Logically the successor to Apple’s A5 chip would be the A6, and there were reports back in the past that Apple was considering going with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce their A6 chips. At the moment Samsung has been Apple’s exclusive supplier for the A4 and A5 chipsets, but given their recent fierce legal battles, it’s not surprising that Apple may be considering an alternative source, and according to a report by Digitimes, Apple may have already signed an agreement with TSMC.
Not just content with manufacturing Apple’s A6 chipset, it appears that TSMC has also successfully extended the deal they made with Apple and will also be manufacturing the A6’s successor, which will most likely be named the A7.
“Apple has recently signed a foundry partnership agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), industry sources have claimed. Under the terms of the agreement, TSMC will apply its 28nm and 20nm process technologies to produce Apple’s next-generation CPUs, according to the sources.
TSMC is believed to have quietly secured Apple’s contract, and even succeeded in extending the deal to cover the manufacture for the A6’s successor, the sources said.”
As with all things Apple, not much is known about the A6 chipset, although given how NVIDIA has plans to start rolling out quad-core tablets running on their Tegra 3 “Kal-El” processor later this year, and with Qualcomm’s plans for a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU next year, it’s not a stretch to imagine that the A6 will be in quad-core variety, or at least something equivalent.