According to industry sources, Apple is considering the possibility to order production of A4 and A5 processors (based on ARM Cortex-A9 CPU) at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Currently, Apple A4 parts are supplied by Samsung Electronics. In the past Samsung has been producing S5PC100 processor for iPhone 3GS.
The reason for such Apple behavior is explained by Samsung’s rising success on smartphone and tablet PC markets, especially after launching Samsung GALAXY S II and Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1. This sets high competency between Samsung and Apple, therefore Apple is afraid of any leaks of technological secrets.
In fact, Apple had already worked with TSMC last year, when the a partial order for A4 processor was made due to Samsung’s production capacity was not enough. Perhaps, this was the test to see if TSMC can handle it.
According to Digitimes Research, iPad 2 will be equipped with an enhanced version of A4 processor, while A5 will be a basis for iPhone 5. At first, TSMC will produce improved variant of A4 followed by a possibility of becoming an exclusive supplier of A5 CPUs.