A report from Taiwanese newspaper Commercial Times says Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is set to begin trial production of Apple’s A6X chip sometime this quarter. That chip is currently being used by Apple to power its fourth-generation iPad.
The Taiwanese company has been contracted to manufacture the A6X chip, which drives Apple’s iPad4 tablet, with trial production set for the first quarter of this year, Taiwan’s Commercial Times reported.
The move is the latest in a strings of efforts by Apple to switch mass manufacturing contracts away from Samsung, it said.
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry.
It has been rumored for some time that Apple is trying to move away from frenemy Samsung for the production of A-Series chips. Most recently, reports have indicated that TSMC would be starting production of the chip for Apple as soon as the second quarter. The report of a possible trial run in the first quarter falls in line with that rumor.
Apple and Samsung have been engaged in patent litigation around the globe for the better part of a year, and Apple has been rumored to be moving away from its reliance on Samsung for many of the components used in its popular iOS devices. It was reported last fall that although Apple chose Samsung to manufacture its A6 chip, it did not collaborate with it on the overall design of the processor.