Production of Apple’s next-gen A6 processor begins at TSMC; A6 devices to launch Q2 2012

Trial production of Apple’s next-generation A6 mobile processor has begun, Taiwan Economic News reports. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has kicked off a test run of A6 chipsets — which could be 28-nanometer SoCs that feature dual or quad-cores and ARM-based architecture according to earlier reports — and Apple devices carrying the new chips are expected to be released in the second quarter next year at the earliest, according to multiple anonymous industry sources. Reports dating back to June suggested that Apple dumped Samsung following multiple patent disputes, and the company would instead utilize TSMC for production of its next-generation A6 processor. This new Taiwan Economic News report contradicts earlier rumors, however, which claimed that TSMC had begun its trial run of A6 chips last month. This could be a new test run, or earlier reports could have been misguided, of course. Taiwan-based TSMC is the world’s largest contract microchip manufacturer.

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