TSMC to Build Apple’s A6 CPU for iPad 3

A few weeks ago, we reported that Apple was considering the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce its upcoming A6 processor chip, which marks a shift away from Samsung’s A5 processor.

Today Digitimes confirmed that according to industry sources, Apple recently signed a foundry partnership agreement with TSMC, meaning the company will indeed be producing Apple’s next processors.

TSMC will use its 28nm and 20nm process technologies to create Apple’s future CPUs, ousting Samsung as Apple’s exclusive manufacturer. Analysts believe that TSMC may not receive orders from Apple until 2012, which would put the iPad at a typical mid-spring release.

Not only did TSMC score the contract for the A6 processors, it’s believed that the company also managed to extend the deal to manufacture the A6’s successor.

According to Digitimes’ sources, TSMC was able to negotiate a solid price, keeping gross margins yielded by Apple’s orders inline with its current gross margin performance, which was 46 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2011.

TSMC was contacted to comment on its partnership with Apple, but declined a response.

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