Samsung Back To Manufacturing A6 Chip For 2012 iPhone 5?

While iPhone and Android users are still debating the speed and performance of the A5-powered iPhone 4S, a new rumor suggests that the next-in-line A6 chip for the 2012 iPhone 5 might end up to be manufactured by Samsung after all.

Over the past six months or so, the prevailing speculation surrounding the fabled A6 chip — the chip that is likely to be used in the 2012 iPhone 5 — would not be manufactured by Samsung, Apple’s longtime chip manufacturer, but rather by Taiwan-based Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC). Charles Moore reported on it back on August 14th, with credible sources to make one believe that it was a done deal.

Surprisingly, however, a new report has surfaced suggesting that Samsung will once again reprise its role as chip maker for the A6 chip.

According to WebProNews, their inside source told them “that Samsung is ramping up production of quad-core A6 processors, the Apple-designed chip, at their manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.”

Should this prove to be true, it would be a major reversal of fortune for Samsung, who was ostensibly on the way out as Apple’s manufacturing partner, thanks to an escalating patent war and the rise of the Galaxy S series smartphones as the iPhone’s most aggressive rival in the marketplace. WebProNews does not stipulate what the reasons could be for choosing to possibly retain Samsung and eschew TSMC. One possibility is that Apple is not liking what they are seeing from a quality standpoint from TSMC, or else they are enamored with the work that Samsung has done with the A5 chip, which now powers both the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

It remains to be seen if a renewed partnership between Apple and Samsung to craft the A6 chip could assuage some of the other legal tensions between the two companies.

Charles had reported in his article that “TSMC is applying its latest 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies to produce the A6, which will also benefit from TSMC’s cutting-edge silicon interposer and bump on trace (BOT) methodologies.” It would stand to reason that Samsung will match these design specs — particularly the 3D stacking — which is expected to supercharge the A6 chip and any device using it considerably.

In this way, the iPhone 5 could make the debate over the iPhone 4S’s speed irrelevant.


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