warning shot for Samsung chips
Wed Jan 02 2013, 19:34
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CHIP FOUNDRY TSMC reportedly is preparing to fab Apple's A6X system-on-chip (SoC) as the consumer electronics giant continues its shift away from Samsung.

Apple has been looking for an alternative chip foundry as its relationship with Samsung has been deteriorating. While Apple is rumoured to have offered TSMC more than a billion dollars to set aside production capacity last year - an offer TSMC is said to have rejected - the two firms are reportedly working together to produce Apple's latest A6X SoC.

Apple's A6X is used in the fourth generation Ipad, but as with the firm's previous SoCs, it is likely a closely-related variant will end up in the next iteration of the Iphone. Samsung's foundry had been expected to fab A6X SoCs, however China Times is reporting that TSMC's 28nm process node will be used to produce them instead.

With TSMC's 28nm process node in high demand, Apple will more than likely continue to use Samsung for the time being. Although Apple remains one of Samsung's biggest customers, it is perhaps TSMC's other customers that will be most concerned as firms such as AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm have all suffered product delays as TSMC failed to meet demand on its 28nm process node last year, and any extra capacity as the process node matures is likely to be gobbled up very quickly by Apple's order book. µ


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