According to Taiwan Economic News, local technological parts manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd (TSMC) is now testing Apple’s new A6 processor chip that features the company’s “newest 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies.” Samsung currently supplies Apple with the latest iPad 2 processor, known as the A5, which is a 1 GHz dual-core chip. The transition to TSMC from Samsung, which also supplies Apple with flash memory, could mark the beginnings of a strained relationship between Apple and Samsung due to an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit.
The report states that the new A6 chip is in its early testing stages and isn’t expected to be unveiled until at least the second quarter of next year. It is possible that the A6 processor could be ready in time for an early 2012 release of a third-generation iPad. The rumored iPhone 5 would likely still house the A5 chip, since it has been speculated that its release date is imminent. The iPhone 4 is powered by Apple’s A4 chip.