Apple Entering Partnership with TSMC for Quad-Core Chips, Says Citigroup

Deal said to come to fruition in about two years from now

By on October 13th, 2012 18:41 GMT

According to a research note by Citigroup analyst J.T. Hsu handed to China Economic News Service for reporting, Apple is pursuing a potentially lucrative business with Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC.

Hsu’s note revealed to the Chinese newspaper that Apple is in talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to make processors that will fit nicely in upcoming iPads, a potential new television product, and even MacBook laptops.

Although some rumors say Apple wants to pull away from Intel, this deal with TSMC is still in its early development stages, Hsu said. As is the 20-nanometer process on which the new Apple chips will reportedly be manufactured.

According to the analyst (quoted by the paper), “Apple began verifying TSMC’s 20nm process in August this year and may begin risk production in November with the process.”

The report adds that “iPhones will be still powered by duo-core processors to highlight its low power consumption merit.”

Apple currently works with Samsung Electronics in South Korea to produce the A-series of chips powering its iPhones, iPad tablets, and iPod touch media players.

A range of other components, such as NAND Flash modules, are also manufactured by Samsung. Although this relationship as been a profitable one over the past few years, increased tensions between the two electronics vendors have forced them to grow apart.

In much the same way Apple pulled away from Google’s mapping services, the Cupertino giant is said to be seeking a replacement for the chips currently supplied by Intel for its Macintosh computers.

As noted above, a radical change like this will undoubtedly take some time to come to fruition. And there are a few hurdles to overcome regarding software compatibility as well.

Such plans will require careful orchestration on behalf of Apple, including increased efforts to keep the details of this initiative under tight wraps.

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