The Taiwanese-based TSMC has reportedly been tapped to manufacture future batches of Apple ARM-based A6X chip that currently powers Cupertino’s most recent iPad.
According to the Taiwan Commercial Times, trial production of the mobile chips on a 28nm process (as opposed to Samsung’s 32nm) will kick off during the first quarter of 2013.
As AppleInsider’s Sam Oliver notes, Apple has long been rumored to be interested in switching its mobile chip manufacturing from Samsung to TSMC due to ongoing patent battles between the two industry heavyweights.
Currently, all mobile processors for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV are built by Samsung at its chip fabrication plant in Austin, Texas.
Although Apple will almost certainly be testing TSMC chips over the next few months, it remains unclear when the new batch of processors will actually start appearing in Cupertino’s lineup of mobile iOS devices.
Nevertheless, a number of reports claim the transition from Samsung to TSMC could take as long as 18 months to complete.
The new yields will likely power Apple’s fifth-generation iPad, along with a second-generation iPad mini which is expected to launch during the first half of 2013.