TSMC, Apple Commence Trial Production of A6 Processor

By Ashok Bindra August 16, 2011

Taiwan Economic News reported last Friday that world’s largest semiconductor foundry service provider, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC), in cooperation with Apple, has kicked off the trial production of the A6 processor. According to industry sources, as per the report, TSMC will tape out the production design in the first quarter of next year with plans to unwrap it to the public in the second quarter at the earliest. 


For the next generation A6 production, TSMC is using its latest 28 nm process with 3D stacking technology, wrote Taiwan Economic News reporter Steve Chuang. Plus, A6, which is based on the ARM architecture, will undergo TSMC’s cutting-edge silicon interposer and bump on trace (BOT) methodologies, Chuang added. Although, TSMC has not commented on this partnership, industry insiders speaking to the reporter indicated that the A6 manufacturing will bring considerable momentum into TSMC’s business starting next year.  

According to the pundits, even though TSMC had the capacity to address Apple’s production needs in the past, it did not focus much on that relationship because all the production lines were busy meeting the demands of major semiconductor companies like Nvidia and Qualcomm. But, lately the industry has been experiencing a depression, prompting TSMC to build that relationship with Apple, wrote Chuang.

Meanwhile, due to declining demand for semiconductor chips, TSMC has projected its combined revenue for the third quarter of 2011 to drop over 6-8 percent to reach about $102 billion as compared to $104 billion for the second quarter, with the gross profit rate of 40.5-42.5 percent, reports Taiwan Economic News. However, the world’s largest foundry service provider indicated that its business operations will turn around in the fourth quarter when customer inventories are reduced. 

Additionally, as per Chuang’s report, another major beneficiary of A6 processor production is Taiwan’s leading semiconductor testing and packaging company, the Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. In fact, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering has partnered with TSMC to develop the 3D chip-packaging technology.

Media reports say that A6 could be a quad-core design, and is intended for Apple’s next generation products such as iPad 3.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.


Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Cortana/Siri vs. Alexa & The Road To Robotic Post Smartphone Era

By: Rob Enderle    5/3/2016

Last week Microsoft made it clear that Cortana would only work with Microsoft's browser and search products making people question its cross platform …

Read More

Looking For The Next iPod/Echo

By: Rob Enderle    4/29/2016

The Amazon Echo, not the Apple Watch, became the last iPod-like product largely because of a far more accessible price point, a more compelling name, …

Read More

Apple Needs Reset, Not Elon Musk

By: Doug Mohney    4/29/2016

Apple's 13 percent sales decline and subsequent stock price drop this week has lead to the usual crazy talk about how to "fix" the company. Vivek Wadh…

Read More

Is the Apple Bubble Finally Bursting?

By: Andrew Bindelglass    4/28/2016

Over the past 13 years, Apple has been one of the most successful companies in the world of tech, posting sales growths in 51 straight quarters. That …

Read More

Shared-Space Providers (Airbnb) Poised to Beat Ride-Sharers (Uber)

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

Travel may be starting to make a bit of a comeback, as a new report suggests that shared-space providers like Airbnb and WeWork are on the rise.

Read More