The days of Samsung producing processors for Apple's iDevices may be coming to an end according to a report that suggests the Cupertino giant may have shifted silicon production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
The report, which comes via Taiwanese-based newspaper The Commercial Times, suggests that Apple is further distancing itself from its competitor -- and legal foe -- Samsung. Given that both companies are locked in fierce patent battles across the world, this shift in production has been long rumored.
If the report is correct -- and there's no reason to suspect that it is not, given that it fits in well with other supply chain chatter -- the shift to TSMC will also mean that Apple's processors will see a shrinking of architecture. Samsung currently uses a 32-nanometer process to manufacture Apple's chips, but the report suggests that TSMC will switch to 28-nanometers, a move that will bring power-saving benefits.
Apple's latest A6 and A6X processors are the company's most sophisticated design yet. A teardown of the chip carried out for iFixit by Chipworks revealed a complex design, suggests that the ARM core blocks had been laid out manually as opposed to using a computer in order to maximize performance.
According to iFixit's chief information architect Miroslav Djuric, the ARM cores inside the A6 "might be the only manual layout in a chip to hit the market in several years."
Image source: iFixit/Chipworks.