There is still not a lot of info on the A6, but punters are speculating that it’s a 28nm chip with 3D IC interconnects. TSMC has already announced that it will have both 28nm and 3D IC technology ready for commercial production by the end of the year.
In the past Apple relied solely on Samsung for production of its A4 and A5 chips, used in the current iPhone and iPad. However, in recent months Apple’s relationship with Samsung has deteriorated as a result of patent disputes, settlements and new disputes, followed by new settlements.
Still, Samsung will continue to build Apple chips for the foreseeable future, but Apple is expected to shift about 20 to 30 percent of its production to TSMC. The transition will be gradual and it will probably coincide with new chip generation launches.
Although the move is aimed at reducing Apple’s reliance on Samsung, it might also have another positive effect for Jobs’ Mob. Nvidia builds its Tegra chips at TSMC and Apple could stand to gain some perks from the foundry at Nvidia’s expense.